10 Things I've Learned in 40 Years

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So my 40th birthday is around the corner (and by around the corner, I mean, TOMORROW) and I realized it’s not what I expected it to be. I’m not necessarily worried about BEING 40 or getting old.

I think I’ve aged fairly well and I’ve kept it together (and by kept it together I mean gravity has been fairly kind and I’m not picking my boobs up off the floor…yet). what’s bothering me the most is I don’t feel like I’ve figured it out yet.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, congratulations. You’ve managed to seamlessly shift into adulthood without adverse effects. I bet you have a 401K, a summer home and a landscaper. The rest of us, myself included, are waiting to wake up one day and feel like we’ve got it together; we’re waiting to feel like we imagined being an adult would feel like.

When I was twenty and stood on the edge of adulthood, my parents were in their early forties. I was so nervous about screwing up my adulthood. Forty and up seemed so OLD to me at the time, so adult. It was like they were real life adults, not just fumbling around in the darkness trying to figure it out. Now that I’m their age, I’m wondering if they weren’t just faking it.

Maybe I still don’t feel like an adult or even like I’ve got it figured out. But I guess you can’t get to this advanced age without learning a thing or two. I wish I could pat my twenty year old self on the back and tell her to calm down…give her some advice. Here’s what I’d say if I could.

1. Don’t think every single decision you make has to be thought out to death. Don’t be afraid of messing up. And when you do, don’t be afraid to fix it.

2. You are NOT fat. You have no idea what fat is yet. Enjoy your food now. When you’re in you’re thirties, just looking at cheesecake will have you running for stretch pants. Oh and also, could you tone the exercise level down just a notch? Because of you exercising like a nut in your twenties, your metabolism is really freaking confused when you don’t have all that spare time in your thirties and likes to deposit fat everywhere when you can only work out a few times a week.

3. Speaking of pants…don’t do the mom jean thing when you’re twenty-six please. It makes your butt flatter and you look frumpy. Dress sexy now, not when you’re likely to be looked at with pity because you you’re trying too hard to look young. (For the record, you haven’t reached that age at forty yet either).

4. If you’re not happy, change something to make yourself happy. Likewise, happiness is not a goal you’re striving to achieve. Stop telling yourself “I’ll be happy when I get a job, I’ll be happy when I have kids, I’ll be happy when we buy a house….” Enjoy the journey and don’t get so caught up in the destination. Be happy now.

5. Stop rooting for the Jets. They’re just going to disappoint you for the next twenty years. Pick a new team NOW.

6. Get on a plane. Go places. See the world. I know it’s out of your comfort zone, but don’t be afraid. Do it when you don’t have kids. And do it when you DO have kids. They need to have new experiences too.

7. Spend more time being with your kids rather than worrying about if you’re doing it right. You’re gonna mess this up no matter what….there is no such thing as a perfect parent. So why not enjoy the time you have instead of obsessing about it?

8. Get your eyebrows waxed. No seriously…do it NOW.

9. Take more photos, but don’t obsess about organizing them. Throw them in a box and look at them every once in awhile.

10. For the love of GOD woman! Start using anti-wrinkle cream! Yes, yes, I know you don’t have any, but you’re TWENTY! Get that tube out and slather that $hit on your face every night! You’ll thank me when you’re forty.

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