About to hit 40 Years Old....How should I feel at 40?

On the 4th of December 2009 I shall finally reach my 40th Birthday, and I can't help wondering how this is meant to make me feel. All my life I have heard talk of how much women dread reaching the big bad four zero, how they get depressed, cry a lot and begin to lie about their age. So why do I not really feel any different about turning forty than I did turning thirty nine?

 

I have always held the belief that women are more unlucky than men in terms of the fact that men tend to still be very desirable as they grow older, possibly because by then they have achieved such goals as senior promotions, success, their own home and power (a great aphrodisiac by the way). Many older actors are still huge sex symbols such as Sean Connery, George Clooney and Robert Redford, and even in normal day to day life you see older men who can definitely still pull the girls with the greatest of ease (even if they have developed a bit of a potbelly as the years have taken their toll). The standards appear to be quite unfair, e.g.

For a woman "She has wrinkles", for a man "He has character in his face".

For a woman "You can see she's had children", for a man "Clearly he's fertile".

For a woman "Yuck, she's grown a mustache", for a man "Sexy, a mustache suits his mature look".

For a women who dresses up to go out "She's mutton dressed as lamb", for a man "He looks so suave and sophisticated!"

For a woman "My God, her hair is falling out", for a man "Bald men are so virile".

For a woman "She's going grey", for a man, "Those grey streaks are so sexy".

Do you see where I am coming from?

Should I now expect to go through some female version of a midlife crisis? Will I find myself compelled to go out and buy a new sports car or a motorbike? Perhaps I will find myself a sexy 24 year old male and have a passionate affair with him, or will I simply decide to take up skydiving as a hobby? All of these are classic symptoms apparently, yet right now I don't feel any fear or dread of the event itself, I haven't noticed any signs of hot flushes or a sudden desire to rush off and have a face lift or a boob job, in fact I feel nothing at all, as if it is simply just another Birthday. I have come up with a checklist that so far I pass on all counts, (although in fairness, some of them can't apply to me such as the ones based on children as I don't have any). If I said yes to any of these I would have to suspect a midlife crisis was definitely on the cards, can you say the same about yourselves???

1) Have you had the urge to drink an alcopop in public?

2) Do you feel a sudden necessity to lose weight?

3) Have you recently joined a gym?

4) Have you been tempted to have an affair with a younger man?

5) Do 'G' String knickers, stockings and suspenders suddenly look far more wearable?

6) Are you now offended if you don't get a wolf whistle as you walk past a building site?

7) Have you suddenly realised that whereas you used to be attracted to older men, suddenly the ones you find attractive are far younger than you? (actually I am guilty of this one).

8) Have you contemplated going to a nightclub with your younger friends?

9) Have you found yourself considering taking up a potentially dangerous sport, e.g. Skydiving, abseiling, mountain climbing or motor racing?

10) Have you found yourself copying teenager's expressions such as "cool!", "result!" or "sweet!"?

11) Have you decided that you want another baby now that your own children have grown up?

12) Does cosmetic surgery now seem quite appealing for parts of your body?

So how am I meant to feel as the big 40 looms on the horizon, and how will I feel immediately after the day has arrived? Does it feel different, will I struggle to come to terms with life's clock ticking and my eventual demise suddenly appearing to be getting much closer? I don't think so! I may regret many things that have happened in my past and decisions that I made, but I still think I look pretty okay for my age, my boobs don't sag around my waist somewhere, I still have fair hair with no obvious grey, my figure is a slim UK size 8, and I am not in any hurry to look at cosmetic surgery as an option (if ever), plus, as yet I still haven't grown a mustache or any unwelcome facial hair. Would I feel the same way if my Husband went through a midlife crisis and had an affair with a 24 year old, maybe, but somehow I doubt very much he would do this as he is one of the choices I made that I don't regret!

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Comments 69 comments

andromida profile image

andromida 7 years ago

excellent hub. you have brought out some obvious points of aging-specially for women.I think aging is absolutely natural and its a path we all need to walk through it at some particular time of our life. Until, men change their point of view on aging of women, the situation would remain almost the same.Nonetheless, I believe all the men do not think the same way.


rvsource profile image

rvsource 7 years ago

Cindy

I turned 40 eight years ago! My birthday was last Wednesday. I know it's scary but part of life and we all go throw it. Don't worry and embrace life!

