So, I wrote a piece a few months ago about how great being 40 is, blah, blah, blah. I’ve been meaning to edit and post it, but I haven’t. Since then, I’ve had a birthday and haven’t been feeling quite the same way lately. I’ve hit a rough spot, a pothole, a ditch? Oh, heck, let’s face it – I’m standing by the Grand Canyon and can’t seem to find the bridge over.
But I will find that bridge, and, despite feeling stuck, I still have no desire to go back to my 20’s or 30’s. The phrase “40 is the new 20” or “40 is the new 30” keep popping up, though, and I don’t understand why people seem to embrace and celebrate this idea. I’d like to go back to my 20-something and 30-something self and shake her. I’d tell her to wake up, live a little, make some mistakes, get her nose out of a damn book, have some fun, take a chance!
But I wouldn’t be ready to hear it.
And that’s why 40 is awesome. I like myself and believe in myself more than I did then. I’m more aware and feel more alive. Sure, I find new wrinkles daily, have sagging bits that had better days, worry about my mortality, have higher bills, and know there are fewer eligible men. I watch the calendar like it’s a ticking bomb because I know how quickly the days pass.
But these are all part of what make 40 better.
I understand and appreciate life more. I savor the time I have and am trying to make every second count. I know that good friends aren’t around every corner, and I know the value a good friend brings to my life. I’ve mourned the death of loved ones and come to understand that every moment is special because it is finite. I’ve experienced disappointment and learned that not all my dreams will come true – but some will.
These lessons have made my emotions deeper, and my life richer as a result. Joy and pain are visceral in a way that I wasn’t capable of at 20 because I simply hadn’t experienced enough. I don’t know if it’s this way with everyone; I only know that this is what 40 is like for me.
As far as I’m concerned, 40 is better than 20 any day!
Now where did I put those reading glasses?