This calendar year, I will turn 40. I’m still 39, and will be for another ten months. So don’t get me wrong–I’m not rushing this! But 40 has started to loom a little.
I never thought I’d care very much, quite honestly. When I was 35, I liked the idea of turning 40. I’d heard that a woman’s 40’s are fantastic–freeing and fun. But then, I snuck up on 40, and I’m starting to have a few misgivings… Mostly, because between the ages of 35 and 39 a whole lot of aging happens. A LOT. At 35, I looked like a woman in her mid-thirties–maybe even a touch younger! But at 39, I’m starting to look the part of a 40-year-old woman. It was bound to happen, but I didn’t think it would happen so fast. Or to me.
There are a few things I’m looking forward to, though:
- When I gain weight, people’s first thought won’t be that they’re the first to notice an unannounced pregnancy. (Sigh!) Instead, they’ll recognize my age, be relatively confident that I’m not waiting the traditional 3 months to announce anything, and think, That woman has found something delicious. I probably want some of it. That’s right–I’m a little bit fat. I really like food. And I’m okay with it!
- Enjoying the fruits of my labors. I worked HARD during my thirties, and I have no intention of slowing down, but after a decade of writing my heart out and climbing in my writing career, I’m finally at a place where I can start enjoying some of that success a little bit. And I like it! So if I can do more of that enjoying, I think my 40’s will be great.
- Looking good for my age. Seriously! I know most women take that as an insult, but I honestly don’t want to compete with 22-year-olds! First of all, I’m a married mother, and I have zero desire to attract younger men. Mr. Johns is all I want. Secondly, I used to be 22, and I remember how tight my skin was, how firm and pert everything was, how cute I was when I rolled out of bed. That’s youth! But more than that, I remember how vulnerable I was, even when I thought I knew it all. I remember how prone I was to choose the wrong kind of guy. I remember how I looked up to “older women” for some kind of guidance and support. I have no desire to compete with those 22-year-olds. I want to protect them, support them, stand up for them. It’s their turn to be young.
So those are the things I’m looking forward to. I think my 40’s will be fantastic, once I get over the hump of seeing myself as a woman in my 40’s. Give me time. I have ten months to get there.
Coming to a bookstore near you February 2018:
Forced to work with the woman who left his brother at the altar five years ago, police chief Chance Morgan must also face his own guilt. Sadie Jenkins’s return to town stirs feelings he thought he’d buried along with his soldier brother, who died overseas. Almost kissing Sadie the night before her wedding was a mistake—one he won’t make again. For Sadie, planning a remembrance ceremony for the town’s military men will help build her event-planning business. But working with Chance is bringing up all the emotions she once ran from. Is she ready to finally take that leap into the future…with him?
I loved my forties. The kids were growing up, establishing some independence, which allowed me some independence as well. That was when I finally decided to try my hand at writing. The good news is, fifties aren't bad either.ReplyDelete
That's so good to hear! I have an almost-ten-year old now, so I know what you mean about getting a bit more independence. It feels good. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, to be 40 again. Lovely time of life. But then, forty now is the new thirty, so enjoy each step.ReplyDelete
:) I've heard such nice things about 40. I'm looking forward to it!Delete
I don't even remember my 40s! lol. I do remember the day before I was turning 42 and for some strange reason thought I was turning 43 until I tried to remember what the photo my husband took of me on my 42nd birthday (we always took a 'birthday' photo) and couldn't remember it. Then I got to figuring the year I was born and realized I wasn't going to be 43, I was going to be 42! I lost a whole year that day. lolReplyDelete
ha ha ha! You must have had a really busy year to age yourself prematurely like that! :)Delete
The forties were a great decade, Patricia. I sold my first book a month before my birthday and my mother took me to London England for a week to celebrate both events. All good memories, even the long days with small children. You will enjoy, I know. Remember, you’re getting better with age, like a fine wine. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, that's a fantastic fortieth birthday! :) That's hard to beat!Delete
I prepared for turning 40, so much so that I thought I WAS 40 for months before hand. I think I did that before my 50th birthday as well. So I understand that whole "preparing" thing.ReplyDelete
Part of it, I think, is realizing that even if you look younger, you aren't. So what's the point? I remember, in the Hunger Games, that people in The Capital tried to look young and thin, whereas in Katniss's district, if you were old and well fed people wanted to know your secret.
And The Capital was not the good side in those books...
That IS a good point! In fact, I don't want to look "strained," which is how I think older actresses look when they try to look younger than they are. I admire the women who look their age.Delete
I loved my forties, but then in my forties for awhile I was a good weight and, yup, I even manage to be pregnant in my forties (egads, what was I thinking!)ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness! That would certainly be a surprise! LOL! But a wonderful surprise. :)Delete
I’m saying goodbye to my 40’s this year. And I seriously think it’s the fastest decade I’ve ever experienced!! I’m happy not to have to compete with the 20 year olds too. When I see something good, I eat it. That’s so liberating!!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your book success.
I'm like Patricia, I barely remember my 40's. So far, the 50's have been pretty great!ReplyDelete
Actually, I think I've loved all the decades for one reason or another. Happy 40s to you!ReplyDelete