Eyesight really is the first to go. Or is that memory? I can’t remember.
But my eyesight is going. I went 40 years with perfect vision then poof! I’m blind. I have to pull things so far away from my face to read, they might as well be in the other room. So, I recently got my first pair of reading glasses. I’m less excited now about looking smarter and instead sadder they’re not a fashion statement. I really need them.
It’s probably just a coincidence this happened right around my 40th birthday. But it’s sort of a double whammy of age creeping up for which I wasn’t at all prepared.
I certainly don’t feel 40. Well, most of the time I don’t. Partly because I had my kids late—at least late compared to my mom’s generation—so they’re still young. Which helps me feel young or much older depending on the day.
The day before my birthday, my husband said to me out of the blue, ‘Hey! How do you feel about this being the last day of your 30s?’ Well, thanks for that spectacular tact and timing! But then I realized I hadn’t actually thought about it much before he asked me.
We didn’t have any kind of big celebration planned so I was going about my life as usual and then BAM! Happy birthday! I’m old now—and I don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my brain around who I’m going to be now.
But I do know these truths about turning 40. I was going to do 40 things about turning 40—but then I got tired, which seems to happen more often now.
- Perfect vision doesn’t last forever… apparently it lasts just about 40 years.
- Everything hurts.
- Your hands look older and more wrinkled.
- You see your mother’s face in the mirror looking back at you.
- …And there is soo much gray.
- People call you “Ma’am.”
- You get angry when people call you ma’am.
- You get offended when you don’t get carded for liquor anymore.
- It’s a lot harder to keep excess weight off.
- You stop caring as much about keeping excess weight off.
- You start thinking of 30 somethings as “young whippersnappers.”
- You start using words like “whippersnapper.”
- You start dreaming of retirement.
- You pick out your single-bedroom condo by the beach for your retirement.
- You start stressing out about affording retirement. (Tip: Don’t wait until 40 to worry about this.)
- You’re only 10 years away from some senior citizen discounts!
- You know they don’t make movies like they used to, and when your kids are old enough you will make them watch the classics over and over and over again.
- You now have a mustache and hair in other weird places.
- You forget why you walked into a room.
- You forget what groceries you need.
- You forget your kids’ names.
- You forget—wait, what?
- You don’t have a clue who’s singing on the radio anymore.
- You can’t tell the Kardashians apart, and truthfully, you don’t care, either.
- You realize you probably will never be a Rockette…
- …Or a ninja warrior.
- But at least you give a lot fewer Fs about a lot of things, especially what other people think of you.
I think that last realization is my favorite. Maybe turning 40 isn’t so bad, after all.