Number 40

Today is the third and final part a series featuring the other members of my writing group. Rachelle, our frequent host who makes great popcorn, is up today.  She writes poetry and prose that typically focuses on her family.

Rachelle is a Marketing Communications Manager at a publishing company. She describes herself as a 40 year old suburban mom who enjoys reading, decoupage and rollercoasters.

I never expected to be someone that is shy about their age.  But now that I am firmly entrenched in the throes of middle age, I have grudgingly become that someone.

It wasn’t always this way.  When I was a kid, birthdays were exciting occasions with parties, presents, cake, and 25 of my closest friends.  As I got older, I proudly celebrated all the birthday milestones that really mattered- my Bat Mitzvah, being old enough to drive, to vote, and to drink. But somewhere around that quarter century mark, birthdays just started getting tiresome.  By age 30, they were starting to hurt.

Turning 40 sent me into a tailspin, and I had a minor mid-life crisis.  I couldn’t afford to buy a sports car or take an expensive vacation.  I was far too chubby and lazy to have a steamy affair.  So, I decided, that was it.  I put my foot down.  The buck stops here.  From now on, I’m turning 40.  I may be old and grey and drooling in the old age home, but I will still be 40.

Funny how age works. While I readily admit to being age-averse, I would never want to go back in time and relive my more energetic youth.  Although I wouldn’t mind correcting some errors in judgment, the thought of re-experiencing high school, acne, and dating makes me cringe.

We have five kids in my modern-day blended family, ages 21, 19, 18, 17 and 8.  One can legally drink and gamble.  Two are in college.  Three can vote.  Four can drive.  And one is still my beautiful cherubic faced, curly haired baby.  She will always be my baby, even when she has babies of her own.

A few months ago, we made a birthday party for my “baby,” at Chuck E. Cheese.   It was crowded and the noise was absolutely deafening.  But it was wonderful to see her giddy with sheer delight as she stood proudly in her blue soccer uniform while we sang happy birthday, and she blew out the candles on a Costco buttercream cake.  It was her birthday, she turned eight, and she was thrilled.  So thrilled that she can’t wait for her next birthday when she will be nine.

I have heard time and time again that age is just a number.  Well, my baby’s number and the other children can continue to rise, but me – my number is 40.



24 thoughts on “Number 40

  1. LOL – that’s funny. Did you know that one year I actually got younger? I forgot how old I was, and Mr. T told me, and it sounded right, so I just went with it. I was 37 for most of the year, and then, randomly, at a pool party one of my friends was like “uh, Kate, you aren’t 37. You’re only 36.” Huh. Who knew? So, a few months later on my birthday my dad asked how it felt to turn a year older and I replied “Pretty much the same, I was this age for most of last year!”

  2. I think staying at 40 is perfectly acceptable and will borrow this brilliant strategy immediately! I wish you would have thought of this idea when I was 35, but 40 will do just fine, thankyouverymuch. Funny post – thank you for sharing her, Larry!

  3. I love this blog post!! 🙂
    For some reason I sunk into a really bad depression when I turned 30. Who would have though? LOL
    My Mom said she did when she was 40. 🙂

    • 40 was a big number for me. It seemed like such a big number. I really thought about it alot and what it meant. I think and hope it inspired some good changes.

  4. Well written Rachelle. I never knew your wrote for fun. Your only writing that I’ve ever read was plastered to a survey or the basis of an email. Hope you plan on continuing and try to get published in a magazine or…

  5. Great post! It’s amazing how our perception of age changes as we get older. I remember as a kid thinking how old 40 sounded. It just seemed so ancient and “unhip.” Now as I am approaching 40 in a couple years it doesn’t seem nearly as ancient as I believed it to be when I was a child. And I am positive when I am 80 years old 40 would sound nearly as young as a newborn!!

  6. I love this, it fits in perfectly with my Sunday quote that I’ll post tomorrow by Satchel Paige “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are.” Wonderful, a really great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the guest post. I like the Paige quote and I agree it fits with the post. Feel free to link up to the post.

  7. lovely post! I guess many women go through the same feelings; when my mom was in her forties, she used to dislike my dad reminding her it how near her birthday was and she pretended she forgot about it! For some weird and inexplicable reason; I never liked the day of my birthday, not because I was getting older, just because I was too shy when everyone would sing “happy birthday” to me! So, I am sure when I will hit 40, I will not be too happy about it too!

  8. I hit that magic number last year, and hit the next one tomorrow. Sometimes it just hits me, I’m not in my 20’s any more! But generally, getting older doesn’t bother me much. It’s better than the alternative.

  9. I find that when I had my “quarter life crisis” at turning 25 a lot of that anxiety was because I had thought that I would be in a completely different direction at that point in my life. While I was married with children and had a good job/career it wasn’t the exciting creative life that I had envisioned for myself. I think that when you do have that birthday/age freak out a lot of it is a sense of feeling that we hadn’t accomplished what we set out to do and there is a finite amount of time to do. So being happy in your age and birthday I think shows how happy/secure you are in your life!

    • My life was so different than yours at 25. I was not at all ready to be tied down at that point.
      I agree that you tend to be more comfortable with your age the happier you are with your life.

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