This is 43 going on 44


Last night I saw This Is 40. It is now, officially, my favorite movie. As a woman who is hobbling (sometimes literally) her way through her 40′s, I could relate to so much of that movie.

I dreaded turning 40. I started obsessing about it when I turned 37. 40 was always old to me. I know that being in my 40′s, I’m considered young by older people and old by the younger set. It’s smack dab in the middle, 40′s.

Middle age.

Once you hit 40, you’re standing on the precipice and you’re looking straight down into your grave.

Earlier on, I considered lying about my age because the thought of waitresses calling me “dear” or “honey” the way they do to their older customers…it terrified me.

39 came. I was standing in a restroom, washing my hands and applying lipstick. A younger girl was standing next to me and we got into a little conversation. This happens a lot to me, people like to confess things to me in restrooms. No clue why.

Anyways, this girl was turning 25 or 26 and she was freaking out because 30 was fast approaching. I laughed gently. 30 never scared me. 30 is young. 30 is still vibrant, taut, firm and wrinkle free.

I told her that I was moments away from turning 40 and that was horrifying to me. She looked at me with shock. I might have raised one eyebrow in question, had I known how to raise one eyebrow. But, she read the questioning body language and went on to tell me that she prays that she looks as good as I do when she is about to turn 40.

She made 40 a little less scary for me. So, nameless young lady who by now has turned 30…thank you.

I have a few years of being in my 40′s under my belt now. I’m just starting to get used to it.

I’ll admit that 50 scares me far worse than 40. And 60…oy. My mom died at 68. Young by todays standards despite thinking of 40 as being old.

I used to measure my age by whether or not I was still young enough to have babies. In today’s world, I am. Not that I would but, I could. Women my age are doing it. I’m perfectly happy with the fact that I’m beyond the baby stage…by 9 years now.

Life is getting easier and yet, more complicated.

40′s brought with it an age identity crisis of sorts. While my body insists it’s not young anymore, my mind begs to differ. It’s a push and pull of internal epic proportions.

The one defining factor of 40′s for me, though, is a sense of confidence in who I am. Something I never experienced before.

I know who I am and I really like myself. I do. In a so NOT arrogant way.

I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. This is me, take me or leave me. I don’t need to be the center of attention out of insecurity. I don’t need to know that everyone likes me. It’s OK. If you do, great. If not, great too.

I’m finally able to voice my opinion unapologetically. Unless I hurt someones feelings, I’m still very sensitive to that because I don’t ever want to intentionally hurt anyone…unless they cross me or my family.

My 40′s, my middle age, hasn’t gotten rid of the me I used to be. It’s just redefined who I am.

I think it’s made me a better me.

I’m still a giddy teenager but I am able to be a giddy teenager with more confidence. Because, when I was a teenage giddy teenager, I lacked the backbone…the nerve…to back it up.

My friendships have become deeper and truer. I’ve learned how to be a friend and I know what I expect friendship to look like.

Being in my 40′s…I’ve learned to have realistic expectations. I can still fantasize…dream…but I’ll never be a princess living happily ever after with my prince. Or, in my case, John Taylor. In real life, I’m living my happily ever after. I love my life, minus the money problems.

I’ve also learned to never say never. Because you just never know. And I’m not referring to John Taylor, I’m saying life in general. Curve balls, fast balls…whatever other kind of balls the whole baseball metaphor throws…sometimes you actually, shockingly, catch them. It’s good.

The whole mortality realization hit hard though. Death scares me and I suppose that is natural. But, as I move further into my 40′s, health related issues do scare me more. Instead of thinking flu or virus, I think cancer and heart disease. I worry about who will take care of my children if I die young. It’s nuts, I know. But it’s real life, people die young these days.

40′s brought more chiskars and strangely long eyebrows. It has colored my hair 100% grey which I pay to fight. It’s made bubbie underarms. I’d need a girl-bit double if I were ever to be in a porno…which I wouldn’t but I’m just saying.

40′s made me more comfortable sexually, despite a tiny drop in my sex drive.

Perimenopause is a word bleeping like crazy on my radar now. As is irregular ovulation and birth control…because of the irregular ovulation. And GOD FORBID I ever hear the word pregnancy and my name in the same sentence.

My skin isn’t as taught. Fine lines have formed around my eyes and mouth, deepening when I smile.

Things are falling down, things that were never very high to begin with but now adding to the list are areas like my chin, jowls and eyelids…all starting to look tired. Well, because they are.

I have to work harder at things that used to come easy to me, like holding my pee and being limber.

But. I am in my 40′s.

This is what 43 going on 44 looks like, inside and out.

I am unapologetically me…unless, of course, I need to apologize…

For me, at least.

And, I think I’m finally OK with it, not that I have much of a choice.

