Yesterday, my brother posted this on Facebook — 40 Effed Up Things About Being 40 — and his crowd went wild. The author of the post, Amy Wruble, from Carriage Before Marriage is awesome, but in this case I’m going to disagree with her.
I thought 40 ROCKED.
As I told one of my best girlfriends, I see it like this:
- At 20 we’re just learning how to ask questions about life.
- At 30, we’re just starting to figure out what the important questions are.
- At 40, we’re finally learning some of the answers.
That’s a big damn deal.
Perhaps I wasn’t a normal twenty/thirtysomething (although I believe I was) but I worried A LOT.
I worried about grades in college and about dating.
I worried about my career and about finding “the one.”
I worried about money.
I worried about my future, and how I’d do the kid thing if I didn’t find “the one.”
As I moved through my thirties, I finally learned that I was “the one” and I’d better spend more time and energy on taking care of, and improving, my own self. I finally learned that I deserved to be loved and cared for.
I’d met my soulmate at 35 and by the time I turned 40, I’d married him. I’ll give him some credit for this list because he brought me a lot of peace, but a lot of it just comes with age.
20 Kickass Things About Being 40:
1. Better coping skills.
If you’re paying attention at all in the years prior, you will have developed some coping skills by this time. Here’s a Coping & Stress Management Skills test to see how you’re doing.
2. More disposable income (usually).
In the recent economy, this isn’t always a given, but it often is. At the very least, you are further along your career path and have likely developed a variety of skills that will make you money.
3. More patience with most people.
The older I get, the more understanding I am that people must learn lessons at their own pace. If they want my advice, they’ll ask for it…and they still might disregard it.
4. Less patience with stupid people.
The older I get, the more I realize good health and time are my most precious commodities. I’ve gotten much less patient with people who hinder me in either area.
5. More knowledge.
Recent studies show that most older people’s brains don’t decline with age, especially if they continue challenging themselves. The brains of the elderly are only slower because they know more. It’s like searching through a very full hard drive and sometimes you’ve got to wait longer for the answer.
6. Less fear of failure.
You’ve likely tried and failed at many things by now. People are more confident that failure is not the end of the world at this point in their lives.
7. Better parties.
Perhaps it goes with the “more disposable income part” but I’ve noticed that the parties are much more creative and engaging as the years build. Likely it goes with the next items on the list.
8. Less inhibition.
In the teens and early twenties, a lack of inhibition often comes from various substances. I think as people age, their fear of public embarrassment wanes and they just do what makes them happy (even if it’s odd).
9. Longer-term friendships.
At this point, some of your friendships are old enough to go out to the bar and have a drink. The people you’ve kept this long, you’ll likely keep your whole life. These people KNOW you, and they laugh when you let it all hang out.
10. Well-defined B.S. meters.
I sniff out bullshit much better now than I did in my earlier decades. Whether it’s a person’s direct actions or a gut feeling, if I don’t warm up to someone, a good reason comes to light at some point.
The older you get, the more you’re grateful for simple everyday things (like waking up). Writing down “5 Great Things” about every day helps me too.
12. A sense of urgency.
Time is precious, and it slips by faster the older you get. As middle age comes, so does the urgency to get the important things done.
13. More orgasmic (at least for us females).
Many experts believe that the real reason women have more fulfilling sex in their mid-30s and beyond is because they’re more comfortable with their bodies, so they’re better able to relax and let go during sex, which primes them for orgasm—and in turn, increases desire.
14. A better wine palate.
Seriously, I drank crap wine in the early years. As you age, your palate develops and you start drinking MUCH better wine.
15. Better vacations.
I tend to do less and enjoy it more in terms of vacations these days. I don’t have to “go to the party” so to speak, I make my party wherever I am, whether it’s with family or on a cruise.
16. You stop competing with twenty-somethings and start trying to better yourself.
17. Better conversation.
Y’all read these better conversations on this blog. And really, is there anything funnier than the Almost X-Rated Garage Sale? Those women were in their sixties.
18. Better insurance rates, at least for the car.
19. Better credit (usually).
I’ve always wished the college campuses didn’t flood with banks and credit card companies swarming the young people before they’re earning (and understanding) money. I plan on teaching Babykins early so she doesn’t get into early credit trouble.
20. Better understanding of the world.
My lil’ sis is fifteen years younger than me, so she’s gotten to reap the benefits of her older siblings’ life experiences. She told me once that the best piece of advice I ever passed on was, “Make sure you have at least a thousand dollars in reserve. For some reason, when things go wrong, they usually cost at least a grand.”
* * * * *
Sure, there’s downsides to getting older. You used to be able to work out twice a month and stay in decent shape. Now you have to do it 3-4 times a week just to keep up. Your back (and various other body part) hurt like a mother some mornings. But I think the benefits outweigh the costs, what about you?
Do you have items to add to the “Kickass Things” list? What about on the “not so kickass” side of the fence. (Put them all down in the comments.) Enquiring minds love to chat about these things here at More Cowbell!