I’m on the cusp of turning 40 and instead of sharing what I’ve learned in the last forty years, I figured I would ask older and wiser friends, family and my writer and mom communities for their advice on this milestone birthday.
- “40 was the beginning of the new me. Wait- it was actually the emergence of the real me, the authentic me. And I am certain life will only get better. – My Listen to Your Mother sister
2. “I remember in our local gag gift shop they had a whole section of “over the hill” stuff. Black balloons, napkins and all the accessories with bright white forties printed on them. Now that I’m “over the hill” I have say, it’s not so bad. I don’t recover as quickly but I also think life is nowhere near over!” – my former neighbor, friend and Modern Day MS contributor.
3. “When I turned 40, I felt so old. Now that I am 67, I like to think that I still am 40, but, of course, that is delusional. It can’t hurt to feel as young as possible, and it is good for the soul. Oh, to be 40 again!!!!!” – my loving Aunt
4. “Everything you think is a problem has a solution.” – my favorite sister
5. “When I turned 40, I didn’t feel the need to apologize for doing those things like I previously did. Turning 40 has inspired me to try some new things because I know well that I’m not getting any younger. I have a greater appreciation for what my body can do than when I was younger and recognition “that nothing here is promised, not one day,” as Lin-Manuel Miranda said.” –ChicagoNow writer I admire
6. “Aside from consuming massive quantities of alcohol… hang on – it may be a bumpy ride” – Another supportive ChicagoNow writer
7. “Life really is short, people work too hard and do not make the time to have a life. You don’t know what the later years will bring no matter how well you plan it. Enjoy every step of the way so you will never regret a thing.” – my sister-in-law
8. “About 75% of the crap that stressed you out in your 20s no longer strikes you as worth your attention or your time. And this is awesome.” – Member of a Chicago Moms in Business group I’m a part of
9. “Relax a bit into yourself and enjoy it. Also? I found bed pie in my forties and it’s been life changing.” – Positive and honest writer and twin mama
10. David Bowie’s quote is “Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”- Writer of Raising Teens Right
11. “I’ve learned to sweat the number on the scale less. If I want a piece of cake I have it. Started working out more at 40 and started yoga then. I also began using night time wrinkle repair cream. Also found a better balance between work, kids and making time for myself.” – my yoga student and friend.
12. “When I turned 40 I got a hysterectomy which brought definitive closure to that part of my life – building a family, starting a career, building a resume and having houses. I looked at it all and thought I need some change. In the next six years I changed languages, grade levels and district where I taught. I got divorced and changed my name. I moved from a house to a condo, changing towns. I kept my children, gender, ss# and first name. I also remarried, to the love of my life. I blew it all up and it was tiring but by 46 I was so much happier. I think at 40 you can be done with the life you initially built and say, do over. I also accepted myself and flaws, warts and curves. I wouldn’t want to do it all again but I’m sure glad that turning 40 gave me the impetus for change.” – My quilting friend.
13. “All our age benchmarks, which used to seem solid as rocks, have turned into shifting sands. ‘Life begins at 40? More like 60’.” – The New York Times (1991) – sent to me by my former co-worker and longtime friend
14. “Others are more concerned with themselves than you so live your life how you want because nobody is paying attention.” – Chicago mom blogger
15. “Unwritten right to use of a polite yet firm “kiss my @$$” when the situation warrants.” – Homestead writer
16. “Don’t give up on your passion.” -my friend, former neighbor and artist
17. “40 turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. The number made me realize that tomorrow is promised to no one, and I needed to focus in on life goals. That’s when I started blogging, got my house, got my dog, and started back in to broadcasting.” – ChicagoNow writer
18. “A wave of divorces come in your 40’s. Don’t be arrogant; invest in your relationship.” – my husband’s oldest friend
20. “Stop caring about what others think. Focus on those that care and not those that don’t.” – Chicago sports writer
21. “Never be afraid to buy the good underwear that keeps it all tucked in.” – Chicago school mom friend and music school owner
22. “You already know WHO and HOW you are as a child. By the time you hit 40, give zero fucks about what anyone thinks about what you wear, the color of your hair, the volume of your laugh, the straightness of your teeth, the honesty in your opinion, the authenticity in your YOU.” -Roscoe Village business owner/former yoga student
23. “When I turned 40 I was just returning to the work force as a teacher after being a full time mom for 10 years. During that time, I learned a great deal about life and myself. I found that I had a new set of skills, increased confidence and boundless energy. It was not so much the -age but the st-age that had become my focus and continues to be.” – Private yoga client
24. “Turning 40 isn’t the end of the world, but it is a new chapter in your life.” Fellow Chicago Now writer
25. “I’ve learned that living your best life isn’t about a number and the positive aspects of 40 (experience, comfort, confidence) outweigh the negatives which only seem to be going to the bathroom in the middle of the night now.” – one of my oldest friends and my real estate agent
26. “It is never too late to begin a new life or make major changes. I was 40 when I transitioned and started living authentically. It was a huge step And one not at all easy, but something I HAD to do. Don’t get stuck in a life that is just existing. Get busy living or get busy dying. – My warrior friend
27. “Don’t take yourself so seriously, laugh every day till your belly hurts.” -Roscoe Village neighbor and yoga student
28. “It’s so easy to put everyone else in your life first, but I truly believe that by taking the time to rest, exercise and reboot, you’ll be much happier and in turn a better partner and mother.” – Mother, baker and friend (and our boys were in school together).
29. “I turned 40 two weeks ago, so I probably need advice more than giving it. My advice would be, Never be too old for anything. I hear “I’m too old for that kind of thing” all the time, from people in their 40’s and 50’s. “I’m too old to go back to school”, “I’m too old to be up all night dancing and drinking”, “I’m too old to change careers now”, “I’m too old to wear a two piece bathing suit”. I don’t plan on ever being too old for any opportunity. Also, I don’t plan to ever act my age.” – Another inspiring activist and writer
30.”On a whim buy a red polka dotted full piece bathing suit (NOT Black or Navy) like a 1950’s pin up model. It makes you feel like 20 all over again, but in a more fun and sophisticated way. And your own your sexy more than ever.” – Health and wellness speaker
31. “You will need to find the right color make up to fill in your white tan line in the worry line on your face. I currently have a white stripe down my brow.” – ChicagoNow writer
32. “When going to the bars, remember you were once that age and acted just as reckless as those girls over there.” – Food writer
33.”Learn to be self accepting, everybody’s got their own shit so stop comparing yourself to others.” – my new suburban friend
34. “Be confident in who you are, exactly how you are.” – Yoga teacher
35. “It was right around 40 that I learned that loving myself was the most important relationship I’d ever have.” = Little Merry Sunshine
36. “What you see is what you get, and if you don’t like it, buh bye now. That’s been my mantra since I turned 40 ten years ago.” – Moms in business group friend
37. “Take better care and have lots of sex. Don’t wait to realize what’s important….family.” – Former yoga studio front desk manager
38. “Almost split my sides laughing at your request about turning 40. My memory surely does not go back that far. However, when you need advice about turning 90 plus, you can call on me.” – My Great Aunt Sue, age 94
39. “Everything in life is always evolving and changing.” – my wise Dad
40. “Dont get caught up in the competition of what people have, where they go or what their kids achieve. Be true to who you are at your core. It’s not about money, it’s about values. Most importantly enjoy the journey.” -my sweet Mom
These people above have shaped me into the woman I am today and I thank them all for their support and sage advice. Here is to 40 being fabulous, productive, healthy and full of love, hugs and kindness!
You may also enjoy reading what I wrote on my 35th Birthday.
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