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20 Responses to “This is 43 going on 44”

  1. Love this SO much, because I relate to it like nothing else I have read lately. I’m smack dab in the middle of 42 and just starting to feel those things – the confidence, mostly, REAL confidence; not just knowing how to fake it. I love it. And also, I’m going to watch that movie tonight :)
    Jen @ BigBinder´s last [type] ..The Dog Of A Lifetime

  2. Jeanette
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh how I love how you blog!
    I can so relate to this, and I’m “only” 40 :)
    Jeanette´s last [type] ..Books and bed 209/365

  3. Christina S.
    Twitter:
    says:

    Don’t you know? 44 is totally hot!
    Christina S.´s last [type] ..Bio Classroom this Week: Barack Obama and Cleopatra

  4. Liz says:

    Good post. That was a great movie, as well. :)

    I’m 26 as of last weekend, and 30 is starting to creep up … to me that does seem like a milestone, but I’m sure when I’m 40 I will laugh at myself thinking that. lol.
    Liz´s last [type] ..Broken City

  5. Louise says:

    i’ve watched this is 40 with my husband. we heavily laughed. our favorite line was from the younger child “i can handle nightmares. coz you’re an everyday nightmare for me.” lol

  6. Naomi
    Twitter:
    says:

    I may be 42 but I still feel about the same as I did when I was 17. True, I don’t look like I did back then but I have a pragmatism that I didn’t back then, when I thought that I was horribly fat and wore a size 3/4. I’m much more comfortable in my skin and arguably stronger and more aware of my body. So there’s that.

    John Taylor still looks pretty good, by the way.
    Naomi´s last [type] ..Stoned Soul Kittens

  7. Shana Dieli
    Twitter:
    says:

    I want to be like you when I grow up. I dreaded turning 29 more then I did 30. Now that I am 30 I don’t remember exactly why I felt like that but now I have 40 to look forward to dreading LOL
    Shana Dieli´s last [type] ..How to back up your blog on Blogger

  8. Lance says:

    I dreaded 40. I put my family through hell and more during those months leading up to it in 2010. I’m 42, now. Most of my family lives to early 80s, so, yeah, I’m middle-aged. It’s harder to lose the pounds. I hurt in places all the time after trips to the gym. There bouts of losing energy and sluggishness but I’m still enduring.

    I haven’t seen that movie but it’s nice that our age group is represented in a realistic fashion.

    I think we’re pretty awesome for middle-age people. we certainly write better at this age. good post
    Lance´s last [type] ..Megalomaniac

  9. Dresden
    Twitter:
    says:

    You are the first person I know that dug this movie.
    ;-)

    I am quickly approaching 40 and I thank all of the amazing women that are doing it first and blazing the trail and illuminating just how kick ass it can be.
    Dresden´s last [type] ..His first hypothesis

  10. Beth says:

    I’m going to be 38 and I’m FREAKING about 40. I’ll try to remember your advice… LOL

  11. I’m in my early 30′s and 40 doesn’t seem like a big deal yet… most days I still feel like a teenager and I have to remind myself that I’m actually 30 something. I keep wondering when this feeling will end, hopefully never. Young at Heart!
    Jessica @Bkeepsushonest´s last [type] ..Whole30 – Day 24

  12. I hate to be the voice of dissent, but I LOVED the first 1.5 hours…and not so much after that. What on earth happened to that John Lennon drawing?!?
    Jenn @therebelchick´s last [type] ..International Delight Light Iced Coffee Twitter Party RSVP #LightIcedCoffee #cbias

  13. I love this and can totally relate!
    Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy´s last [type] ..Seizing the Day at the Triathlon #CapriSun #SeizeTheDay

  14. I keep reading about 40-something birthdays and I have to admit, you have me looking forward to it! (well, minus the chiskars)
    Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things)´s last [type] ..Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

  15. Rajean
    Twitter:
    says:

    Know what I wish? That we could go see that movie together. Damn states that separate us. I had my son at 43. OH YES. I’m 48 going on 49. OH MY. Lots to love about your post, esp: Chiskars and girl-bit double. ZOINK.

  16. Catherine
    Twitter:
    says:

    I turn 30 this year and I’m not bothered. When I think forward to 40 I’m not bothered either. I really appreciate what the years have done for my confidence, my knowledge, my body and my outlook and I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring my way too.
    Catherine´s last [type] ..In Celebration of National Peanut Butter Day

  17. I agree with the girl in the bathroom. I hope I look as good as you at 43 going on 44!
    Kelly {the Centsible Life}´s last [type] ..Barely There Review: Fabulous Foundations

  18. *standing ovation*

    This is a PHENOMENAL post. I really enjoyed it, Melissa. You are so beautiful, honest, and inspiring :)
    Annie @ Mama Dweeb´s last [type] ..Low Entries #Giveaway Linky ~ January 25th

  19. I could totally relate to this post. I turned 40 last summer and I”ve been dreading it since I was about… 28. LOL. It’s really not so bad, but I do look in the mirror sometimes and I can’t believe those fine lines are staring back at me. And the fat that starts to develop ABOVE your waistline? WHAT IS THAT!? LOL…. but the alternative ain’t so great (a neighbor died at 43 last summer – left 2 young kids) so I am trying to be thankful for every day that I am healthy and happy and forget about the number. I am looking forward to seeing that movie. I have heard mixed reviews, glad to hear that you liked it!
    Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife}´s last [type] ..How to Find the Perfect Jeans (reprise)

  20. I love this! Like you, I was excited and definitely not scared about 30. 40 is coming up very, very soon. I’m not as concerned with the number as much as I’m concerned with the way my body has changed. Oy!
    Lolli @ Better in Bulk´s last [type] ..Love is the Flower… John Lennon Quote #PSF Give Me Your Best Shot

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