Jeff


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

I wrote a hub on Nov 14 and talked about getting older, but I am in a different club, the 50's, the half century mark, and it takes some getting used to. :) Its funny but when I turned 40, I didn't feel old at all, I actually felt better physically in my 40's than I did in my 30's, I used to get a litle dizzy while in my 30's and never found out why, and it went away when I entered my 40's. You are still young, and look great, so enjoy the 40's! And Happy Birthday!


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

Age is just a number. I turned thirty last month and to be honest I feel the same as when I was 20. Sadly people mistaken me for a younger person all of the time. Everyone is always surprised to see me with 3 kids at my side. Your profile picture looks beautiful. So you shouldn't worry anymore about it. Great Hub about pointing out all of the double standards. Have a happy birthday.


Jaspal profile image

Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

Great hub! Wishing you a very happy birthday! You look wonderful .... If you change your mind and decide to have an affair with someone in his mid fifties, just give a yell!! :)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

We definitely have a disadvantage over men in aging as well as everything else. Next time I will make sure I will be a man. Happy birthday. Your as old as you feel.


one2get2no profile image

one2get2no 7 years ago from Olney

Well for one thing you don't look 40 more like 30 so that's a good start. I can't remember that far back I remember my wife of that time gave me a surprise party. Although I am coming up to my 60th I still feel 40 and some people even think I look 40 which is nice. How should you feel? Feel young and you will stay young. Happy Birthday!!!!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Andromida, glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for your feedback. You make some very good points.

Hi Jeff, Thanks for popping by and commenting. I am not scared at all right now, mind you the day hasn't quite arrived yet. Perhaps I will feel worse once 50 is looming ;)

Hi Violet, thanks for commenting, you don't look in your 50's you know. I hope like you I feel better in my 40's than I have done in my 30's too, (I have had various health type problems). Thanks for the Birthday wishes too :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Jim, you do look younger than that I agree, but I am sure this will be a big plus point in later life. Thanks for the sweet compliment on my profile picture too :D

LOL Jaspal, thanks for the compliment and the errrr "offer". I shall keep it in mind, (always did like older men)

Hi Hello Hello, We certainly do have a fair few disadvantages over men in the getting older stakes, mind you, I suppose we do tend to live longer than they do;) Thanks for the Birthday wishes as well as for commenting :)

Hi one2get2no, thanks for the lovely compliment. I think my Hubby has some kind of a party planned too, but it isn't a surprise party as such, just the exact details are a bit cloak and dagger.

It is true that if you feel young you will stay young, good point :)


ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

Well, if you have always been active with 22 yr experience after 18, you should be OK. nothing physical was felt until 43 to 44 for me. It could probably be more to do with traveling as well, but eat healthy and stay fit and you should be OK.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Ocbill, would love to say I have been active all of those years, but much of it has been spent sitting in front of a computer or in the pub which isn't really too active. Certainly I am notice a good few more aches, clicks and clunks coming from my body thesedays. Still, getting outdoors growing my vegetables in the Summer is pretty active stuff and it is in the fresh air at least. Thanks for the good advice :)


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

At 53, I can say with confidence that my 40's were absolutely THE BEST years of my life, mistyhorizon.

Another thing, my husband's birthday is also 12/4/69-a blessed day, indeed.

Congratulations!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Lorlie, that does make me feel better, although I wasn't panicking just yet :). Please wish your Hubby a Happy Birthday for the 4th also :)


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

I'm over fifty and can still squeeze into the old size 8's, sometimes. The size tens are more comfortable, though, and I opt for comfort, now.

Just be you and let the rest go. It matters not at all what anyone else thinks or what is publicly "normal". You're fine, you feel good, you look good, and you're enjoying your life. 40 means nothing at all.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Paradise. I have to confess that for the last couple of years I have tended to opt for more comfortable clothing rather than the glamorous stuff, e.g. I will wear jeans more often and not always go out in high heels. My clothes size is still the same though :)


paintdec profile image

paintdec 7 years ago

your still a puppy, and i bet when you reach 50, you still won't feel any different.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL paintdec, I sure hope you are right :)


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I was thinking about the question you posed in your hub and think that a lot of us view aging as going up a big hill and at age 40 starting to roll back down again. I think life is more like an exciting mountain climb with an amazing prize at the end. I'm looking forward to my mid-40s because my toddlers will be old enough to watch after themselves to a point and my husband and I will be able to go on a 25th wedding anniversary. Life is strange. :) Love your writing.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Wannabwestern, that is a good positive way to look at life. :)


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

We are both over 50. Pat had a big party for her 50th birthday. That was mostly because she was scared - sort of like whistling in the dark.

