I distinctly remember my father’s 40th birthday.
My mom invited the whole neighborhood to surprise him. They had a rocking chair set up in the backyard and they gave him a cane. They had all these maudlin, black over-the-hill balloons and gifts. He was officially old.
Almost 30 years later, I am turning 40 this weekend, and I definitely don’t feel old. In fact I feel better about myself than I have in years. I’ve lost a bunch of weight. I have several interesting jobs, and I will finally have all three kids in school next year. I feel like in my 40s I will be able to focus more on me, my career and my time with Michael.
I think having kids ages you more than just the passing of years. First off the obvious changes to your body ages you. Boobs that used to be perky are droopy after pregnancy whether you’re in your 20s or 30s. Tummies and butts that used to be tight are fleshy. Even your hair can change from having a baby.
Your priorities obviously change when you bring home your bundle of joy. You have to get serious. You can’t go out as much. You have to focus on someone other than yourself. All of these things age you.
Even though I don’t feel old, I am noticing 40 in a few new places:
My vision – I seriously cannot see up close any more with my glasses on. I have to take off my glasses to thread a needle or read small print.
Lines around my eyes and on my forehead – I am noticing a lot more lines around my eyes. I smile a lot so I’m not sure if they are smile lines or wrinkles. Either way it’s a little disturbing. (More cream, sunscreen and darker sunglasses!)
Freckle or age spot – I have a couple of dark spots on my “driving hand” as my mom calls it. (You know the hand you keep at 12 o’clock.) I’m going to call it a freckle but I guess I need to wear more sunscreen.
So what do you think: Do babies age you faster than the passing of years? Is 40 still considered old? Did you feel old at 40 or did you just feel like it was a new phase?