When I look at this picture of my mom and me on Christmas day, I think “Wow, we are getting old.” No offense mom. I am 41 years old, and when my mom was my age she had 3 grown children. I am old enough to have a kid in their 20s – I’m glad I don’t have kids to remind me of this fact.
With every decade I reach, I have a little freak out. When I turned 30 I cried over my first grey hair. I was so upset to be leaving my 20s especially since I was just about to get a divorce. I was out of my prime (looks) years and on my way to middle age. OK a little dramatic, but that’s how I felt. Forty was even worse for me; dating is harder especially since I’m in bed by 9:00 p.m. every night – including Fridays. Laugh lines no longer appear only when I laugh, and it’s getting harder to find bras that can hold up to gravities evil forces. I’ve become more cynical and nothing excites me the way it use to.
The summer before I turned 40, I made a sad attempt to hold on to my youth by hanging out with my younger co-workers. “Clubbing”, however, isn’t the same when the bouncer IDs everyone except you. And when did it get so damn loud in those places. I admit to never being much for nightclubs anyway, but I’d like it to still be a viable option.
Nobody prepares you for the changes that happen at 40. So for anyone preparing to start this fantasic time of life, here are a few tips.
ALCOHOL– I can’t drink anymore, because I’m wasted after 3 glasses of wine, and my hangover lasts for 2 days.
DIET -Eating is no longer easy; dairy bloats me, wheat bloats me, if I don’t drink enough water I bloat. I need extra protein because people lose muscle mass after 40. I need extra calcium to keep my bones strong, and I must eat 6 small meals a day to keep my energy up. NO SUGAR, LIMIT COFFEE, REDUCE ALCOHOL (oh wait, I already said that)
WEIGHT GAIN – I gain weight if I think about food, and I need to exercise twice as much to keep my jeans fitting. If I slip on my clean eating for a few days, I pay for it in the gym for the next month
HAIR – Yes, I said it “Hair”, if you are anything like me, random hairs will show up anywhere they want. I suggest keeping a pair of tweezers in your purse, car, work, and bathroom. Thank god for laser hair removal.
The first year of my 40s was terrible; I would even go as far as saying I was depressed. Luckily, the depression didn’t last, and I was able to start to accept where I was in life. I’ve had to change my outlook completely, and find new things to entertain me. That’s the trick – You need to find “NEW” things to try. I can’t afford to travel the world yet, and I haven’t met the man of my dreams. So, I had to find smaller bucket list items to tackle. I’m taking online university courses, I’ve changed up my fitness routine, I started a reading challenge (read 100 novels in 2016), and I started a debt reducing budget.
Aging is going to happen whether I like it or not, and I am not going to spend my life looking at the past. I am emotionally stronger, wiser, and maybe even a little happier than I was in my younger years. I still have days when I feel “old”, and sometimes I worry about my future. But that’s part of life, good and bad- Yin and Yang = a balanced life.