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!