Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thoughts on turning (GASP) 40

"Life begins at 40 - but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times." Helen Rowland

This week I turn 40. A much younger me considered 40 as middle age, okay well actually I thought of it as old. It was for people who wore comfortable shoes, sported reading glasses and read the nutrition labels on the back of cereal boxes to see how much fiber it contained. It was the time when people had a "mid-life crisis" and re-evaluated their lives, left their husbands, and bought sports cars in lieu of sensible sedans. Now that I myself am approaching this milestone, I no longer think of it as old.

So how did I get here so fast? The saying that time goes faster as you get older seems to be all too true. The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, the months into years at the speed of light. Suddenly you wake up one morning and you realize you’ve been on this earth 40 years. That "old" age you dreaded when you were young has finally taken hold of you.

I won't deny that 40 is the beginning of looking and feeling old. My body no longer responds the way it did ten years ago. After a day of running after my children, my muscles throb. The weight that came off easily at 25 settles on my thighs and hips refusing to budge. My face that just 5 years ago didn't sport a single wrinkle now has fine lines forming around my eyes. My makeup drawer holds jars of wrinkle reducing cream and anti-aging serum. Wearing a push-up bra is no longer a fashion statement, but rather a necessity.

My memory seems to take a leave of absence much more often than before. I forget peoples names. I misplace my car keys on a regular basis. I walk into the pantry only to forget what I went in there for in the first place. I call my husband to ask him a question and forget why I was calling.

As the big day approaches I feel restless and in those quiet hours after the kids have gone to bed, I hear a little voice beckoning me to make a change.

I believe the need for change has less to do with the fact that I am actually turning 40 than it does with the realization that I have spent the first half of my life intensely focused on getting to this point. I have already achieved most of my major goals in life, including graduating from college, getting married, having a career, and starting a family. I think sadly, we spend so much of our lives focused on achieving our goals that we forget to relish in the little things. Then when a major life event (such as turning 40) occurs, it hits us in the face and we wonder where the time went? And where do we go from here?

While I won't be leaving my husband, buying a sports car or dying my hair a funky shade of red, I do feel the need to reinvent myself to a much lesser degree. Perhaps the first change should be to throw away that list of must-do's and just enjoy what life has to offer, one day at a time.

So although I am a little apprehensive about turning 40, I am also excited about the possibilities it brings. So lookout 40, here I come!


Leah said...

Happy Birthday, three days early! You just reminded me that you and Griff share the same day .... although he's 28 years younger, haha.

I'm only six months behind you....

Enjoy your day! Go get a facial for those wrinkles. JUST KIDDING!!!! Do something fun!

Pauline said...

Happy Birthday ...
NO sports care no new hair color what FUN Is turning 40 then .. .LOL I do agree though throw away that list of must-do's and just enjoy what life has to offer, one day at a time.

vixie said...

AHA. So turning 40 DOES make you question as to leave your husband or not.. good to know I am NOT crazy ! Have a wonderful BDay lady.

Best WIshes,