40 Things That Happen When You Turn 40
Age is just another number, that is what they say. But if you are living it, then you realize that something is happening. Your body is changing, and you have to accept it. Bodily dysfunctions, receding hairline and what not. It’s a completely different ball game altogether.
Forties are also the time when we try to slow things down, chill out and take it easy with life. Gone are those days when you used to party all night. Your kids have entered into their teens or are just at the threshold. It is peculiar and selective, but you do not give a damn to the world. While we can anticipate most of the changes, some of the stuff that would happen once you turn 40 catches you unawares. Here are 40 things that happen when you are 40 –
We are not talking about the hair on the head. We all knew that our hairline would recede, become thin and go drab, lifeless and eventually fall out. No, what we hadn’t anticipated was the sprouting of poky chin hairs, invisible during checks in mirrors at home but suddenly there – wafting in the breeze -when out in public. Buy some heavy-duty tweezers and remove the harvest.
2. You buy embarrassing ointments
Before hitting the 40s, these are rarely featured in our lives. ‘Ointment’ sounded like the sort of word your grandma might use. Now, that collection of small, gnarly tubes causes some consternation when you are obliged to stuff all your liquids into a clear plastic bag so that the airport authorities can check it out, but it is embarrassing as hell.
3. It’s OK to change how you use Facebook
With your age and bodily functions, the way you use social media platform also changes. You share pictures of your garden and the lemon drizzle cake you baked last night. You enjoy those stupid Facebook anecdotes where a person encountered a group of noisy talkers. But most of all, you try to avoid ‘friend requests’ from your children’s school mates, lest you see something you wish you hadn’t.
4. You make an ‘oof’ noise when getting up
The worst thing about getting old is the joint pain. Sometimes, your knee even pops when you stand up, and that could be painful. No wonder our seniors make those Ouch and Oof sounds when they stand up. That straining sound you always heard older people make and wondered whether it was strictly necessary? You just realized that it is important.
5. Radiators are now a very important part of the home architecture
Heating becomes the center of your lives. Without it, life is going to be a lot painful than you assumed it to be. Another chore that you have to do is you need to bleed the radiator frequently. You covet a little gadget that does it automatically. You might even order it on Amazon and greet its arrival with joy. You simply wished you never got old.
6. You are no longer a ‘Mademoiselle’
When you were younger, you would be chased by French men wherever you went. You were always the ‘Madamoiselle’ in distress. But now, after you cross 39, holidays in France suddenly take a dark turn. For the first time in your life, someone calls you ‘Madam’. Drink Beaujolais and eat brie through it. It can be a dent in your confidence.
7. Turning off lights becomes an obsession
No, this is not because you are high on saving the planet by reducing energy consumption. You are doing this to cut down on the Power bill. Particularly in rooms, no one is in, you need to turn off the lights. You have a low-level, perpetual awareness of gas/electricity being consumed. And you leave the oven door open after cooking a roast dinner so as to ‘get the benefit of the heat.’ Man, that could be a miserly tactic.
8. You argue with young people about wearing coats
Coats never look cool in pubs. Moreover, you could always spill your drink on it and it could be a giveaway that you went out drinking. Moreover, the coat gets full of germs in a pub. But there is something that you forget, you spend your entire twenties shivering outside pubs.
9. You worrying endlessly gets the best of you
You perennially keep worrying about whether there are things that have been left on at home. Did I open the oven door to let the heat out? Or something like whether you definitely have your passport/tickets/wallet, Then you will have to subject yourself to have to spend the entire journey patting anxiously at your pocket like someone with a nervous twitch. That’s so exhausting. In the 20s, you never gave a damn!
10. You do not care what others think about you
You are no longer crippled with anxiety about things you can’t control. What other people think of you, does not bother you at all. If someone you don’t want to see suggests meeting up? You simply say you are too busy. No longer do you feel obliged to fritter away your free time away on people you don’t even like. But in the 20s, you do everything in your power to be socially relevant.
11. You have contradictory hygiene standards
Sometimes, you cannot understand your own health fetishes. Sometimes, it doesn’t make logic, at all! Expressing revulsion at the sight of anyone grabbing orange juice from the fridge and slurping straight from the carton. Yet allowing your pets to sleep on the bed. Before you entered your 40s, you rarely have such notions or habits.
12. Topshop is not for you
When you are in your 40s, you cannot just wear anything that you picked on the go. Gone are those days when every trashy piece of attire looked cool on you. Put down the leopard print crop top and head for the door. Wear something sober, so that you look sober and dignified.
13. Comfort is the number one factor when selecting footwear
When you are in your raging 30s, the stilettos are a must. You just cannot imagine going to a party without wearing the pumps. And being unembarrassed to tell the sales assistant, ‘I have very wide feet’ as you remove your Orthaheel from your existing boats.
