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turning 40

turning 40. surviving 40

When I was turning 40, I had been warned ad naseum about how my body was going to give me a great big “FUCK YOU” and I took it with a grain of salt because, let’s face it, I am a stubborn broad and you can’t tell me anything and for the love of Pete, please don’t tell me that I CAN’T do something because chances are that I will do it…JUST TO PROVE YOU WRONG. Seriously, it is a disease with me.

Anyways, bossy, stubborn bitch aside that I can be, I really didn’t believe there was a magical age at which your body just shuts down and it’s all down hill. Plus, I refuse to believe that my middle age is 40. Fuck that noise, I am living to 105. So middle age can kiss my ass until I am around 53.

Sometimes, life sneak attacks you, ninja style and that is kind of what has been happening. There was no giant weight gain. Come on, I’ve been gaining weight steadily since the great exodus of eating disorders in 1997 and the introduction of mood stabilizers in 2000. It was a combo for body disaster. Then I got pregnant and started raising babies and my life, in its entirety, became a steady, uncontrollable run away train. It’s just how I was function.

Little to no sleep, everyone’s needs put before my own, eating terribly, exercising seldomly and losing all sense of fashion and self. I essentially got to the place of overloaded, overwhelmed and barely functioning but I thought it was okay because, in the end, I was functioning. I made concessions here and there and lowered my standards. Life essentially beat the crap out of me and left me for dead…in fucking yoga pants, a ponytail and about 75 pounds overweight.

Sure, I tried to bring back the feisty broad that I once was…several times. Clear! I was putting the paddle to the sad little broad’s life but nothing. Sure, there’d be a revelation here and there and I’d start working out or watching what I ate, coloring my hair and actually treating myself like a human and then something would break, funds would get tight and there I went to the wayside again. It’s embarrassing to let yourself go, especially when you used to be proud of who you were; what you were; what you looked like and your tenacity. You begin to feel like you had it all and you let it slip through your fingers and then you feel guilty because look at what you have instead…your children. Sure, you look like a homeless fatty but damn it, you are a good mother. But are you? Really?

How great of a mom can I be if I look defeated at 41? What kind of example am I? Then on top of all of that, I noticed my hair falling out by the handfuls every time I showered (Stress is a cruel bitch), crows feet just waiting to delve even deeper, my skin is a desolate dessert, my hair is not only starting it’s own gray hair club the rest of my hair is taking on a texture that can only be described as witchy; it looks like the curls and the straight parts got into a fight and no one won. Plus, my eyelids and my boobs are a little lower and my skin looks decidedly less smooth. Plus, there is the overweight issue. The issue being that I yo-yo between starving, dieting and eating whatever the hell I want. ALL these are bad for me, especially since apparently, metabolism has taken an early retirement.

So I am doing research. I will not go gently into that good night of middle age. I want to look like I grew old gracefully but there is nothing graceful about the knock-down, drag out fight that mother nature and I are about to have.

Here are some tips that make turning 40 awesome:

Vaseline is a miracle cure for dry feet. I am not joking. Take a shower, wash your feet, get out, pat those feet well and slather them with Petroleum Jelly an then put on plain white cotton socks. Within 2 days I turned my pterodactyl talons into smooth baby feet. But you have to keep it up or the crypt keeper feet will come back.

Wen is a awesome. Yep, I saw all the infomercials but didn’t believe it. I wasn’t sure that I would feel clean without lather but let me tell you my crazy hair is getting prettier and prettier every day and more importantly I am only losing 5-10 hairs per shower versus the handfuls I was losing. Now, Wen won’t do shit for your grays so you’ll have to get a good stylist and colorist. Go on, do it. You are worth it. Make time and take care of those grays.

Moisturize like your face depends on it because it does. Sure, you need to keep your entire body moisturized because if not you’ll eventually get all ashy and itchy and that’s not cute but if you don’t moisturize your face, you will get wrinkles and look like the damn crypt keeper by the time you are 60. If that doesn’t scare you straight, I don’t know what will. Crow’s feet and laugh lines may be natural and some even tolerable but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of botox.

Get up and move. I don’t care what you do as long as you are moving. I sit on my ass all day working and my ass looks like it. It’s not being 40 that made metabolism take early retirement; it’s sitting on my ass doing nothing physical. My metabolism gave up on me. The good news is that going from sitting on your ass to any movement at all is going to be an improvement.

Get your sleep. You know people say, “I can sleep when I am dead. YOLO!” Well, as a grown woman who has terrible insomnia and a predilection for mania, I can tell you that sleep is way more valuable to your happiness than your YOLO attitude. Not saying not to live outloud but you can be a lot more lively and vivacious if you get at least 7 hours of sleep, plus you will feel better and people will like to be around you. YOLO is for 21 year olds who haven’t lived life yet. They are too stupid to know what they are saying is complete bullshit. Now, go take a fucking nap.

