The Big 4-0

Forty is big. Like BIG big.

There are so many milestone birthdays. Reaching double digits at 10. Becoming a teenager at 13 and then able to drive at 16. Becoming an adult. Becoming legal. Becoming legal in the States. (Oh, yeah, and several years earlier becoming legal in Quebec…) Entering the 20s. Hitting a quarter century.

So many of them are clustered together in those first few decades. Then comes 30.

Thirty was big for me, but not BIG big. I’d been married for almost four years. We’d bought a house. We had two cars, two good jobs and the beginnings of thoughts about having two kids. The surprise party that Luc and friends and family threw for me was fun, and we marked the occasion accordingly.

But somewhere in my late 30s (which even sounds weird to say because I don’t think I’ve ever really felt older than about 24) I started thinking about 40. The big 4-0.

Friends who were already in their 40s raved about how wonderful it was. I’d finally feel like an adult. I’d stop worrying so much about what others thought. I’d stop censoring myself and just say what was on my mind (not that I ever really had an issue with that!). A new sense of self; a new sense of calm–all this would be mine once I joined them in this brand new decade.

Sounded good to me. So I started planning my party.

That’s right. I decided (yes, somewhere around 38 years old) that for my 40th birthday I wanted a party. A BIG party. A party worthy of my 40 years.

Poor Luc.

For two years, he had to listen to my plans. Which changed on a regular basis (because most of the fun of planning is the planning, right?). And which, really, were his plans if we’re being honest. Because even though I knew I wanted a party, I didn’t want to be the one to execute it; I wanted it handed to me on a silver platter, on the day and at the time of my choosing, according to my very precise instructions. Because I was turning FORTY after all.

In retrospect, I was being pretty presumptuous. And demanding. And actually kinda childish. Not exactly the serene and self-possessed woman I was supposed to be becoming.

But I gotta hand it to him, he pulled it off. Bigtime. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Now that I’m firmly planted in my 40s, I still believe that 40 is big. I do feel more grown up, if not exactly an adult. I care more about what others feel than worry about what they think. And that whole internal censor thing…well, I’m working on it.

Sense of self? Sense of calm? I’m thinking that’ll come when I catch up to my friends in their 50s.

And that’ll be HUGE!

Find out what Luc has to say about turning 40.

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3 thoughts on “The Big 4-0

  1. Marcie says:

    You are fabulous at 40+! Revel in the idea that you’re old enough to be wise and still young enough to do whatever you want.

  2. Lynn says:

    I also felt like 40 was a big deal, and threw myself a party. TOTALLY worth it – I’ll remember it always. It was a great way to announce that I’m ready for new things, awesome things, big-girl things.

    A friend of mine who is in her mid-fifties says that when you turn 50, you get a whole year to celebrate. She spent her entire 50 year going from one party/outing/road trip to the next for all her friends who were turning 50 that same year. CANNOT. WAIT.

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