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How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

Updated on November 11, 2009

Gone are the days of dreading your fortieth birthday. Forget about black roses and silly slogans declaring your new status as over the hill. Today’s fortieth birthday party should be a celebration. You’ve made it this far and it will only get better, right? That’s the spirit! Now get out there and celebrate your fortieth birthday in style!

Do It Yourself

There is only one way to get the birthday celebration you want the way you want it. That’s to do it yourself. While it’s tempting to hope your friends or family will surprise you with a fabulous party that just happens to be everything you’ve been dreaming of, what if they don’t? Will you regret letting the milestone birthday pass without fanfare just because you were too bashful to throw your own bash? When it comes to something as important as turning forty (especially for a woman) you need to take matters into your own hands.

Make It All About You

Turning forty is the time to toot your own horn. It’s not about your friends or your kids or your well-meaning spouse or significant other. To have the best time, be supremely selfish. Take some time to fantasize about what your perfect party looks and feels like. Is it a quiet retreat in the mountains with your best girlfriends? A bicycle tour of the French countryside with your daughter? An all night party with a DJ spinning old school dance tunes? Whatever sounds like the most fun to you—no matter how outrageous or ridiculous—find a way to do it. You only turn forty once. (Well, you can fudge this a bit.)

Look Amazing

The way society looks at forty is changing. We have amazing Hollywood icons showing us that midlife is gorgeous and sexy. However, no matter what they say—forty is NOT the new twenty-five, or even thirty-five. It’s forty, and it’s harder than ever to maintain that youthful glow, to say nothing of taut thighs and bellies. This takes planning ahead. You can’t get into shape over night. That’s why I embrace the idea of making your fortieth year a year-long celebration—of yourself! Make forty the year you really commit to looking and feeling your best. Looking better ALWAYS comes out of feeling better so focus on that first. And then get thee to the gym, the pavement, the mat—wherever—so that at your party everyone says, you never looked better!

Photo Credit: Lela Davidson


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  • Mike's Corner profile image

    Mike's Corner 7 years ago from Maryland

    40 rocks -- nice hub!

  • Maria Cecilia profile image

    Maria Cecilia 7 years ago from Philippines

    some 40 years old dont look 40 at look younger..belated happy birthday

  • profile image

    Marikit Cruz 7 years ago

    You look great at 40!!!

  • Triplet Mom profile image

    Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

    Lela - Looks like you had a blast. I am trying to figure out my big 40th bash and you gave me some really good ideas. I like it being all about me!!

  • YourTouristGuide profile image

    YourTouristGuide 8 years ago from Valley of the Heart's Delight, California

    Great ideas, and it looks like you had a Happy Birthday! I prefer the word "self-full" instead of "selfish," but that's just semantics, of course. ;-)