The Truth about Turning 40- What it’s Like
It’s the F word that people have long dreaded, and it’s thrown people into mid-life crisis or depression but is it really so bad? There are so many pre-conceived notions about turning 40 some that are valid and some that are not. I’ll admit I hate the term middle-age and definitely see how it can make something seem completely undesirable. There are good things about turning 40 though, that outweigh the negativity of looking at it as middle age.
Why Turning 40 Isn’t All Downers
At 40, you’ve lived and learned enough of life to (in many areas) know what works for you and what doesn’t. The pressure that is often felt to impress people gets a little lighter. You’ve got experience and knowledge that you have gained in your twenties and thirties.
Reflection, Not Regret
Forty is a time where you can reflect on where you’ve been but don’t wallow in regret over it. If there’s something you want to change, decide how you’re going to do it. Want to go back to school? Learn a new skill? Do it. It’s not too late.
You’ve faced adversities and are so much more prepared then you were trying to take on the world at 18. As a famous General and great strategist once said, if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
Focus on the good and the possibilities that you have. This way, in ten years when you look back you see all that you accomplished and don’t look back and think “I wasn’t all that old then and I could have…”.
Who Else is 40?
I know it’s probably a super nerdy thing to do, but it makes me feel better when I find people/celebrities that are 40 and up and think, ‘Wow they still look fantastic! This doesn’t mean I’m past my prime.” For example, Gwen Stefani, she’s 51 and breaks all the age rules. Other celebrities turning 40 this year include Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Britney Spears. (40 Celebrities turning 40 in 2021)
I had planned to take 40 on with a positive attitude, and even wanted to plan a big family trip to Disney (after all if it’s for my 40th birthday my parents and siblings couldn’t deny going with me, right?) but then Covid hit and well, there’s that. We did do dinner and cake though which was nice. My husband, kids and I stayed for a couple days at Disney’s Treehouse Villas which is a perfect social distancing getaway with a little Disney magic. We didn’t visit a park, although we did check out Disney Springs and since it was a weekday they were slower. It was a nice getaway and was something that will always make me smile when I think about turning 40.
I’m not the same person I was when I turned 20 and I wouldn’t change the knowledge I have to go back to that person. It’s funny, 30 wasn’t bad at all but I think that’s because I was pregnant with my first baby that was due in three months so it didn’t even matter that I was turning 30 because my dreams were coming true with having a baby.
Turning 40 has definitely been more reflective and made me stop and think some but I refuse to think that my value starts to decrease.
What is it About 40 That Makes People Sad?
Adriane Berg, an influencer for successful aging, healthy longevity and lifelong contribution said in an post (Advice to a Woman Turning 40 from a Woman turning 70) that she has found “depression in folks turning 40 or 50 because of age stems from fear of increasing irrelevance.”
There’s nothing crazy about having those feelings, especially with society how it is. Although, we’ve come a very long way from years past and looking at (especially women) as losing relevance the older they get. It’s important to remember that there is so much to look forward to and so much that you are still capable of accomplishing.
People Who Accomplished Great Things After 40
- Arianna Huffington founded the Huffington Post at age 55
- Tim and Nina Zagat were 51-year-old lawyers when they first published their collection of restaurant reviews under the Zagat name in 1979.Now it’s a culinary authority.
- Betty White didn’t become an icon until she joined the cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1973 at the age of 51
- Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T car in 1908.
- Vera Wang entered the fashion industry at the age of 40
- Donald Fisher was 40 and had no experience in retail when he and his wife Doris opened the first GAP store in San Francisco in 1969.
- Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart when he was 44 years old
- Martha Stewart was 41 when she achieved success publishing her first book. Entertaining.
- Coco Chanel was 70 when she made a triumphant return to the fashion world after previously closing her business due to the outbreak of WWII and the economic depression of the 1930s.
Staying Relevant at 40 and After
Eleanor Roosevelt once said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
This applies to the 18-year-old just joining the adult world as well as the person turning 40.
Keep learning, keep doing and don’t let other people stop you from achieving what you set out to do.
Not 40 years old. Not 40 years young. 40 years blessed. 40 years loved. 40 years wise. 40 years thankful.