So, Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Renee Zellweger and myself have something in common. Memorable red-carpet fashion moments? It’s possible, but that’s not it. We all turn 40 this year.
I’m not one to hide my age. At the gym, I always entered my real age into the elliptical machine; weight, you can lie about, not age. Every year that I have accrued is worth remembering. I’ve always been mistaken for being younger than I am. I’m always happy to show my ID.
At the stroke of midnight on January 1st this year, I lost it. Now I realized that 40 is here. My friends keep reminding me “Age is a number. It’s what’s in your heart.” “Oh, 40 is the new 30”.
For me, I’ve always had 40 as the definitive marker. “When I’m 40, I’m going to do..” “When I’m 40, I’ll finally be able to..” It’s here. And, I’m not ready to or haven’t done all those things. I was upset because the finish line came and I’m not ready for it. I cringed when my friends asked me about the big “4-0”. I’m on the verge of tears on the treadmill punching in my real age. Since I was 10 years old, I always upgraded myself to the next year one month prior to my birthday. Now, I was telling people, “I still have 7 more days to be in my 30’s”. My daughter gave me extra time as a gift "It's only 1pm. You're not 40 yet because it's not 9 o'clock, when you were born. You're still 39."
June was a fabulous month for me as I definitely enjoyed celebrating with different friends and family through series of events. More assuring and powerful was the love and affection I received from everyone. If I look over my shoulder, I see 40 years of wonderful people behind me, and I’m blessed to have those stepping beside me and others leading me.
I also realize now I need to adjust my goals and not put an age on it. And, practically speaking, there have been some changes from where I was in January to where I am in June. My career and personal goals have been more refined, and become more attainable. Doors that were closed are being opened. It’s up to me how and when I enter.
Also, I realize I don’t want to be 30 again. I want to be the new 40.