When you’re young, the only time age comes into the periphery of your mind is to wonder (with youthful disgust) at how positively OLD the adults in your life are.
Even as an adult, I am constantly surprised when I learn someone’s age: “What are you doing in this bar, you’re 12!” and (in my head…mostly) “Oh my god, she is the same age as me!! Do I look that old?!?!”
I don’t think our physical age ever evens out with our mental age, and I am A-ok with that. It’s a little discombobulating to discover that the extra-shimmery silver pieces in my hair seem to multiply every time water touches them, but I want to embrace them. Much like the stretch marks on my belly from the birth of my daughter (and also from cheeseburgers), they are me.
Because of a skin condition, I don’t wear a lot of make-up. With a few days notice, I can get enough serious moisturizing in to throw on a little foundation, but not much more than that. My eyebrows are the bane of my friends’ existence, so much so that I bear scars from the tweezers attack I suffered on our last girls’ weekend.
But this is 40, right? It’s time to settle in and let myself go even more like everyone else does when they turn 40. Isn’t turning 40 my right of passage to muu-muu town and the land of sensible shoes?
At least, that’s what I thought – when I was 20. All the 40-year-old people I knew were practically in the nursing home, but now that I’m 40, I see things a little differently. The fluidity of perspective is an amazing thing, isn’t it?
As it turns out, 40 is the new 29! And in that realization, I suddenly feel an exquisite balance between experience and youth: I have lived enough to know what is important, and I still feel young enough to enjoy the things that are important to the fullest degree.
More specifically, I still want to be a size 10 again, but I want to be a size 10 again so I won’t be on the brink of a heart attack when chasing my toddler at the park, instead of wanting it because magazines say I am unattractive if I’m not.
I will wear make-up again, but not to for anyone other than me. I will spend time on my eyebrows, but only because my friends scare me.
I will go for a pedicure because it feels damn lovely to get a foot massage, not because someone says I simply cannot wear my flip-flops without “summer feet” (who made that a thing, anyway?? Are they not still feet in the summer??)
Did I mention that turning 40 came with a pair of really sassy boots??
It also comes with a determination I have never felt before. Getting fitter has always been in my periphery; in fact, I was quite committed to my workouts before I got pregnant but due to previous complications, I was urged by my doctor to curb the exercise. I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to get back into it after having my daughter.
Turning 40, strangely enough, seems to have made it seem exceedingly less difficult. At 40, I feel like I am on the cusp of my life, not the end of it.
So this is my 40! This is me getting on with myself for ME, for once. I worked out for the first time since I was 2 months pregnant (let’s not do math, okay?), and I am committing to it for my health and to set an example of a healthy and active life for my daughter.
Sorry, 20-year-old me – 20 ain’t got nothing on 40.
I came across this in my inbox. Who’s coming with me if I win??