Anyway, it hasn't felt as bad as we thought.

Both of us has had to make more effort to keep down to a size 10 (UK). Both of us go to the hairdresser more often.

Generally though we feel happier and more confident than we did when younger.

Enjoy your age.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks 2patricias, it is nice to know that even being in your 50's you are enjoying life and isn't as bad as you thought it would be. Perhaps my not being too worried about hitting 40 is not so unusual after all :)


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Awesome hub that I can totally relate to because in a few months I will be turning 40. I don't feel 40 nor do I know what it is supposed to feel like. I have you have a wonderful birthday! Congratulations on reaching this milestone!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Triplet Mom, nice to know I am not alone, and I certainly don't feel like 40 either, (still 21 in my mind).


SirDent 7 years ago

How did you feel last week? I turned 50 recently and there isn't any change in how I feel. JUST AS TIRED AS BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

My son's birthday is also December 4th


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Congratulations SirDent, and I know what you mean about the "feeling tired" bit. Hope your son has a wonderful birthday too :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

As long as all the parts work like they're supposed to, or even close to how they're supposed to, who gives a crap how old you are. You're the only one has to live in that skin anyway. (Happy Birthday a week or so in advance).


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, great comment Shades, and so far all of my bits are still just about functional! Thanks for the Birthday wishes :)


logic,commonsense 7 years ago

If I am not here on 12-4, best wishes for a very Happy Birthday. I'm guessing someone will make it a memorable day for you. As far as the number goes, it is only a number, and its effects are only what you let them be. With your great sense of humor, I seriously doubt it will have much affect on you. BTW, you look great for a 30 year old let alone 40!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Awwww, cheers Logic, you are always guaranteed to bring a smile to my face, and flattery will get you everywhere ;)


logic,commonsense 7 years ago

It is not flattery if it is true!

A smile is the best present I can give and receive!

You have given lots of them to me as well as outright laughs!

Thank you for your special personality!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Now I'm blushing Logic, I hope I can at least continue to bring you laughs in return for your lovely words :)


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

40 was the only age that really ticked me off. I am not sure why, could be perhaps the half way mark. The downhill side to dead. Now I am older and wiser, age is just a number. We are not here to stay just passing through. A wise friend once told me that " 40 isn't old if you're a tree." That got me over the fact that I had just turned 40 which was 11 years ago.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Great hub, but you need to enjoy life age is just a set of numbers. When thirty you think 50 is old when you get to nearly 70 (me) then 90 is old. Its just how you feel about life.

Every new day is a real bonus. So wake up take a deep breath of fresh air every morning and enjoy life and being alive. cheers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Eileen, this is good advice. I have to say now I have actually reached 40 I feel no different and it hasn't really changed my life at all so it really was "Just a number" like you say.


FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 6 years ago

How funny ! Great Hub ! Age is just a number probably more important paying attention to how old you "feel" not look !


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi FirstStepsFitness, yep, you are certainly only as old as you feel, although the way my limbs seem to be aching since my gardening this year I must therefore be about 95 LOL. No actually I do feel mentally about 25, but then I look in the mirror and notice lines on my face that are not marks on the mirror no matter how hard I try to rub them off the surface. Guess I had better just make the most of my life and enjoy it. :)


Mark Applegate profile image

Mark Applegate 5 years ago from Tornado Alley Missouri

I just turned 40... Parts of your piece whacked me like a Louisville Slugger! Nice hub!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL Mark. I am now approaching 42, but wrote this when I was approaching 40. You get used to being in your 40's pretty quick, so don't worry about it :)


henrygogoals profile image

henrygogoals 5 years ago from Singapare

I like "I'm NOT 40; I'm 18 with 22 years experience."


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL henrygogoals, very true :)


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

If that's a pic of you, why would you even think about it? H


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL Harvey, the picture at the top of this hub is not me (I so wish). My profile picture however is me, but about 5 years ago, so I guess I probably don't look quite as good now.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

Misty, You look fine. H


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, thanks Harvey, that is really sweet of you to say :)


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

misty, Just think of me as a lump of sugar. Better yet honey, honey never goes bad. H


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL Harvey 'Honey' :)


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

misty, 40 is nothing, look at me at 62. That pic is only weeks old. Just stay healthy.

Be Well Darlin',

H


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Will do, you too :) You look just great by the way!


miz.b 5 years ago

im scared out my mind.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL miz.b, it really is okay so don't worry :)


kimmyfromtheblock 5 years ago

30 was bad enough. 35 worse and I don't know how i will handle 40. I feel as though life is over now..


