Dangling Over the Precipice of 40

esther kane

by Esther Kane

Although I’m not quite sure how it happened, I turned 39 this year. This came as a huge shock as I remember my 20s so vividly- as if they were yesterday. It seems to me that once you hit 20, the process of ageing accelerates exponentially until you’ve barely gotten used to the decade you’re currently in and no sooner-whoosh! – It disappears in a flash of lightening and you’re propelled (or catapulted as it often feels) into the next decade kicking and screaming all the way.

Even with all of the blessings that have come in my 30s (i.e., material comfort, wisdom, grounding, and a great marriage), I am completely bewildered at how I could possibly be turning 40 on my next birthday and don’t exactly relish the thought. Ideally, I’d love to be able to magically mix my 20s looks with my 30s wisdom and stability and stay 30 forever, but as we all know, this is an impossibility (maybe not for long due to how advanced science is these days…)

So I guess my only choice is to proverbially ‘like it or lump it’… I choose liking it-okay, maybe I don’t exactly LIKE it, but I am choosing to feel positive, excited, and empowered about growing older. I guess it beats the alternative- being fearful, resentful, and living in regret or staying stuck by denying the entire ageing process altogether. I definitely don’t want to become one of those women who do anything and everything in her power to stay youthful looking as long as is humanly possible. I definitely don’t find that empowering.

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Is there really someone out there for everyone?

00255382After taking a couple of weeks off, I’m back and ready to hear and share our collective life experiences. While I’ve been a little slow in responding to the emails and comments, one comment in particular struck me. It was written in response to a post written by a women who is 40 and has never been in love. It’s still one of the most visited and commented posts on the site, and the last few weeks has been no exception. Here’s one comment in response to never been in love:

I am a 48 yr old female, actually have 2 kids, but still, to this day never been on a real date. I seem to attract the “bad boys” and never really care in the end. I am a semi attractive woman, great sense of humor, and good Mom, but deeply want the closeness of someone who cares. It now bothers me that I have not been out on a real date, never a Valentine for me, never a gift just for nothing. Is there really someone out there for everyone? I wonder! Continue reading Is there really someone out there for everyone?

It is better to give than to receive…

00402539…especially when what you’re receiving is a last minute gift lifted from a big box store by a mediocre boyfriend. True story.

When I was younger and dumber I dated someone even younger and dumber than I was. He’d been dropping hints like crazy about what he wanted for Christmas – a boxed DVD set of his favorite action movie series. It wasn’t the most expensive gift I’ve ever given anyone, but it wasn’t what I’d call cheap either. His gift to me was. Cheap, that is.

Now I know all the adult concepts surrounding gift giving. It’s the thought that counts, better to give than to receive, yada yada yada. That Christmas, younger and dumber than me got me a CD. Not a CD player, a CD. It was a new release, so I guess I should have been more excited. I wasn’t.

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Ho…Ho…Hold the madness

aquamarine ringThanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays. As a child, gift receiving played a major role in my joy, but as I got older, the holidays reminded me of family and togetherness and of course as a woman of faith, the true reason for the season. So as I’m celebrating my 32nd Thanksgiving and Christmas season (32nd because I have no memory of the first 8), I’m beginning to feel a twinge of sadness about this time of the year. Why? Glad you asked.

It’s all become a bit too much. What’s up with Christmas decorations on store shelves next to Halloween candy in October? And how about the word “Xmas” replacing the word “Christmas” to save space. And is it my imagination or has “Black Friday” turned into “Black Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Cyber Monday and every day until Christmas?” Hold the madness people. I like to get a good bargain as much as the next person, but the commercialism of the holidays have begun to wear on me.

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So, what if you’re not all gung-ho about 40?

turning 40When I launched Women at Forty I was very honest about my own “struggles” with turning 40. I wasn’t anywhere near where I’d hoped to be in my career, my relationships or with my health. But, I was determined to use my 40th year as a building block for the future I’d always dreamed about. So far, so…myeh. Creatively, my mind is firing on all pistons. The rest of me, not so much. This comment I received over the weekend confirms I’m not the only one:

I just don’t feel it. This great feeling of being 40. 🙁 I turned 40 last July and ran a great marathon one day after my birthday. I am going back to school to finish my degree, and I always hear stories from women how wonderful they felt when they were 40. Why do I just feel old and depressed and think my life is practically over? What’s wrong with me?

There are many women out there just loving 40. They’re advancing in their careers, having babies, and running conglomerates from within the confines of their suburban homes. There are many women who feel like the one above – they’re just not feeling it. And then they’re the women, like myself, who fall somewhere in the middle. There are days that my vision is clear and I embrace 40 as a gift. And then there are days when I’m looking for the receipt to return the “gift” for a full refund.

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