Humor, Life

Is 40 the new “F Word”? And I don’t mean fabulous.

My 40th birthday is in less than a month. July 17th to be exact and I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster ride. I fight with anxiety on a regular basis, as well as occasional bouts of depression and the thought of turning 40 is amplifying them both. I’m finding myself contemplating the meaning of life and at the same time wondering what is so fabulous about turning 40? What’s so fabulous about more gray hair, discovering wrinkles where there were none before or having to check off the higher age bracket while filling out a form or questionnaire? The good news is that I’m inching closer to being able to get the senior citizen discount at Denny’s, so that’s something I guess.

Some say as you reach 40 you begin to embrace your wrinkles, learn to love your body, become more resilient, and no longer worry about being cool anymore. I’m sure there are many annoyingly optimistic people who immediately see the positives of aging, but me, not so much. What I see is that I’ve begun holding things farther and farther away in order to be able to read them properly. Bifocals, I’m sure, are on the horizon. My bones pop and crack. I can’t drink as much anymore. Well, I can, but I pay for it. I get a hangover just looking at alcohol. People have started calling me ma’am and even if I have a full nights sleep I look like I’ve been on a bender when I wake up the next morning. I just recently purchased eye cream because I’ve begun to notice that wrinkles have seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Not to mention the dark circles under my eyes. And the list goes on. Maybe some people really learn to overcome getting older, but I’m not one of those people. At least not yet. I need some time to wallow in it and properly freak out. Am I now considered middle aged? What exactly is the definition of middle aged? I’m middle aged aren’t I? Sigh. And stop calling me ma’am.

In the last month, I’ve fallen and hurt my knee and I’ve sprained a rib. My body is rebelling against me. My patience level is almost non-existent and I feel like I’m one tiny step away from being one of those “get off my lawn” kind of old people. If I wasn’t married I could easily see myself being a crazy cat lady, equipped with a Life Alert button and a penchant for hoarding.

These days my stress levels are through the roof. Contributing factors include: my job, personal responsibilities, my overwhelming need for things to be “just right” all the time and the fact that I have very little free time on the weekends anymore. I feel like I work, come home, eat, sleep and repeat. Yes, I know this is all a part of being an adult, but what they (whoever they is) fail to tell you about adulthood is that it sucks the life out of you a little by little and then boom, you’re old. Maybe it’s just me?

At some point I thought I’d have this adult stuff down. Nope. Everyday I feel more and more inadequate as an adult and realize that I may never get it right. The feeling of not being where I want to be in life is daunting and I don’t know how to get there. But this is all stuff I should have figured out by now, right? Will I ever figure it out? Who knows?

When it comes to celebrating this “milestone age” I go back and forth between wanting to party it up in a “40 and Fabulous” tshirt at a drag show or sitting at home watching Jeopardy with a bottle of wine and a big bag of peanut M&M’s. The first option requires putting on a bra and wearing pants. The second means I don’t have to shower and only requires a quick trip to the store for some M&M’s. I’ve already got the wine. Which one will I go for? It’s still up in the air.

They say (those “they” people again) that turning 40 is only a big deal if you make it that way, but it really is a big deal either way. I want it to be all about me, but I don’t want to acknowledge it at the same time. I think about things like my future, my financial status and how to stay relevant in a culture that celebrates youth. Sometimes I ask myself, “Is this all? Is this as good as it gets?” and I feel guilty for it because I have a job, a car, a wonderful husband, family and friends. But at the same time I feel like there has to be more to life. There has to be more than just getting older. So where do I find the “more”?

How did 40 get here so quickly? My 20’s and 30’s are kind of a blur, and 40 snuck up on me like some kind of creepy stalker. I know I’m being overly pessimistic and I’m sure that I’ll find a way to break out of this funk, but there is nothing or no one to adequately prepare you for middle age. There should be a class or something to prepare you for turning 40 like the ones at the library that show you how to work out a budget or balance your checkbook. I would have signed up for that. Seriously. All of you really young people can stop laughing at “checkbook” and “library”, I mean, because who uses a checkbook when you’ve got debit cards and access to 24 hour online banking? And who needs a library when you’ve got Google? I’m tech savvy, I get it. Which clearly proves I’m still relevant, right? Maybe there’s hope after all.

I’m almost to the top of the hill, people. What happens when I reach the top? Is it really all downhill from there? Will I stumble and go crashing to the bottom? Or will I venture gracefully down the hill in hopes that I can make the best of this aging thing? Keep checking out the blog. It will either be smooth sailing on calm waters or a brutal train wreck of epic proportions. I’m trying to make myself believe it won’t be quite that bad and I promise I’ll try to embrace everything that comes with turning 40, cliches and all.

So, who wants to join me at Hamburger Mary’s for a drag show on the 17th? Or who wants to come over and watch Jeopardy – BYOB, pants are optional. On second thought, please wear pants. Also, bring cake. But no candles. I’m not prepared for the disaster which would likely occur from 40 candles being lit all at once.

Is there anyone out there who can relate? How did you deal with turning 40? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Reply Sharon

    40 didn’t really bother me. I guess I just long ago made the decision to embrace my age. Besides I look young and it’s so fun freaking out the 28 year olds who think maybe we went to high school together. Lol

    June 20, 2017 at 9:22 am
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      I don’t really feel like I look my age, but I’m definitely starting to feel it lol Lol I’m sure I’ll get over the turning 40 thing, but I’m still freaking out right now lol

      June 20, 2017 at 9:25 am
  • Reply Grace

    I turn 40 next year. For me, it mostly makes me feel sad. I joined the kid train late (they are 3 and 1). I can’t shake the thought that there just isn’t enough time left. Not enough time to spend with my husband and kids, not enough time to do all of the things I want to in life. I think I’ll like my 40s. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin. I just want more time.

    June 20, 2017 at 9:24 am
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      I feel the same way about not having enough time and can definitely relate. I feel like I’ve missed the window to have kids and that it wouldn’t be fair to have them now and be old when they’re graduating high school etc. It’s great that you’re more comfortable in your own skin, and I hope to feel that way about myself eventually.

      June 20, 2017 at 9:28 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    I owned turning 40. I figured if I survived this long, why not get all gussied up, and roll with it. Age is just a number. I celebrated with my friends and family. We reminisced on my life; the good, the bad, and the ugly. We had good food and a yummy cake. Turning 40 was the best day of my life. Here’s to another 40. 🥂🍷🍸🍻

    June 21, 2017 at 12:07 am
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      I’m glad the transition from your 30’s to turning 40 was a good experience for you. I’m not really looking forward to it all that much. Maybe that will change between now and the 17th, but who knows.

      June 21, 2017 at 8:36 am

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