WARNING: Fluff and unintelligent content ahead. Read at your own risk.
The world did not end. There was no press conference. I didn’t have to formally notify in writing the young and cool people that I was no longer in the mix. And when I stepped over that invisible threshold in to MIDDLE AGE it didn’t appear on the evening news. I still have all my faculties (mostly) and I have no more grey hairs than I had the day before when I was in my thirties. In fact, turning 40 was NO BIG DEAL. Wait, what? That’s right. NO BIG DEAL. In fact, now I am out the other side and writing from a place called MIDDLE AGED LAND, where the type is big and the chairs are comfy, I realise now I may have had a MENTAL BLOCK about turning 40. It’s true. I wasn’t approaching it gracefully, which I vowed to whoever was listening at the time, as the way I would tackle my impending old age. I have let myself down and, I have let MIDDLE AGED people everywhere down. It’s time to debunk some myths and shed some much needed light on the mysterious and torturous beast that is turning 40. Wait, I mean the wonderful privilege that is turning 40.
You are still fresh (ish) and attractive. You will continue to get a wink from the old bloke that works at the butchers and a good honk from a car load of tradies.
You are in good company. Reese Witherspoon turns 40 next month and will be joining a fabulous group of famous women in their 40’s who are still at their peak– Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Ange Jolie, Jennifer Anniston, Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner, J-Lo, Drew Barrymore, Rachel Weisz….I could go on. Thank you ladies.
You won’t suddenly be invited to bingo nights and craft groups. Unless of course you want to be. Then go for it! No one will give a shit if you wear your slippers either. Not that you will care what people think, you magnificent 40 year old.
Most 40 year old birthday cards team ‘40’ with ‘fabulous’. Some might say it so far-fetched it has to be true but I say to you, would the card companies lie?
You acquire a bit of ‘I am a mature woman and I know my rights’ kind of attitude. Not like with the police, don’t go pulling swifties with the rozzers. No one likes a drunk and disorderly 40+ mum. I mean at the bank or navigating the carpark. You are confident and wise.
You can have a FESTIVAL OF 40 defined as many get-togethers with friends and loved ones to celebrate your passing over – to MIDDLE AGE. (Cue in husband eye rolling).
See, it’s all looking pretty nice over here in MIDDLE AGED LAND. Now, there are some realities you need to accept…
You will have to scroll a bit further in age drop down menus.
You are now in the 40-49 year old demographic. Be prepared to face this. You are looking to tick a new box now people.
You won’t be called ‘Miss’ anymore. Let it go. It just won’t fly anymore. Let’s not make a scene.
Physical examinations. Things start dropping off, growing or drying up now. Read up on indigestion, bunions, haemorrhoids, and failing eyesight. You have to post your poo off annually for an important check and the men have to drop their pants and cough. Do it.
And finally, at 40 you can be either the youngest group of the old people or the oldest group of the young people. I choose the first one. I am bringing it like I am in year 6 again – the oldest of the youngies. Strutting around the playground that is familiar and well-worn but knowing I still have a lot to learn and a few more mistakes to make. And if I am lucky, I will be writing by laser light when I am 90, spaceships flying past the window, my great grandchildren at my feet and really knowing what it is like to be old and happy. Here’s to 40, you old tart! Oh wait, that’s me…