Musings on life’s changes in my 40’s


In the rearview mirror of hindsight I wish I would have allowed my loved ones to make a big deal of my 40th birthday.  Black decorations, a cane with a horn, and a tombstone cake would have set the stage for humorous acceptance of the inevitable life changes coming my way.

Instead, I adopted the popular idea that by denying and fighting said changes I would age “gracefully”, which to me meant very slowly.  I quickly discovered that physiology and culture trump denial and that it is a damn expensive effort to not look 40.  My joy diminished as my ass started to fall and my waist disappeared, necessary health exams consisted of smashing my tiny breasts and scary biopsies, and the only people who called me “Miss” anymore were my Grandpa’s age.  I began to view friends in their 50’s differently.  Perhaps the comfy clogs and flowing shirts were simple adjustments they had made upon discovering that no amount of body-shaping fabrics and pricey creams would save their membership in The Girl’s Club from expiration.  The key thing I noticed was that they laughed a lot, much more than I did.  These fun-loving, witty women have inspired me to share the humorous and flexible outlook that put me back in touch with joy.  My hope is that my musings may give a lift to others navigating life’s changes during the 5th decade by creating a connection that supports aging with aplomb,  grace, and a lot of laughter.

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14 thoughts on “Musings on life’s changes in my 40’s

  1. Aging is freedom and simplicity, less drama and the realization that time is too precious to waste on worrying about appearance; clean and comfortable is enough. The only thing I’d change is the slow loss of strength and energy. Actually, it’s kinda fun to fall asleep in my armchair at night, just like my grandfather used to!

  2. I sailed through my forties. For some reason my decades-old arthritus had gone into complete remission, and I felt healthier than anytime since my teens. I thought I was the Peter Pan of South East Hampshire. Then, on the first evening of my 6th decade – as I watched my freinds and family sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me – it struck me: There were fewer days ahead than there were behind. Suddenly I felt mortal for the first time. It was a sobering moment. So enjoy your forties, but don’t be soon concerned about the decade that follows: Once you get used to it – it aint so bad – and young shop assistants don’t get annoyed when you put your debit card in the reader the wrong way round: They just think you’re senile.

    • Thanks for reinforcing my strategy to live in the moment! Life is more enjoyable when I forget about what the next decade may have in store (as if I can predict that) and savor instead the firends and sunshine (or rain) of today. Love your blog; my kind of smartalec humor!

  3. For all the women…. of 40 something…. and more!

    I am the woman – By Kathy Elliot

    I am the woman who is unstoppable
    I am the woman
    Whose dreams are immeasurable
    I am the woman
    Of a different breed, unbelievable
    I am the woman
    Of all times, incredible
    I am a woman
    With passion and purpose, unspeakable
    I am the woman
    Who decides where I should fall
    In this universe, unpredictable
    I am the woman
    Who refuse to lessen my dreams
    To meet man’s expectation, inconceivable
    I am a woman
    Of greatness and this greatness
    Should never be compromise, remarkable
    I am that GREAT WOMAN.

    ciao

  4. Oh my gosh you are so right! I am less than a year from the big 5-0 and I can say that the last few years of this decade are thee worst. I think it was a slow process until the last few. Now when I look back at photos from earlier years in my 40’s, I see a big difference. What is helpful is NOT reading articles about plastic surgery, botox, and other stuff. I like to talk with other women who are like me and really get these things. Thanks for writing about it!

    • Thank you so much for validating that this is a decade of changes. I agree talking with other women in their 40’s and 50’s who are adjusting to changes i smy most helpful support!

  5. I think if I could hang upside down each day for several hours that things might go back to where they used to be. No…that is just wishful thinking. Funny post, I really enjoyed it.

  6. I am in my 40s and though my ass is not falling, but instead ballooning and my waist spilling over my belt, there is much to be thankful for to be alive and to count one’s blessings.

    I like your blog. Keep writing!

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