I turned 40 in May. I know it’s a milestone, but it’s really no big deal to me. I’m the same person that I was at 39. It might seem sort of cynical to say such a thing, but I’m not really an emotional person in that regard. There was no celebration. We didn’t go out to dinner. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think I ate dinner. It was Mother’s Day so I had an excuse. I bummed around for most of the day. I would have bummed around all day, but I felt like the kids might be bored so I took them to see a movie.
I made it a point to tell my family that I did not want to celebrate whatsoever. It may have been a little bit of a threat just to make sure there weren’t any surprises. I don’t really care about getting older. I simply feel like not celebrating where my life is. When I was younger I would sit and imagine where I would be when I was 40. I pictured that I would be married with a family. I would be settled. That’s not exactly the life that I’m living now.
I’m a single mom of three kids. I’ve just returned to work again after 14 years of being a stay at home mom. I’m still unsure of the future and how my life will turn out. I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, just not enthusiastic about starting over and the uncertainty that comes with it. Denial? Maybe. Bitter? I hope not.
Every time I reach a new decade, it seems like everyone says those are supposed to be the best years or life gets better with age. So far, none of it has been true. My twenties were great. My thirties sucked, and so far forty hasn’t been all that hot either. I’m expecting things to turn around real soon.
With the so-called wisdom that comes with age, also comes certain physical changes. With a little bit of maintenance, I can handle them so far.
I’ve recently seen people posting things on Twitter about a list of things that they are going to do before they are 40. As inspiring as those lists are, it’s just not realistic for me to do things just because they are on a list. I’m still trying to master the art of getting out of bed every day, and keeping the kids alive. You know, the important stuff.
I was inspired, however, to make a list of the things that I will do now that I’ve already turned 40. Most of them are superficial, but you would be lying if you say your body doesn’t change as you age. I’m a firm believer that when you look good, you feel good. When I look like sh*t, I feel like sh*t! Pardon the expression, but crap does not describe what I look like in the morning, without makeup or my hair done. A few of these things I’ve already been doing for a few years, but I’ll never admit it.
I will embrace my naturally curly hair more often.
I’ve always had naturally curly hair. They aren’t soft and shiny curls, though. They are frizzy, wiry, uneven curls. Add a few grays in the mix and it’s not a pretty picture. I usually flat iron it straight because it’s just easier to manage. Well really it’s because I don’t wash it every day, and you can’t really do that with curly hair. I’m not saying I will wear it curly every day, but at least more often. I want to make sure that my daughter knows that she should be happy with what she was born with. She didn’t get my hair, anyway. She has straight, shiny hair. Soon I’ll explain to her that her mommy only wears it straight because her mommy doesn’t like to wash her hair! I don’t know why I just referred to myself in the third person.
I will get my hair done regularly.
By regularly I mean like every 6 weeks. I used to think the gray hairs were only in the front. It turns out that I could only see them in the front. They are everywhere! On the top, sides, and underneath. I’ve been getting highlights for the past few years because it’s easier to hide the grays. The white hair sticks out like a sore thumb against my naturally brown hair. I need to do a better job keeping up with the roots.
I will use Rogaine – a lot of Rogaine.
I think I may have issues with my hair, or what’s left of it. Where did it all go? I can literally see my scalp in a bunch of areas. I think most of it is growing back in my nose. I won’t even lie and say it doesn’t bother me because it does. Nothing makes me feel older than looking at my bare scalp in the mirror. I’ve already stocked up on some Rogaine – the extra strong, Rogaine for men.
I will be more honest about having Fibromyalgia.
It wouldn’t be accurate to say that I hide it, but I just don’t tell people. It’s something that really only my trusted family members know. I don’t know why I don’t tell people. It’s like a flaw to me. I don’t want to seem like a victim or have people look at me like there is something wrong with me. I certainly don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I can definitely try to be more authentic about my struggles.
I will stop trying to do everything.
I have this compulsion to keep adding things to my plate when I can’t even handle the things that are on it now. Helping other people always gives me a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, when I offer to help every time someone needs it, there’s something else at home that’s not getting done. It’s no big deal. We don’t need clean clothes anyway.
I will try to be more physically fit.
This is easier said than done. Sometimes my body just hurts so bad that I can’t even muster the strength to take a walk. I’ve always been somewhat petite. That’s code for short. It varies but I’m pretty consistently a size 4. As I have aged, my size actually has worked against me. I don’t have to manage my weight, so I just don’t. I’ll start to get on track and exercise but when I stop, whatever muscle I have turns to flab faster than I can tell myself I should start exercising more. I want to adopt a solid routine and stick to it.
I said I would be more honest so here goes. My Fibromyalgia is starting to show and I’ve developed a major case of brain fog.
I’m curious. How do you feel about being 40? Do you have a list? Do you do anything differently? I’d love to know!