I turned 40 this year.
I didn't really mind it. As my birthday approached, I didn't feel the loom and doom of the age suffocating me. I didn't feel the need to hide my chronological age behind the guise of the everlasting of the 39's. I didn't lament my last day in my 30's. In fact, I remember my last day in my 20's being much more difficult and emotional. 40- I didn't mind it....at least not from the aspect of being old.
As the day I celebrated my 40th year on this earth came and went, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I took it. I had a lovely day with my family and my parents who drove 400 miles to celebrate it with me. I was conscious of how "undifferent" 40 felt from 39. I though to myself, "This 40 thing is a breeze!"
But as the days and weeks of my 40th year passed, a funny thing happened. I uneventfully but steadily descended into fortyness. It wasn't a single event or a single day, but an accumulation of a lifetime of experiences, memories, circumstances and relationships that rattled around deep inside of me and quietly created where I am today - in fortyness.
This fortyness thing makes me look at my world and the things in it a lot differently. It affects how I view, assess, and react to almost every aspect of my life. Kids, work, education, body image, relationships, personal responsibility, parenting, friendships, material stuff, you name it, fortyness changes how it looks.
It's funny how I remember when my parents turned 40....it seemed so.....well....old. Now, not so much. In fact, it doesn't feel old at all. It is liberating, comfortable, and at times, challenging. It is a state of being, not an age that defines us. We define it. Do I mind it? No. Does it cause some change and discomfort, both good and bad? Yes.
Over the next several months, I'll be returning often to and writing through the lens of fortyness. I know I can't be the only person who is in this place. Hopefully you can find something you can connect with and, in these writings, find a place where you can see that you are not alone in your fortyness. As always, I'd love to hear your comments.