What To Expect After Turning 40: Stuff You May Not Be Ready For

Old people are everywhere, and one keeps trying to slip into my mirror!  They may say "forty is the new thirty" but Ladies, 40 is NOT the new 30.  It is a totally different age and that is why the numbers are different! As I wait to go to a gallbladder scan, after having a CT scan a few weeks ago, after hitting menopause (WTH?) after 40, after buying more pairs of orthopedic shoes for my lower back pain issues I thought to myself,  "Wow, this is a fast downhill slide!"  I thought I would warn you about three things I noticed happening after I turned forty so you were better prepared.  Just in case it happens to you.  And then at the end I have an awesome article for you with deeper thoughts on the subject to buoy you right back up.

Spackle that face, y'all!

1) Your skin changes after 40 even if you don't suddenly get all wrinkly.
Yes,  This.  I noticed the texture of my skin changing enough that I decided to wear makeup more often. Actually, it was more like I would add concealer  to cover my new dark circles.  Then I would add a BB cream to even out my complexion. I looked so much better I would just keep right on going with a full face of makeup.  I've always worn lipstick or lip stain and little else, but most days now I wear everything else too. Spackle that face, y'all.  (Or don't, but be prepared for your skin to change even if it doesn't wrinkle.) (Yet.)


2) You might not be able to eat everything you used to.
Enjoy eating what you want NOW.  Weight gain may not always happen, but weight redistribution was a surprise.  Apparently linked to menopause.  Which I am now in. Early.  Yay.
Also, I used to roll my eyes at my sweet Mother In Love who would say "Oh, I can't eat that, it doesn't agree with me!"  I thought that was code for "I do not like that food so I will claim I cannot 'tolerate it."  Then I started getting HEARTBURN.  And my gall bladder started acting up.  The two have intertwined symptoms so it took a couple years to iron that out with lots of doctor's visits and expensive tests.  Enjoy eating whatever you are eating now.  Your days of chowing spicy and fatty and suchthelike may be numbered, Babe.

I cannot hover over them at a playground and keep them from taking jungle gym risks to discover the world 
(and gravity) for themselves.

3) You may become Tired and Afraid.
The thrills and risks of your youth maybe be OUTTA THERE after 40.  As I've gotten older I am more worried about health and illness, safety, and school shootings.  I have these two precious daughters who have ruined crime TV and Jodi Picoult novels for me forever.  I am battling against myself to be cool and fun, but many things are harder for me to get excited about.  I also need to shut my mouth when it comes to the kids and their simple excitement.  I cannot hover over them at a playground and keep them from taking jungle gym risks to discover the world and gravity for themselves.  I am often tired and cannot fathom running hither and yon like my kid lets do.  What happened?  For me having kids changed some things.  Taking care of people is a gift and a challenge and it makes me tired.  And I wouldn't change a thing.

 "Becoming a bag lady. Getting Alzheimer's. Ending up alone. All of these concerns speak to a fear not of aging but of living. What is a fear of living? It's being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself—for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don't know what you're here to do, then just do some good. I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good." (Maya Angelou)

This quote really resonates with me as I grow older and settle into myself.  Regardless of the changes in getting older, I know my mindset and daily choices will determine the quality of my days.  If you want more inspiration, read more thoughts from this Oprah article on women getting older.  I found lots of great thoughts including the Maya Angelou paragraph above.  I would love to hear what you have noticed about becoming older, and how you are ensuring age isn't all you see when you look at your life to come.  Please share with us in the comments.

Lets live, folks!  Live Your Love out Loud!

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