(I actually turned 40 on August 16th, but there's a part of me that really wanted the symmetry of my 40th post being about turning 40.)
I turned 40 last week. It was a thing. I cried more than I thought I would, and celebrated less than I had in a long time for a birthday. (Covid probably had something to do with that.) 2020 has been a freaking weird year, and turning 40 in the midst of all that just added to the weird. Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about turning 40 and I'm pretty sure I said that I was just gonna be cool about it.
I was not cool about it.
Me being me, I wanted to analyze WHY I wasn't cool about it. There are all the usual reasons, right? I'm not at some social-media approved "goal weight." I have a few new wrinkles. If I eat animal products, my hips and shoulders and elbows ache so badly I can't sleep. My daughter won't. stop. getting. older. It makes me sound so basic, but the onward march of aging and general decrepitude can get me down sometimes. I'm not such a cerebral person that the physical doesn't matter to me at all. I still want to feel vital and healthy.
But there's more to it than that, I think. My 30's were a tumultuous decade for me. I had a baby, grew a business, won awards, realized my dream of teaching at college, won some more awards, got divorced, got married and divorced and got married again. I came into my own as far as my professional reputation and finally spent some time developing deep friendships with some amazing women. I saw my kid start school and play her first organized sports and turn into a bright, beautiful, interesting, funny pain in my ass. (I mean that in the best possible way.) Between those marriages, I went on a LOT of really hilariously bad dates and a few good ones. I also met the love of my life and finally convinced him that I was the love of his. (Salesmanship!)
My 30's were many things, but they were not boring. And I'm starting my 40's with a new business and new adventures on the horizon, but still processing a lot of what happened in the last 10 years. Many women have assured me that their 40's were their best decade because they finally stopped apologizing for being young and really leaned into their power. I hope that's the case. (Not that I ever apologized much for being young. That wasn't my fault.) I also have that ever-present fear that I've peaked. That my 30's were as good as it gets for me, professionally and physically.
That last part is the easiest to overcome, though. All I have to do is work. Work hard in my business, work hard at the gym, finally make that appointment for Botox, etc. And, tell myself, every day, that age is truly just a number. Whether I'm 38 or 40 or 52, I'm still me, and I'm still fabulous.