Accepting the big 4-0 aka the F word

I have not been feeling like myself lately. I turned forty last month and it really has been bumming me out. Even saying the word makes me cringe. I kinds made my family feel like the big 4-0 was a bad word here. I do not feel old, just having a hard time accepting this new decade. I realize 40 i snot old, it is just taking me some time to adjust to it. I feel better than I have in years and could not be happier with my life, however I have a bit of sadness. A sadness for the time that has passed. Almost like a mourning.

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

I know people make jokes about this age saying ‘it is all down hill from here’. The middle age jokes and the cougar jokes thinking they are hilarious. I guess they are funny but for someone like me who is really struggling with this age they kind of sting. I woke up to my family being great, with the odd poke at me turning 40 until I cried and they realized it was really making me sad. One thing they asked me was “Who sings red red wine?” I answered “UB40” and they all laughed. Get it? It was harmless and I normally would have chuckled along with them. But that day I was a bit sensitive.

When I tried expressing my feelings to friends many people made comments about 40 being the age women feel their best. Many do not understand my struggle with this age. I was told by some that I should be happy I made it this far as many do not. I get that every day is a gift.

Well I am not sad for being alive. Even though as you get older, the thoughts about death and the realities of aging do cross your mind. I think my issues are that time really flies by way too quickly. I was a teen mom and had my oldest at 17. I remember this day like it was yesterday even though it was over 22 years ago. Where did all of this time go?

Days, weeks and months often feel like they drag out and slowly pass by. However years seem to go quicker than anything. I am not sure how this can be possible but it is. I just want to slow everything around me down. My son is now 18 and in college looking to move out on his own soon. The thought of another child leaving the nest makes me very emotional.

I don’t feel forty.

But I am not sure what 40 is suppose to feel like.

I have had a great life so far, made great friends and traveled to amazing places. I am surrounded by people who love me and allow me to be, me. I have been the young mom, the average aged mom and now the older mom at school. This is what happens when your children vary in ages. But the thought of the next possible 40 years going as quickly by as the first makes me sad.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

As we age we learn to accept what we can not change. We are happy in our own skin and surround ourselves with what makes us happy. Our self-esteem is better than previous years and our courage is stronger. Yet I personally hesitate to answer the phone when it rings. I am at the stage of my life that a call often means I am being informed of another person I have known has passed away. I am at the stage where many are getting married and having babies and just as many are leaving us.

nothing can be said to be certain,

In the last week I have been having some amazing conversations about living in the moment and enjoying life. These conversations came from time spent with two women aged 74 and 87. Both left me in awe as they were so full of energy and life. They have ‘been there done that’ and got the post card for things I could only imagine. None of us are promised tomorrow so living every day to the fullest is all we can do.

These women proved to me, we are only as old as we feel.

As much as I would love to be IDed when buying wine, I would not want to be a teen again. What we go through in life makes us who we are.

I slowly am embracing this chapter in my life. I am trying hard to get healthy and lose weight. I am actually down 25 lbs and feeling great. I want to live long and healthy and enjoy every minute of it.

As I enter this new decade, this new chapter of my life I am reminded of what I have experienced, cherish all around me and look forward to what is ahead.

Was there an age milestone that bothered you more than the others?


  1. No age ever really bothered me. When I turned 30 I didn’t care so much but others did and that’s what I found more annoying than anything – the comments were strange – like Oh my gosh it’s all downhill. Well no it wasn’t at all and I didn’t appreciate the comments either. I don’t want to minimize this in any way because I get where you are coming from. I think it’s the sadness at how fast time goes, right? When I look at my kids and think HOLY COW literally it feels like they were 4 and 5 yesterday and now I keep thinking WTH?? Payton will be graduating high school in 3 years. That part freaks me out and makes me think Whoa. Slow it down a bit. I am grateful for health and happiness and I swear to you although it might not feel like it yet – your 40s – I think will be your most powerful decade yet. I am trying to be more in the moment this year and just appreciate now, right now. Now 50 might be another issue entirely for me and that’s not that far off. I hope that this stage and this feeling passes quickly for you because there’s a lot to love about 40.

    • gingermommyrants says

      When I asked my 76 yer old friend about aging she said 50 and 75 were her hard numbers. It is funny how we all feel differently about it. I do feel more empowered at 40

  2. While I am not quite yet at 40, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I remember being in my late teens, early 20s and 40 seemed so old and far away! The time has passed quicker than I had hoped. Yes, the days are long but the years are definitely short. Thank you for sharing your feeling with us about 40.

  3. It’s amazing how similar, and yet, how completely different we are. I am also turning 40 in 4 months. I don’t feel down about it at all though, and have embraced it. I mean, I’ve never felt better. I am diabetic, and that don’t hold me back either. Even though my son, who is 21, loves to tell me how old I am when he sees the grey hair, but it rolls off my back. I guess everyone handles this aging thing their own way…….

  4. Annabanana says

    I’m turning 50 in less than a year and that freaks me out. All the other milestones didn’t bother me but somehow I’m really feeling that I’m going into a different stage of life soon (ie. Menopause.)
    People tell me how great I look with five kids (ages from 11-25) but this year, I’m really starting to feel my age in my bones. I’m also becoming somewhat of a hypochondriac as well. I constantly have to remind myself that I should just enjoy myself and try to stay healthy and be happy. And really, that’s all we can do.

  5. I’m 37, 40 won’t be far away for me. When I turned 30 I was happy and enjoyed it, but it was a sore spot for my friend who is 5 yrs my junior. We joke we will stay 29 forever. I don’t really seem to be affected by a number so match as how I feel about my life. My grandparents lived to 91, and we still have one grandmother around. Their health declined in their last 5-6 years if their lives…..I have big plans to be around for a long time to enjoy life, the people around me, and the friends I make.

    Numbers are only numbers.

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