ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Celebrating Getting Older

Updated on August 29, 2011

Be Right Where You Are.

Turning 40 can be a sensitive time for a lot of people, and whether you‘re a man or a woman, getting older tends to make you stop and take stock. If your partner, friend or family member is getting ready to hit the big 4-0, putting a little extra thought into celebrating this special day is worth the effort. Whether you buy in to the whole idea of bench marks or not, they're all around us. That math genius that finished college at twelve, or all those fresh faced dot com geniuses that have retired before they can legally run for president seem to announce a world of the young. But age brings something that youth will never have; you’re wiser, saltier, more settled and you know what you know. So this year, think about throwing a real grown-up get together that’s less about numbers and more about celebrating being right where you are.

Now, forty may not be a significant age for some people, for some it could be thirty or fifty. But, you're never too young or too old to do a little reflecting. So whatever number seems to chime the bell for you, don't turn your back on it. Face it, and get some work done.

It's perfectly acceptable to have a birthday dinner at a local restaurant, where the invitees will be asked to pay for their own meals. Make your birthday get-together more about the idea of a free meal and more along the lines of bringing together a small group for a more low-key, grown up celebration. It's also the perfect time to take a look at the people around you and ask yourself what you've learned from them and vice-versa. If we're to believe the Course In Miracles concept of all relationships being assignments, it could be refreshing to see the different phases of your life reflected by the people you've manifested to help you through them. Stop and ask yourself "who was I when I met John?", "what was I going through when I became friends with Mary?" Your lessons are right there in front of you, so gather your textbooks together and do a little reviewing.

A person entering their forties is probably conscious of what they like and what they don't like. Chances are they have just about everything they want, so turn to the little things to make the day special. When choosing a gift, zero in on their passions and stay away from those gifts that speak to their assumed roles in life. Getting older, consciously, means gradually letting go of those roles that we think define us. Father, dentist, teacher, or even "spiritual" can be titles that can make us adapt to an outside image of those things. A collector might love a valuable piece to add to their collection, a traveler would appreciate paid classes of a foreign language course. If you're familiar with their personal space at home, think about a piece of art that would liven up the walls. Preparing a favorite meal for a sit-down dinner with their closest friends could be the hit of the night. So, think about giving gifts that feed the soul, and help them celebrate who they really are.

When planning the activities for your celebration, think about honoring the center of attention by having everyone recall a moment when they have been affected by the birthday girl or guy. Take turns sharing stories that illustrate how you learned something from each other and how that has brought you to this place and time. It may sound a little like a memorial service, but we can't always assume that people know how we feel, so say it. It may even clear up a few misconceptions. Even if the revelations aren't always saccharine, there's a reason that Thoreau said "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth", it may sting a little, but it's good stuff.

Okay, so there are no ballons, "no pin the tail on the donkey" and no party hats (unless you want them of course), but what you do have is a group of folks who have taken off the masks for an evening of some good old fashioned soul-to-soul. And when it comes down to it, with every year that passes, that's what feeds us. What I choose to celebrate is changing, and knowing exactly where and who I am is more important than ever. While I'm far from being "enlightened", I'm a little closer to knowing what's what, and getting older is one thing that I welcome with open arms, and a lot of celebrating.

Hey! Lighten Up!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great! Taking stock is a wonderful way to lighten the load and do a little house cleaning. Travel light my friend . . .

    • instantlyfamily profile image


      7 years ago

      You give great advise. I just turned the BIG 40 and it did make me take stock.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks Maralexa, I hope I can spread the good word about loving 'the skin you're in'

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Nice hub terryk99. and very good advice!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)