Is 40 the New 20? The Reality of the 4th Decade

Feeling confident in yourself– whether that’s regarding your looks, your life path, or simply as it pertains to who you are as a person– is challenging at any age, but you step into an entirely different ball game after you hit 40.  I can remember having my first child at 26 and noticing the shift in my body– it was alarming!  Nothing seemed to feel, fit, or move quite the same after that, and it took me a lot of getting used to.  Nonetheless,   I look back fondly on my twenties as a time of self-exploration and a period when I still felt young.  But, then my thirties rolled in, and all of that changed.  Physically, I noticed fat that was not only new, but stubborn; my body bounce-back was much harder to attain.  That was compounded by the rebellion of my knees and ankles; they not only became picky, but, oft times refused to cooperate in certain shoes, or high heels.  It was frustrating, if not downright annoying!

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My feet’s response to high heels…..

Then, there was the mental shift that came during that decade: I became less selfish, primarily because I’d become a wife and a mother.  That deccinium forced me to cultivate my ability to live for a cause greater than just me.  It was a rewarding, yet, extremely tumultuous time!

Nonetheless, as forty approached, I’d managed to figure a few things out.  I learned where to shop for my age, ditching my youthful favorites such as Aeropostale and Gap, for mom stores, like Macy’s and Kohls.  I also mastered looking pulled together sans heels (no easy feat), and came to accept that I was party-girled out.  Even my need to wear glasses (which started after having my first child) grew on me.  When the “how in the hell did you go blind,” rants, gradually gave way to the, “Girl, you still look good!” affirmations in the mornings, I knew that I’d finally caught my beat.  It felt good!

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Me being my own hype man! (or woman)

Now, two years into the 40’s, and yet again, I’m on a different stage.  In some aspects, it’s great.  With the previous decades of experience underneath my belt, an enhanced level of confidence, self-acceptance and awareness has come to me.  It’s also made my four razor sharp and my goals are crystal clear!  There is still a flip side: just a few weeks ago, I walked into a photo-shoot with a room full of younger women and became surprisingly insecure– that was definitely a first!  I’ve also become the object of the dreaded “Mrs.” and “Ma’m” — titles I am still getting used to.  And let’s not talk about looks on my children’s faces, when I recount stories of how it was “back in the day”.  When they tell me that my dances are old, and can’t relate to my tales, it reminds me I’m no longer “young”.

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My kids trying to comprehend a pager and a payphone!

But, that’s okay; It just means that I’m officially an adult— and I can live with that!   I’m fine now, with trading in the  still figuring it out phases of my twenties and thirties, for the mental clarity I have today.  I’ve also made peace with 40’s requirement that my shit be together and its low tolerance for youthful mistakes.   I’ve made peace with Forty being the age of reality–in how I see both myself, and others in the world also.   So, having said all that, the question for some might then be, “is 40 a decade of glass half empty, or full?”  Well, here is my honest answer: it all depends on perception, and is ultimately for those who make it there to decide.  From where I stand, it has been liberating; watch out for a woman set free!

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Looking at my forties like………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us, what are you looking forward to by 40, or If you’ve passed that, what has the 40’s taught you?  We want to know!

 

 

36 Replies to “Is 40 the New 20? The Reality of the 4th Decade”

  1. I’m 39, and I agree with you soooooo much that your article practically sounds like something I could’ve written myself! Yes, yes, yes, yes. I got rid of a bunch of stuff, and I feel free, my goals are clear and I’m the sharpest ever! (also I wore glasses all my life since 3rd grade, so no changes there 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, how cool is it to hear from someone on the precipice of entering the 40 club. We here eagerly anticipate and welcome you– it is truly the best club!!! On a more serious note, I noticed something drastically change in me once I hit forty, so I’m giving you a loving head up! Cheers.

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  2. I have been learning to take care of myself more as I get older. So really the older I get the better I feel about myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s the way it should work. They say maturity brings wisdom, so if we’re wiser, I think it’s only natural to start loving and accepting ourselves more. Sounds like you are on the right track. Here’s to staying on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Def identified with this post. Lots to love about approaching 40. But can’t believe how “young” college students and professionals of all types are. Like, how can that person possibly be a doctor? 🙂

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    1. Ha! I can relate. Sometimes, in that regard, I feel behind the eight ball. But, then I realize that it took this long for me to do what I’m doing now for a reason. Forty has brought a confidence level and maturity I needed. Still, kudos to anyone who gets “it” sooner, whatever “it” may be.

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    1. It’s eerie, isn’t it? Like, I never knew about this 40 thing until I got here. Wonder why no-one ever told me. Hope this post changes that narrative for the next woman.

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  4. Ooooooh I feel you on this! Nothing is the same as it used to be, but it’s only getting better! I am 41 and I LOVE that I have passed the stage of really caring what other people think! That has got to be the best part!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. They say that Life begins at 40. Yes age is definitely just a number. What matters is do it gracefully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If that’s what “they” say, then I am inclined to agree– because for me, that’s definitely been the case. I concur wholeheartedly with the graceful part too!

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  6. Age is one of those things that we tell ourselves but I really dont think that it matters. I turned 30 last year and honestly it didnt feel any different than the year before.

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  7. I think women who are hitting 40s reaches another milestone, more confident, wiser and smarter. Age is just a number and we shall live our life fullest and not be afraid of being old but embrace it with full confidence.

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  8. i’m days away from hitting 31. my 20’s were miserable, being in an abusive relationship. so, 30’s are my redemption years. IDK what 40 will bring, but hey, if it’s the new 20, I can really redo the former

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  9. I am very entertained with your .gifs! I’m still in 20’s but close to 30 and ofcourse I can feel the pressure of going 40;s! haha

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  10. Agree to this. Age is just a number.but sometimes we need to let ourself dress according to our age. I am turning 30 but no.more revealing clothes. I am more on a little bit older side of myself.

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  11. I am right there with you! Time to get rid of the shorter shorts, and get them a little longer, no more revealing tops, etc. Love your blog!

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  12. I think its so important to be grateful for each decade you enter instead of dreading it. I absolutely loved my 30’s and i’m looking forward to my 40’s

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  13. Age is a number, and I figured this out a couple of years ago, when I turned 30. I was so scared of growing old, but guess what? Not much changed inside me. I feel the same as I felt 10 years ago. I’m just a bit more wise.

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  14. Age is just a number, but you’re right sometimes our bodies let us know that we’re getting older. Glad you have the confidence to be you.

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  15. I’m 38 now. I’m hoping that by 40, I’ll have fully built up my virtual assistant empire. I have a small team in place now, and I’ve got some big, big plans.

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  16. I think the age doesn’t matter. It is us. We are young unless we feel old.

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