Approaching the Guillotine (Or Turning 40)

I guess I’m supposed to feel that way. I am less than 2 months away from what many would consider to be a Marie Antoinette moment but I’m actually looking forward to it. I  suppose I’m weird that way. In fact, when I turned 30, I was so happy to create distance from my own stupidity in my early twenties that I celebrated for almost a year. However, with all of the social build up and seeing how so many people dread turning 40,  I kind of wonder if at the stroke of midnight on my birthday I should be very still and wait for something earth shattering to happen. You know, like when we all waited to die at the millennium. Remember all that Y2K crap? Should I be in the middle of elaborate preparations for “something” to happen? I’m not certain. But while I’m pondering on what might be my demise by simply having another birthday, here is where I’m at today at 39:

–  I have to color my hair every six weeks.

–  A gynecologist asked me TWO YEARS AGO if I was ever going to get pregnant because “we’re not getting any younger.” The same reaction I gave her then is the same one I would give her today so I can’t imagine any behavior modification there.

–  Young, cute guys at Whole Foods have been calling me ma’am for about 10 years, definitely in the last 5 years.

–  Ten years ago I still wanted to see EVERYTHING. The whole world, natural wonders and man made wonders, no matter the conditions, or time of year. These days, I travel off-season when it’s less crowded and not too hot, and there damn well better be a flush toilet somewhere. As far as exerting myself for the sake of sightseeing? Sorry Mt. Everest, maybe in the next lifetime I’ll be inclined to climb you. Not in this lifetime.

–  Even though I’m a night owl by nature, I still have to take a nap ahead of time if I know I’m going out for the night beyond watching a movie.

–  My high heel shoes are slowly getting replaced by anything that screams all day comfort.

–  Same goes for the Italian bra collection.

–  My makeup is suddenly becoming more expensive because the cheap stuff shows off all of the flaws. Those good old days of slathering baby oil on myself in the sun are starting to haunt me. No more of the “sun-kissed” look on this nose.

–  I’m sorry, but at this age why are women (& some men) having a Brazilian wax done? Why? Why exactly are we attempting to have our internal organs ripped out to be neatly displayed on a muslin strip? I’m not one to dish out general advice on this stuff but holy crap. Leave the self-inflicted medieval torture to the twenty-somethings. At this age, I know I won’t be running around town without my knickers to call for this kind of  “beauty” treatment. (If you don’t know what a Brazilian wax is, you can look in Wikipedia yourself. I could have attached it here but it was too gross for my taste.)

–  Speaking of the sun, I go in it so infrequently now, I’m pale enough to be a character in a Twilight movie. Once a sun worshipper, I now wear my grandmother’s hats when going out in the sun. When the hell did that happen?!

–  I don’t worry about attempting to change the men in my life anymore or changing myself for them. What a damn waste of time. My biggest worries are where to go next and how I’m going to possibly see everything I want to see in one lifetime.

One thing I do notice is that “thing” everybody talks about. That “I don’t care what people think” thing. If I didn’t have that before, I definitely have it now. And I don’t mean in a defiant, “take that” kind of way. Just……this is it folks. If you don’t like it then change the channel.

Is there going to be a major variation from any of this on that particular day? I think not. Like I said, unless my 40th birthday proves to be detrimental to my health for some reason, I don’t see what all the shouting is about. It might sound cliché but there is definitely growth happening and a clarity I had hoped to find for a very long time. I’m not in a hurry to get there and God knows I’m trying to enjoy the last days of my 30’s with gusto but change is inevitable. What else can you do but enjoy it all?

So bring it, 40’s! I’m ready!


There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.

~Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren


5 thoughts on “Approaching the Guillotine (Or Turning 40)

  1. I loved this entry and laughed all the way to the end. One piece of news from the woman hitting 50, 40’s are the best best best years of your life in every sense of the word. What you do with the time is most crucial so that by the time you hit 50, you are completely and utterly satisfied, cause after that it’s all downhill no matter what others tell you otherwise.

  2. “Youth is wasted on the young!” My European-born grandma used to say in her thick, Lithuanian accent…and it made no sense to me as a young boy. Now, of course, it does. I really like the photos supporting y0ur entry and wish you the best as you approach what is called a milestone. If we didn’t do the breaking life down into 10’s-of-years kind of thinking, you’d be 14, 610 days old on that birthday, including leap years. Now that number sounds whoppingly significant! However, the 50’s can be wonderful…they’ve been the best adult years of my young-ish life.

    I hope you have a very wonderful birthday.

  3. So glad you’re not losing your head about turning 40! As a woman pushing 50, I have no regrets about the past 10 years. Your list is delightful (just stay away from using words like that, and you’ll be fine – but, really, it is!). Let’s say it’s got gusto! Imagine the places you’ll undoubtedly travel to in your 40s? Can’t wait to read posts about them and see the great photos!

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