It took me 40 years to be this good.

Two years ago, I guested blogged for a friend and wrote the following entry about turning 40. Yes, that means I am now 42 and I am not only fine with being that age, I don’t really care who knows that I am that “old”. I am happy to still be here, especially since I had friends who didn’t get the same opportunity.

I have never understood why so many people dread turning 40. I feel more secure with myself than ever. I know who my true friends are and what I have to do (and what I shouldn’t do) to keep my sanity and remain relatively happy with life. Did I know that when I was in my 20’s? HELL NO. I didn’t even know it less than a decade ago. In my opinion, the idea that “40 is Fatal” is one of the biggest LITTLE WHITE LIES out there. So I hope you will enjoy this blogging flashback – or I guess in my case, a blogging HOT FLASHback! (ha HAAA)

So this year I turned 40. Big deal right? Not to me. But apparently it is to some members of my family, as well as some of my misguided friends. First, my parents – who thought it was cute to call me repeatedly and bust out laughing when I answered. Also my best friend – who bought me a pair of boob suspenders to keep “the girls” up (yes, these are available in some stores and online – who knew?). My husband, who unfortunately is 15 months my junior and talks about how I “robbed the cradle”. But most surprisingly, my 7-year-old daughter who couldn’t believe her mom was going to be such a big number.I mean, my mom is 40 – WOW, that is majorly into the double digits and takes forever when counting to get to it. (her words)

Why is this such a topic of conversation? After all, I don’t look 40, at least in my humble opinion. I definitely don’t act 40 (if you know me, you’re nodding in agreement). Age is a state of mind, right? And my state of mind is screaming “25”! I am young, vibrant and hip. I can name every Jonas Brother and I dance with my kids to the songs on my iPod (some of these songs are even currently played on the radio). I try to dance like Beyonce’, even though I am mad white. I can also balance a damn good beer pyramid on top of my knees (see photo). Doesn’t that all add up to one bad ass momma?? Well to me, it does – and that’s really all that matters.

I decided to embrace my image of myself and laugh off everyone else’s opinion about this number that had turned into such a phenomenon. It sure as hell didn’t hurt that my husband decided to whisk me off to Orlando, Florida for a little mini-vacation (sans our two kids, woo hoo!) in honor of my birthday. We stayed in a fabulous hotel right beside the Universal Studios theme park. While relaxing poolside, I came up with a list of the Top Ten ways to survive your 40th birthday based on my experience that weekend. Maybe some of these will help you when you’re upset about a birthday. (Hint: the most important thing to do is find a way to laugh about it!)

  1. Relish the fact that a 70-year-old man hit on you at the pool bar and remind yourself that you’ve still got it (at least with folks who are probably pissing themselves while talking to you – but who cares, they’d hit that!). BOO yeah.
  2. While looking for chairs at the hotel pool, if your husband slyly tries to steer you close to the high school sunbathers, calmly say (audibly) “Holy Jailbait, Batman!!!” smile widely, and keep walking towards other spots.
  3. Just keep drinking…..just keep drinking…(this option is not for the weak, by the way, but it is crucial for maximum stress reduction).
  4. Pretend the screams coming from the roller coasters at the theme park next door are really intended for you! (Tip: if you are faithful in following the advice in #3, you will be able to convince yourself of almost anything).
  5. Channel your inner DIVA. (or is that COUGAR? on second thought, skip the damn verbiage and just order another double martini)
  6. Keep reminding yourself that it takes a lot less time at the pool bar now when ordering a drink (because let’s face it, you ain’t gettin’ carded).
  7. Follow the advice of the very happy Jamaican waitress at the hotel restaurant and just “ting a tong”. The tong I always choose to ting to bring me to my happy place is “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. I dare you not to have a smile on your face after listening to that one! Up for a challenge? Try dirty dancing to it…go on, I dare you…(just do NOT let anyone film you…trust me here…).
  8. Follow the advice in #3 BEFORE you put your bathing suit on. Even if you are still able to see what you really look like, you probably won’t care.
  9. When your husband makes a crack about all the blackbirds that seem to be gathering around your lounge chair at the pool, simply tell him that the birds are actually ravens who can predict the likelihood of his getting laid on this trip. And to quoth the raven? NEVERMORE.
  10. Don’t count what your age is in dog years. Dogs your age are dead.

Most importantly, remember that when your child tells someone that “My mom is 40!” You should finish the sentence with…. “and FIERCE, baby!”

Copyright © 2011 Little White Lion
All Rights Reserved

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15 responses

  1. I love this blog. I am a single mom to three beautiful children ages 17, 12 and 9. They think it is hilarious that I am 45. So whoat! My last boyfriend was 35 and I looked younger than him. I camp, hike, white water raft and join in with the kids on any other adventure they get up to. LIfe is great and you are totally right – Age is a state of mind. I am not just getting older I am getting better. I know more about who I am and I stand up for what I believe in. I am tire of petty bs and I just don’t put up with it anymore. I appreciate my life and all that’s in it instead of wishing for what I don’t have. Optimism is what I choose.

  2. #4 is my absolute favorite. I can probably pull that off sober too, although, we’ll never know. ;} I felt this way when I turned 30. I felt a little overwhelmed about my 20s being over…and it didn’t help that my oldest of three repeatedly commented on how OLD I was. So, I sucked it up and took my badass downtown and joined Roller Derby. I’ve never been happier! There are women of ALL ages on the team. We have a Grandma who just turned 50 and she’s one tough lady! I found myself. And I keep getting better. Here’s lookin to 40. Cheers. 😉

  3. Abso-fucking-lutely. Growing wiser, shedding old neuroses, doubts and insecurities. Cliché though it may be, we’re not getting older, we’re getting better. My forties have been great to me. Especially the ones in a brown paper bag. I’m planning to celebrate my fiftieth by running a marathon. Should be a piece of cake, after the emotional marathon that is raising kids.

    I always love reading Little White Lion.

  4. Forty is YOUNG! Wait until you hit the big 6-0 !! I don’t feel it; people say I don’t look it ~ which is great! However, sometimes I sure FEEL it! Enjoy being 40. . . and 45. . . .and 50. Oh hell, enjoy EVERY minute of each day. Like you said, there are some who were not so lucky. My beautiful daughter was one of them. We lost her at the tender age of 31.

  5. 36 in July. I surround myself with my teenager boy children and pay for a movie. Got carded for a Rated R movie. 🙂

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