So as I turned forty last week, there was a real chance that I was going to spend the day eating ice cream while hiding under the covers. However, my daughter had other plans. It turned out that I had a good day and didn’t fall into a massive depression. YAY! Go me.
I’m not where I was hoping to be, or the size I was hoping to be, or as self-actualized as I was hoping to be by forty.
I have a good job, three novels in various stages of editing, a hubby who puts up with me, two great happy kids, and friends who let me talk about characters as if they’re real people. So all in all everything thing is really good
But I also feel that this is a turning point, not that my life is going downhill or winding down. I’ve been told by older friends that life begins at forty, so yay!!! But the things I have been unhappy about in my life haven’t changed in five years. Somehow I feel different about these situations, able to see things in a new way and I feel a bit stronger and more capable My bullshit tolerance level has dropped, and I’m less likely to put up with anything.
But I’m also feeling the pressure of should weighing upon me.
Should I wear more conservative ‘grown-up’ clothes now that I’m forty?
Should I only think nasty dirty thoughts about guys who are over thirty, now that I’m forty?
Should I magically have more will power and self-control, now that I’m forty?
Should I stop buying pop-culture tee shirts, now that I’m forty?
I did this same kind of thing when I got pregnant. I gave away my purple Doc Martins, black leather motorcycle jacket, and all my heavy metal CDs because ‘good moms shouldn’t have those things’. I was nineteen and stupid, but as you can see at forty those same limiting thoughts are creeping into my head. At least this time they aren’t winning.
I’m excited to see what the next third of my life holds. Yes, I plan to live until one hundred and twenty. I’m excited to see where my low tolerance for bullshit, self-confidence, and strength take me.
Was forty a difficult birthday for you? Does life really begin after forty?