Saturday, 18 January 2014

40 "something"

Last year I hit the big 4-0, and like everyone else I received a number of cards which claimed "Life begins at 40!" and "40 is the new 30".  An interesting claim, and reassurance I didn't really need as (bizarrely) turning 40 seemed to me to be less daunting than turning 30.

I hit the end of my third decade with a huge amount of trepidation. Somehow 30 meant I was no longer "young", I had responsibilities and was well on my way to Middle Age. This reluctance to change the digit in the tens column of my age was totally absurd when you consider that I left home at 18, was a homeowner with a mortgage at 21, a mother at 24 and again at 28, married at 26 (yeah ok, ok, I did things the wrong way around) and could in no way be termed "footloose and fancy free" during my twenties.

Maybe that is why at the dawn of my thirties I felt a little as if Time was Running Out on me. I had had many years already of "grown up" existence, and in many respects had never been anything other than responsible. (My college friends will at this point choose to overlook, rather than share the few episodes which immediately spring to mind from my student days!)

So what did I do?
I had more children, got a bigger mortgage, and faced the reality that my career was probably over.

Not really embracing my rapidly running out youth then! But I suppressed the panic and I think there was a definite element of total denial, Carry On Carrying On so to speak. There would be plenty of time for "youth" later. As a "Young Mum" my life would be before me still once the children were older surely?

But now I've hit 40 I'm not so sure.

Whilst I was fairly ambivalent about hitting the big 4-0 I have a feeling the person claiming that 40 is the "new 30" doesn't have children. Or maybe not 4. Scratch that, 4 kids is a breeze - maybe not 3 with additional issues + 1. And sleep - I guarantee the person who said that gets sufficient sleep - or at least more than we do.

Because I am TIRED. Seriously tired. And to be honest I hadn't bargained on osteoarthritis and back pain creeping up on me so quickly either. (More sneaked up actually, from years of lifting children way beyond the age they should be lifted as much as anything else.) The glasses I LOVE though. Seriously, I should have been born shortsighted. Glasses from the word go. They are the "go-to" morning disguise when you haven't had time to slap on some war paint, after rising from less than 4 hours sleep. Glasses ROCK.

And there are definitely other benefits to getting older. I am more comfortable with who I am and how I look. Having lived through the fashion disaster that was the '80s I are now wiser and can shop smarter.  My eldest child can now babysit for me, and I never have to attend Tumble Tots EVER again. Definitely a plus.

So it's not all bad I suppose.

And then I saw THIS.

SERIOUSLY???? Either I've missed some major scientific discovery and we are now living to 160+, or someone has speculated a little too far ahead. Whilst living in a bubble. With no kids. And no other issues.....

But I should be grateful I suppose, nothing too disastrous has happened in the first year of my forties and it's not all bad. And as the "Boots" article on turning 40 claims:-
People listen to us and take us seriously. At forty, you’re no longer kid who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. You are officially an adult. It’s nice to be respected for what your experience and knowledge in the work place. Of course in just 10 short years we will be considered old and out of touch…so we should enjoy this time while we have it.
 Better not share that with my husband though. He turns 50 this year.....


  1. I can totally relate to the panic at turning 30. I dreaded it and was really, stupidly upset when it happened. I'm now a year a half off of 40 and I really don't care about it at all! :)

  2. I was really miserable about turning 30 but 40 was fine and now I don't worry about ageing at all.

  3. Oooh I like that. Would love to be 20 again :-D

  4. It's just a number .. Ps I'm thevsamevage as you .

  5. I can honestly say tat it doesn't bother me it's just a number but my hubby now 32 was not happy at turning 30 he felt e was so old

  6. Ohh I was giggle so much at that bit about 'scientific discovery & living to 160+' it's soooooo true.

  7. I think an age is just a number, at the end of the day. It is good you don't let it influence your attitude, nothing can be done about the passing of time, anyway :-)

  8. I've never really stressed about age but I'd like to stay 35 for ever as this is a good age lol

  9. I agree with you I think 30 will seem maybe a bigger deal - I will be 30 in 3 years and that seems so weird to think of!! Really whatever the age though it is just a number!

  10. LOL I'm fortunate enough to have a few years before the big 4-0! Everyone makes such a big deal about these things don't they when really it's just a number, who you are doesn't change.

  11. I found hitting 30 nowhere near as hard as I'd expected - but I think having got married, a small one and being in the right place in my job helped with that. I'm not going to even start thinking about 40 yet!!!

  12. I've found each year more and more fun! I'm 28 and when I look back on my early twenties I'm really glad I'm in my late twenties! x

  13. I did everything very early too - and feel I've lived alot of life at 31. I sympathize with the health problems - and send hugs - gentle and not bone crunching hurty hugs - and wish you a good nights sleep x

  14. I was pregnant with my much longed for son when I turned 40 so it was so momentous for me. Enjoy it :)

  15. I also had a huge issue when i turned 30, hopefully I'll be more at ease with it when I turn 40.


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