40 doesn’t just sound old. It is old. 40 is downhill. I turned 40 this year and every single thing about it has sucked. See the little lines forming on my forehead, around my eyes, and over my top lip? Those weren’t there when I was 39. The crinkly skin from my chin to my chest. That wasn’t there a year ago either.
Over the past 8 months, since I turned the big 4-0, I’ve slowly felt my vision getting worse, my hearing getting worse, and the creaks in my body getting louder.
I cannot get out of bed without hearing several joints in my body crack. And when I’m IN bed, I’m miserable too. When I was 39, I could have slept on a bed of screwdrivers and been comfortable. Now I hate everything about my mattress. I can’t sleep on my side, cause my hip hurts. Just sleep on your stomach, right? I can’t sleep on my stomach, cause my neck hurts. I can ONLY sleep flat on my back. Arms down. Like a board. A 40-year-old board.
At 39, I could have drunk a keg before bed and not woken up once to use the restroom. At 40, I LOOK at a drop of wine and I’m peeing 5 times overnight.
40 is hell. 40 is without a doubt middle age.
I still love to run and workout—but the recovery time is not what it used to be. I used to run a half-marathon and be bouncing off the walls a couple hours later. Now, I run 6 miles and I’m out of commission for at least a day. Tragic.
40 is Tragic. 40 is downhill. And it SOUNDS old!
39 is young and fresh, and vibrant! At 39 you have your whole life ahead of you. But then you turn 40, which is nearly 50, which is downhill to 100, so, let’s be real, you’re practically dead. At 39 I could rebound. If I got little sleep the night before, I was still ready to go out and have fun the next day. At 40, if I got little sleep the night before, I’m in bed by 5 p.m.
And I’m no longer cool! It’s like, you turn 40 and all pop culture stops. The Today Show was showing a huge line of people outside the SNL studio a couple weeks ago, there to watch the MOST POPULAR BAND of all time perform! I had never heard of them. My son comes over, he’s like, “Seriously, mom?” Yes, Cameron. Seriously.
My hands look old, my boobs are saggy, and my lower back is constantly aching. I carry a heating pad with me wherever I go.
My skin does NOT bounce back as easily either. I had a pimple on my cheek (yes, I’m 40 and still getting acne) and it left a red mark for a solid month. And here’s the BIG thing, and I know it’s vain, but there are days I do not like what I see in the mirror. I wake up, look in the glass, and see a woman who needs some effort to be presentable.
That was never really the case before 40.
Maybe it’s mental—or maybe it’s the fine lines, wiry gray hairs and that damn red mark on my face that refuses to fade.
Perhaps I’ll ponder this during one of my 20 trips to the restroom tonight.
Oh sweet, innocent Laura, just you wait! You think 40 is bad (I would kill to go back to 40), just wait till you see 60!! All the things you listed just intensify, where “saggy” becomes something to hope for; where “crinkly” is almost desirable, and where sleep as we used to know it doesn’t really exist any longer.
I look in the mirror today and see my FATHER (no, not my mother, that would be wonderful) and I wonder why I took for granted my smooth skin, my bright, sparkling eyes, an upper lip with no lines in which sweat and lipstick collect continuously, and arms, legs, knees, shoulders, elbows and a neck and back that didn’t alternate their aches and pains every single day and night!!!
Growing old gracefully is a state of mind that has chosen to be elusive and fleeting for me, but I am not giving up the fight!!! You should not give up either… look at you- slim, beautiful, witty, smart and funny. Enjoy your gifts now, even if you don’t see them – we do!!!
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