So I turned 40 in March. I knew it was coming. Something like that doesn’t exactly sneak up on you. You’re aware.
I’ve heard people get all philosophical about “age is just a number” and “you’re only as old as you feel”. I know many, many people who lie about their age, or just pick one that they like and stick with that forever.
I’m not all that philosophical and I don’t go in for pithy sayings or Stuart Smalley-esque affirmations. But I’m here to tell you something:
I totally would not lie to you. Not about this.
See, I have a theory. I developed this theory ten years ago when I turned 30. Somehow the turning of a new decade in my age gave me a lot of freedom that I wasn’t expecting. It meant starting anew, at the beginning of a new set of numbers. I no longer had to fit into my idea of what the previous set of numbers had been- I’d outgrown them and passed them by. The new numbers were unwritten. A vast, empty space, waiting to be filled with whatever I chose.
Blank, clear, free. Up to me.
Here’s my Top Ten List of what rocks about 40:
10) I have 40 years of experience in screwing up. It’s no big deal anymore.
9) I have 40 years of experience in figuring out what I like. That’s awesome! Do you have any idea what a time-saver that is?
8) I give a shit about my health. More than a shit, actually, I care a great deal. I eat on the healthy side, have little interest in chemically preserved/highly processed anything, do not actively put toxins (including chemical recreation) into my body anymore, take those damn supplements the doc had been suggesting the past five years, and I exercise. Very little gives me greater pleasure than standing in a Bikram yoga class next to some perky co-ed who was out partying all night and watching her go green down on the mat while I’m solid, holding standing bow. Take that, size zero.
7) I’m not above being petty when it amuses me (see above).
6) I don’t spend much time trying to figure out how everything’s going to work out anymore. My god, I used to make myself crazy with that. It’s far more interesting to just do the next right thing in front of me and let it all unfold as it will. All my worrying and trying to guess what comes next never affected the rising of the sun or the pull of the tides.
5) Less drama. He said/she said, I’m gonna do this to make him/her jealous, I’m gonna do that to make so and so think such and such. . . I have no interest anymore.
4) I’m finally good at my job. God knows I’ve been doing it long enough.
3) I know the value of a good cry and a day in bed with a bag of cookies.
2) I appreciate and can accept my family of origin just as they are. By this point, I don’t expect them to change much. They would probably say the same about me. But they’ll have to get their own blog.
1) I’m still not as old as my car, nor will I ever be.
Disclaimer: I am not 40 in the pictures below, I’m. . .32? But those are the only pictures of me and Miss Lucy.
Here’s a picture of me being 40. I’m pretty much the same, just. . . forty-er.
I’m looking forward to testing my theory with each new decade I reach. But I’m in no rush.
I’d love to hear the number one thing that rocks about the age you are right now.
I was lucky enough to have multiple birthday celebrations, which I’ll be writing about this week (yes, I’m totally milking it).