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi kimmyfromtheblock, honestly don't worry about it. You don't look any different, you don't feel any different, and everyone keeps saying 50 is the new 40, so I guess that makes 40 the new 30. Life is far from over at 40, especially as they also reckon it won't be long before people are living to 150, so forty will only be just over 25% of our lifespan.


Carlos M 4 years ago

Just reading this blog. I'm a male and have been losing sleep because my 40th is approaching. I know it's all mental but for some reason "downhill" comes to mind. I'm successful, have money, and a beautiful wife so it isn't about where I am in life. I guess it's more about mortality. I'm sure Ill shake it off. Good read. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Relax Carlos, men are luckier than women as they are considered sexier by most women as they get older. Maturity and a well developed adult male body is extremely attractive to a woman, and even a hint of grey hair can be very alluring. You only have to look at the huge following for actors like Sean Connery and George Clooney to see age for men is far less of an issue.

40 is nothing in terms of age really, especially as people are living to far older ages thesedays, and 40 is unlikely to even be middle age for most of us.

My Husband is 44, and he is still a big kid, goes out, gets inebriated, has fits of laughter, mucks about like a big kid, has mates in all age groups, (both younger and older than him), and generally never complains about his age. I guess you are only as old as you feel!!


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

I think that a woman who is as intelligent as you are is very sexy. Some women are more enticing (like a fine wine) as they get older.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, well I hope you are right Cleaner3, as I am now a couple of years older :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

what a woman. from what I have read you seem to have a wonderful life.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi cleaner3, my life is good these days, but if you keep reading some of my other hubs you will see it has not always been this way. I am fortunate to live in a very beautiful part of the world in a very safe place with a loving Husband nowadays. Fortunately I have my health and that also counts for a lot.

Thanks for your comments :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

So misty, where exactly is Guernsey, is it an island off the coast of the U.K.?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi cleaner3, Guernsey is near France, and although British it is not part of the UK (we are self governing). I have written various hubs about Guernsey if you want to see more pics and find out more info on it.


catherine2255 profile image

catherine2255 4 years ago from Wales

My twenties felt like a very long time, as soon as I hit 30 time seems to fly, 2 years have gone very very quickly! I'm not worried about turning 40 though, I think you are as old as you feel.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Will definitly check it out. So are you french or brit, or Guernsey. whichever it is you are all woman.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL Catherine, yes time does seem to speed up as you get older I agree :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

A complicated question to answer cleaner3. We are both British and Guernsey, yet although few people alive still speak it, there is a native patois (a form of Guernsey French) that exists still. The Royal family still are our Royal family, and we are a crown dependency, so the UK mainland will protect us if we are invaded or attacked (a bit like the Falkland Islands I guess).


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Hi, Cindy

I hit the milestone about eight months before you! :)

You definitely make a lot of valid points in this Hub. I've realised some of them before but you've got me thinking with some new ones. I hope you have long since ironed out your doubts and come to terms with what is essentially just a number.

For me, my ex instigated our "trial separation" just before my birthday and when all I got was a text about a week later to wish me Happy Birthday, I think that's when I truly knew the finality of the situation. That put the whole issue to one side for me, so I never really thought about my age or getting older.

These days, I'm banking on life beginning at 50 and working towards that goal! :)


n i help it 4 years ago

turning forty four makes me feel more pretty and sexy and the only thing that bother me at work the younger generation treats you like old women how can i help it out


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL 'n i help', I know what you mean. I am about to turn 43 now (I wrote this article nearly three years ago now). I play for a local 8 Ball Pool team over here where I am the only female. The other week we played an away game and one of the guys from the pub we were in asked one of our younger players if I was his Mum!! I was not sure whether to laugh or cry, (I still only feel 21).


steve 3 years ago

Ill give a mans perspective. I'm 41 now, and I've noticed I tend to be attracted to women my own age give or take 5 years. 20 year old girls are like looking at little kids now. I asked some friends(we are not PC etc, and all married to women close to 40) and they said the same thing. So its not just me.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Interesting Steve, especially as I have not long turned 43 and tend to be finding the men really attractive to me now are a mixture of the more mature older successful guys who are still attractive, and the sexy young guys in their mid twenties to late thirties who have the toned muscular physique that some older men tend to allow to deteriorate due to lack of exercise, a healthy diet etc. I guess the older guys I am more attracted to for their mind and their experience of life, and the younger guys are attractive because of their sexiness and youthful vibrancy.

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