Thursday, December 18, 2014

On Being 40



Well, it's been almost a year of being 40. Not quite a full year, but with a February birthday, it feels like I've been 40 all year. I was not ok with turning 40. Truth be told, I'm still really not ok with it. But it didn't ask. It just came anyway. Like in-laws or children into the bathroom or the uncontrollable urge to pee when you jump. Or run. Or walk. Or stand up. It just came. Mean 40. You know how when you're young, you hear adults say things like, "I just don't FEEL old." And you're like, "Whatever dude. You are so freaking old." Well, guess what? Now that's me. It's a mean trick, this aging. You know it's coming. But you don't actually believe it until BAM! It hits you. Like in-laws or children into the bathroom or the uncontrollable urge to pee when you jump. Or run. Or walk. You get the picture. So. Cruel.

Well, I decided to take this time at the end of the year to reminisce about things I've realized this {almost} year of being 40.

#1. 40 is Too Old To Live On Student Loans
It is one thing to have to use student loans for living expenses when you are in your 20's. I mean, realistically your bills at that point are like $30 a month for car insurance, $18 utilities after splitting it 7 ways with all your roomates, and Hot Pockets and Cup O' Noodles for food. You might even could get you some sweet new furniture from the Goodwill at the beginning of the semester. Maybe you have one kid in diapers or rent on a 2-bedroom apartment or something, but typically your cost of living is fairly low. And you have years & years ahead of you to pay it all back. 
But 20 years, 4 kids, and a mortgage payment later. Well, if you can't afford your living expenses by then, you're pretty much screwed. I totally am. It's been one of the worst years for us financially in a long, long time. I had no intention of taking out any more student loans at this point, but life had a different plan for me. Now I'm accumulating debt I may not even live to pay off. And at a time when I should be putting money into a retirement account or at least a down payment on a burial plot....

#2. My Untimely Death Will Be Less Tragic
I never said I wasn't morbid. All year what's been running through my mind is that if {heaven forbid} I were to die in a freak snowplow accident or my flat iron fell into the bathtub while I was trying to relax amidst Spiderman and a Ninja Turle loofah or if my car were to explode while I was pumping gas because I stubbornly refuse to obey the signs that say not to get back in your car while you are pumping gas, the headline will no longer read, "Young Mother of 4 Dies in Terrible Accident." Because I'm not a young mother any more. Still a mother, just not a young one. Thus my death will seem far less unfortunate.
And teenagers will think, Oh she was 40? Eh, isn't that about when people usually die?
It's sick, I know. But that's the way my mind works.

#3. Having To Explain Myself When I Shop
Walking into an Aeropostale or Forever 21 or Rue 21 or any other such legal drinking-age numbered establishment makes me feel incredibly self-conscious now. I feel like I have no business being there at all. And I owe the hot young body-pierced employees an explanation for even setting foot in their shrine of sparkly glitter perfume, body chains, loud clothes and louder music. I am fairly certain there is more than a hint of sarcasm and sometimes even a not-so-discrete eyeroll when they ask if they can help me with anything. To which I always respond that I am shopping for my daughter. Which I usually am. Because not even the dark lights at Hollister can hide the fact that I am much too old to be shopping there for myself. {Just don't tell anyone that my new favorite lounge pants are the joggers I just bought. Cuz I told them all they were for my daughter.}

#4. I'm Never Getting My Body Back...Or a Tummy Tuck
With the exception of a few months of ..ahem...summer vacation, I have worked my tail off at the gym this year. {Figuratively speaking. Very figuratively.} Because I was turning 40. And going on a cruise. And I was convinced that with a little hard work I could reclaim my body from the super-villain duo of childbearing and time. Nope. It's never going to happen. Ever. Dream: Shattered.
And it used to be that if I wanted to drop a few pounds, I'd just switch to diet soda and eat nothing but Whopper Jrs, Chex Mix, baby carrots and the occasional Rice Crispy Treat for a week. That is a young girl's weight loss plan, my friend. Now it takes me 3 weeks of non-stop exercising and eating nothing but...nothing just to shed the pounds I gained over the weekend. True story.
And knowing years ago that my body would never look the same after having children reside in it, I told my husband, "I will be sick for months straight, go through long & painful labor, and let your babies ravage my body, but I get a tummy tuck when I'm done." He said ok and we struck a deal.
Ain't happening. {See #1} Not even Sallie Mae is going to give me enough money for that.

#5. I'm Even Too Old for Old Men to Hit On
Let's be honest, with very few {super rare and/or super creepy} exceptions, even men well over the age of 40 like women younger than 40. Not that I'm in the market or anything. And even in my younger years, I was never the kind of girl who had all eyes on her when she walked into a room. But I like to think I turned a FEW heads back in the day. Not anymore. Not even the necks ridden with arthritis crane in my direction. No flattering words. No cat calls. {Unless I'm with my beautiful young daughter, and I will hurt somebody over that.} It's enough to make a girl want to walk past a construction site. From WAY across the street. Just to see.

So there you have it. 5 things about being 40 that I have pondered on this year. I mean, I can always say that I'm really just 22 with 18 years of experience. But who am I fooling? Not the workers peddling sequin stilettos at Forever Young Shoes, that's for sure. And let's face it, nobody is young or 21 forever. I don't care what you name your store.




2 comments:

  1. Thanks for giving me so much to look forward to! And I thought things were bad at 34...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teller of truths and crusher of dreams, that's me!

      Delete