Fierce Women Dish

an artist, a journalist, an activist, a psychologist, a student, and a diva place a cup of nourishment on the table.

On Turning 40… August 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — fiercewomen @ 1:06 pm
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(from donna)

Here’s something that has really been on my mind recently: birthday celebrations, specifically the big 40th. I have attended at least three of these in the past  month and have  at least four more to go, including my own, before the end of this year. What is it about ‘40’ that seems so different  and more monumental than any other age? I certainly don’t remember attending near this many 30th birthday celebrations.

Could it be that women finally really do want to celebrate their years of wisdom and beauty on the earth and it takes about 40 years to realize that? I also have had a few friends that decided to just “lay low” til the birthday passes and were definitely not happy about the day or the age.   What are your thoughts on this? If you are over 40, how did turning 40 make you feel?  Did you celebrate or hibernate? And if you are not yet 40, how do you think you’ll feel and what are your expectations? Do you have big plans? And if you have a really creative party ideas share them…mine’s quickly approaching!


15 Responses to “On Turning 40…”

  1. Anissa Freeman Starnes Says:

    I just turned 41 (in July) and my 40th year was my absolute best. I decided long ago that I would embrace the 40th and not run from it like so many of my girlfriends had done. One close friend literally went into a state of depression when she hit 38 from just worrying about 40 being 2 years away!
    My friends and my husband gave me a big party. I spent the day getting my hair “did” and having a massage and then went to the party wearing a fabulous pair of bright red 4″ stilettos (shoes I would NEVER wear) and went with the attitude of bring on the next 40 years! One cool thing I did was I created a list of “40 things to do during my 40th year” and I started it on January 1 of the year I would turn 40. I accomplished all but 6 things on the list within they time frame. Some were silly (wax my car by myself, eat Thai food (had never done it!) and sing karaoke SOBER)….some were challenging (read 40 books in a year, do another half marathon, make amends with a lost friend) and some were just on my life to do list (camp for a weekend by myself, do a triathlon, write a letter to my parents telling them exactly how much I love them) – I didn’t get around to sky diving and a few other things but the good thing about being 40 is you have learned by then to not put so much pressure on yourself – just do what you can do and let the rest go! I am only 1 year in but I am loving my 40’s and look forward to rockin’ the rest of them all the way to 50!

  2. lisa Says:

    I really love Anissa’s idea about the 40 things. I am inspired to do that. I was already planning on accomplishing certain things, because it feels like of like a New Year’s resolution thing. I have one week to go until my fortieth birthday. I admit, I was struggling with this day, but have started to feel better about it.

  3. Aunt Annie Says:

    I remember as a teen-ager, fearing that I would never see my 40th birthday. Needless to say, I was relieved when I did! This year I turned 60 and have to say, I have had a wonderful life. I don’t think I could think of 60 things to do before I turn 61 but, it is fun to ponder. By now, I have accomplished much more than I ever thought possible. I think I will concentrate on the 60 most important events in my life and just enjoy whatever I have left. Turning 40 is a great thing, not to be dreaded, but to be invigorated by.

  4. fiercewoman donna Says:

    Wow…there are really some great ideas here! I love the “40 things” list, Anissa. ‘Invigorated’ is a great word to choose how we should feel as well, Annie. It connotates positive action.
    And Happy 40th Birthday Lisa–let us know what you put on your list!

  5. fiercewomen Says:

    fiercewomen amy says:
    Hi all! I am turning the corner on 35. A friend who just turned 35 sent me the most wonderful commentary from the Dove Real Beauty blog. I just wanted to share:

    if you read it, you ladies who are 40 would actually be 4 . . . we’re getting younger at heart all the time!

  6. sheila Says:

    It is funny how our society views 40… If we are to go by what commercial stores, online party shops and the like offer us as party favors, we would be ringing in our 40th year with black balloons and black everything! I’ve heard jokes about going in for a “tune up” and there are even fashion rules for the woman over 40. There is even a reality-beauty-model-show on tv that showcases women over 40… trouble is when tuning in, they were more about showcasing that while these women are 40 and up they don’t “look like it.” Apparently, on TV and the majority of print ads, being comfortable over 40 means not “looking like” you’re 40.

    To be honest, being 41 this year, I’ve not felt better about myself and did NOT ring in the year with the black celebratory decor. We celebrated doing what I love most… my husband invited close friends over to our house and we spent that night laughing, drinking, talking and just plain old enjoying each others company!

    So bottom line… while it is hard to ignore the signals society sends women about the milestone of 40 and it’s ramifications to our face/body, I offer this advice… There is no “looking 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 etc…” There is only looking “happy, confidant, self aware, strong, courageous, kind, hopeful etc….” IF you look in the mirror and see any of these things, then birthdays become just another excuse to get together with those great friends for another wonderful evening of being together…

    Sheila (age – happy, hopeful and lovin it)

  7. Catherine Says:

    Turning forty was a HUGE turning point for me. I remember thinking that I wanted my second half to be better than my first half, so I did what I needed to in order to confront things that were holding me back.

    Now 45, I’m less afraid, more likely to say what’s on my mind and enjoying life more than ever before.

  8. fiercewoman donna Says:

    Thanks for this Sheila…very well put!

  9. Big D Says:

    I’m leaving my forties behind in roughly 36hrs. Lately I have been thinking about my age more than I expected. I’m reflective but not sad. I want to celebrate the things I’ve got, asked for and survived.

  10. Big D Says:

    I meant leaving my thirties behind….(sigh). Apparently there’s still plenty to learn.

  11. Mattie Says:

    I just celebrate my 40th in December and I embaced it by the horns. I had tiffany-hollywood themed party. Tiffany blue cake, red carpet, hollywood lights, backdrop for photos, tiffany blue and chocolate decorations….it was the most elegant party I ever had. It was an event…I had three performances (2 were praise dancing and the other was a line dance configuration that I participated in). It was wonderful! My invitations had 40 & Fabulous: A Red Carpet Affair Celebration. I enjoyed turned 40! Now I must live up to my fabulousity and continue to embrace this 40’s generation.

  12. rosiemolinary Says:

    What a great party, Mattie! It’s really an inspiration on how to live and celebrate life!

  13. Lyn Says:

    I turned 40 last week, and I’ve been loving every minute of it! It is a time of clarity, confidence, self awareness and boldness. What’s working can stay, but whatever’s not can GO! This includes husbands – get right our get on! I’m lovin’ this new confidence that 40 brings. Time out for all foolishness!

  14. Mattie Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Lyn! Welcome to the 40 club. I definitely can relate to how you feel about the clarity, confidence, self-awareness and boldness! I had the same revelation when I turned 40 in December. It feels great. And now what’s even better, I with two other 39 year old women, started an event planning business last month. We are so excited about it. We are already planning their 40th birthday parties! So girlfriend go for it! Skies the limit for you. Do not let anybody or anything stand in your way from accomplishing what you were born to do.

  15. Hilary Kleese Says:

    I will turn 39 this year, and have more friends who are 40 than friends who aren’t. I have a new perspective on turning 40 in recent weeks. A 39-year-old woman in our small Wisconsin town just died after a valiant battle with breast cancer. She leaves behind a husband and two sons, one in his teens, one in first grade. In her honor and the honor of so many women who were not blessed to reach 40, I will embrace my 39th, my 40th and each year I’m blessed with on this earth. No complaints about aging allowed! Consider the alternative…

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