Wiggle it just a little bit…or a lot. Have sex with your husband, as much as you like. Look, I hear that menopause brings with it some vaginal dryness so girl, you better go get your groove on before you have to buy stock in KY lubricants just to do the deed. Besides, I don’t know about you but if I go more than a week without sex, I get grouchy. Seriously, like I want to punch people in the face grouchy. Have fun. It’s not so serious. This man loves you. Sex and giggling go together perfectly, as long as you’re not doing it anywhere near his penis. That’s grounds for divorce.

All things in moderation. Eat healthy and be happy. Look, I have been slowly but surely eating myself into not just obesity but unhealthiness. I have fallen into the terrible habit of eating processed shit and sugar and not near enough fruits and veggies. That’s all changing. I feel miserable and look terrible by my own standards. So, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I am going to try to supplement my daily food intake with some juicing. Thanks Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead for scaring the shit out of me.  Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on how all this goes. Just remember, turning 40 is not turning dead. You’ve got this. You are fucking awesome. Now, go show those damn 30 year olds what a real woman looks like:) Never you mind her pregnancy glow.

Shit, is this my midlife crisis? When do I get my sports car and start flirting with 25 year olds? Who am I kidding? A 25-year-old has nothing on the Big Guy.

What’s your best advice to anyone turning 40?

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Today, I am turning 40. The Big O! I’m not 100% where I stand on the entire situation but I do know three things 1) I’m in a much better place than when I turned 30 and had a complete meltdown assessing all the things in life that I had not yet accomplished 2) I am completely content with who I am now. I am still striving to reach my goals and make my dreams come true but them coming true is only the icing on the cake. There is no longer that aching unfulfilled space in my heart. I am living my dreams and surrounded by love. 3) I wanted advice from a close friend who had gone before me into her 40’s. I am lucky enough to be blessed to be friends with one of my favorite people on the Internet and she agreed to give me a little sisterly advice about turning 40.

So, while I am off getting my driver’s license renewed (crossing my eyes in my old age that I can still pass the eye exam) and celebrating the anniversary of my 40th year on this earth, my great friend, Jessica Gottlieb has written me a little advice and I think it is great advice for any woman who is headed towards this milestone birthday.

Thank you Jessica! I’ve told you before, and I am sure I will again, your friendship and mentorship has meant so much to me over these past few years. You are one of the most genuinely real people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.You are like the sassy, feisty, foul-mouthed hooligan big sister that I always wished I’d had. Love you, Lady!




You’re turning 40 in like… well now. It’s weird that when we think about age and women we all too often think about opportunities that are behind us. Most forty-year-old women are done with their childbearing years, most women are done with their educations and many are happily partnered. I guess I thought that my 40’s wouldn’t be dynamic and interesting and full of change.

That’s what I get for thinking.

You’re a woman who knows herself, you take no shit and you take no prisoners. I’ve watched you be passionate and kind to the women around you. You understand womankind and why we need each other.

Moving into this next chapter, and delineating our lives into arbitrary chapters by decade is ridiculous but who am I to fight the tide, I look forward to watching you raise your girls. You’ll enter puberty and teenage years with them. I know you think that those treks belong to the kids, but they don’t, that particular trip is one the whole family takes. I look forward to watching you explore our relationships with each other and I can’t wait to watch you teach your girls to be above the fray though I suspect that you’ll also teach them to have a good right hook. Everyone should have that.

I hope for you that your 40’s bring freedom. I hope for you (and for every woman that I care about) that you run around naked and love your body for having taken you this far. I hope you nurture it with great food, exercise and rest. Yes, I said rest. Put your feet up and rest every so often, rather than feeling like it’s an indulgence. Understand that caring for yourself is a necessary part of being good to your family (ridiculous that we need permission to be selfish).

Social media has helped connect so many of us women who opted to stay home and raise our kids. Although we love being home with our kids who knew it was going to be so dull, the days would be so long and why on earth are there so many bodily fluids involved? What social media hasn’t permitted us to do is rest.

My gift to you this year is to challenge you to take a digital sabbath. Take one day a week and leave the phone home and turned off. Don’t go to the computer at all. It can wait. You don’t have to be a slave to social media, social media should be a slave to you.

I wish you continued health and wealth in this decade as well as love and joy.



Thanks for the great advice Jessica. I plan to listen to every bit of it. In fact, I’m putting my feet up right now and plan on enjoying life and not rushing through it for the next 40 years. LOL Well, that is my intention. I plan to enjoy the journey.

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