On turning 40

I have been thinking a lot about turning 40 and what it means, but the truth is that it kind of crept up on me in the end.

I used to think that age really is just a number, that how you feel defines your age, but now I’m not so sure. The thought of turning 40 didn’t scare me. In fact, I think being 40 gives me permission to be more authentic, more real. More honest.

More free as my friend Carmen says.

To explain how turning 40 feels its probably easier to explain it in relation to 30.

Except for the really obvious stuff like not having children at 30 and a completely different job, my life has changed significantly over the last 10 years.

My marriage is stronger than ever before. And not in the ‘comfortable worn shoe’ way, in the ‘you still take my breath away by your awesomeness’ kind of way.

I am a lot more patient and forgiving (see also: parenting).

My capacity to tolerate BS and falseness has diminished significantly. Really, life is too short.

There is just no way to explain how my capacity to love has grown. It often catches me unaware, the force of love literally punches me in the gut when looking at this family that Etienne and I made, these incredibly special little people in our life.

The friends in my life are amazing, you know who you are, I am so extremely lucky to have you. Some friendships were shed the last 10 yrs that were toxic or simply faded. It’s been so hard to let go of one friendship particularly, but I think I’m there now.

I don’t feel old, I feel mature. Calmer. Happier. (You should probably interpret ‘mature’ as ‘less churlish and childish’)

I gossip less, possibly because I’m just too busy.

Appearance matters less, what lies below is much more important.

My friend Lori also taught me recently that sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. That was a biggy for me, and strangely liberating.

The undue pressure (Wife, Mom, Blogger, Worker) we place ourselves under that I am very guilty of, I’m working on letting that go. Not entirely, but less stress, more fun.

I look forward to getting older, I plan on making it completely fabulous!

How do you feel about getting older?

Ps. I started writing this post on the 31st of December whilst waiting for hours for Mignon to pee in a cup at the Vredenburg hospital emergency room and have been battling it since then, but I really don’t care that its late. So there.

16 thoughts on “On turning 40”

  1. I believe the next decade is yours. The one where people settle into themselves, and become free. This relaxed, happy you, is wonderful to read, and I miss you so much. I’m very very proud to call you a friend. Especially after a post like this xx

  2. This is a lovely post, even more impressive given the circumstances under which it was written 😉
    I love the place that you have found yourself at the start of a new decade. I turned 40 last year and some of this rings true for me (marriage, children); other parts I am still working on largely because we keep bloody moving!
    Happy 40th Year,
    Michelle (mamabook)

    1. I wish we could sit down and have a coffee one day, would love to hear your whole life story 🙂
      Where are you moving to next?

  3. So happy for you that you are reaching your “peace” in your 40th year. I will be 55 this year with a 13 year old! Now that still deserves an eeeekkk I think! I must say that my tolerance for BS and any type of injustice has also diminished with the years and my need for a partner with it. I am very pleased with the state of affairs that is my life at the moment and trust that you will enjoy your 40th year as much and as fully as YOU want to. xx hugs xx

  4. I love love love your approach to it … I’m also 40 and I’m going bold this year! For me!

    I recon lean into it … Enjoy every second!

    Great post!

    Warm regards

  5. Congratulations! This post is so full of joy and wisdom and grace. Welcome to the fabulous forties!

  6. Well said!! and welcome to the 40’s!!! it is an awesome age to be, I’m just getting used to it myself. we will be fabulous and grow old gracefully

  7. So agree on the less tolerance for BS.
    40 didn’t scare me as much as 50 seems to be worrying me!
    Congrats on finding the ‘love’ for 40

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