14. You actually make and keep health appointments
Before you hit the 40s, you rarely need to go to the doctor. You don’t have many health issues before you cross into the 40s. Instead of blithely throwing the reminders into the bin and promising to ‘go next month’, you go to the doctor and ask whether the game is still safe, or not.
15. Pubs aren’t for standing
In the 40s, standing for long can create a problem. You need a seat to rest your rear upon. You point-blank refuse to enter a boozer unless a seat and table can be guaranteed. And then spend the evening making remarks about young people drinking ‘alcopops’. Even though no one has used the term since the great Two Dogs alcoholic lemonade rush of 1995, you would like to include them in your vocabulary.
You have hangovers of some sort or other. Sometimes, you have a beer hangoever, which does no damage. But the scotch and whisky ones can ruin a day or two. And you know what’s the worst thing? No bacon sarnie or can of full-fat Coke solves the problem.
17. You crave order
Mess is more of the 20s thing. But being 40 is all about discipline. Whereas once we found chaos bohemian and sexy, you now crave a life that’s simpler and is easy on you. You store T-shirts ‘vertically.’ You buy clear Perspex boxes for things. A perfect Sunday used to mean meeting friends in the pub to go over the antics of the night before. So fire up your faorite playlist and start putting things away in an orderly manner.
18. You scatter seeds on food
So that you get enough roughage in your diet or enough of those rarely manufactured vitamins that your body cannot make, you munch on those tasteless chia seeds. As if that will undo all the damage we inflicted upon ourselves in previous decades.
19. You develop an obsession with loos
It is very difficult to control your bladder when you make it to the 40s. All the dietary sins you were committing take a toll on your urinary and excretory system. You don’t know where the next one might be when you’re out and about. Always have an ‘insurance pee’ whenever you spot a convenience. Just in case that you do not mess it up, you need to spot your pee-spot.
20. Fringes are your friend
There are a lot of hairstyles you can experiment with when you are young. But when you are in your 40s, you need a curtain of hair that hides a quarter of your sagging face? Moreover, it is also easy on your already falling hair. This idea is a sell out formula.
21. You still say ‘the charts’
Now is the generation of the playlists. All the music you like is on your iPhone as a super compressed playlist. But since you were born in the 1970s, you still call them chartbusters, or even the ‘The hit parade’. Where did those days go? That’s because you have a hard time moving on from things that were good.
22. You suffix your sentences with ‘these days’
You refer to your days as those days. And do you know what, deep down in your heart, you have a sense of nostalgia for it. But, in the present, you are forced to live life each day as it comes. You treat them in disdain as these days. As in: ‘The songs in the hit parade all sound the same these days.’
23. You have jowls
The hanging skin on your face, from both sides are called jowls. When you were young and cooler, jowls were the places where your cheeks used to be. Now you need to accept them and give up stretching your face back with your hands in the mirror to recall what you looked like as a younger person.
24. Grammar is a source of rage
Now that you are 40, you are embarrassed making spelling or grammatical errors. If you do make a mistake, you are looked at, scornfully. A misplaced apostrophe can see you muttering for half an hour. If school letters come home misspelled, you become incandescent with anger and have to be calmed with wine. So, gear up and work on your grammar skills if you have ignored them in the past.
25. Camping gives you terrors
In the younger days, camping was a way to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life. It was a stress buster, you know? Now, getting away from city life becomes a stress. You ask yourself questions like – You want me to stay in a tent? Without electricity? That I might have to pitch myself? No thanks – but I might consider a centrally-heated yurt with a WiFi connection.
26. Shots are never a good idea
In the younger days, you could hold in a lot of booze. But in the present, you have now developed an aversion to neat spirits. Following nights of excess drinking in your younger days, you prefer to remain sober most of the time, so that you can avoid the hangover. You think to yourself,”Oh, I still can’t drink tequila after Tina’s 30th birthday in Chinawhite.” Avoid booze at all costs, if you love being healthy.
27. Sherry and port – on the other hand
When you are in your 40s, you become a sort of wine connoisseur. That is because you have tried and tested a lot of things. You let the tequila obsession slip by, because you do not need the kick any more. You love more subtle tastes, hence the sherry and the wine. You are increasingly found in your drink’s cabinet. And you have the appropriate glassware from which to consume them.
28. You care deeply about litter
You need to look after your pack, so that they can become responsible adults in the future. You are extremely protective of them, because they are your kids, right? Moreover, you want to save them from the society from the destruction they have inflicted upon you.
29. Leather is not for you
In your younger days, you wanted to look macho and cool at the same time. What better way to do it than to flaunt the leather, or its fake version. But in your 40s, after years of using cheap ‘leather’ goods, you finally give in to buying real non-sweaty, non-squeaky leather or something more comfortable. And you love to allow your skin to breathe.
30. You notice your feet
Peacocks look at their feet and cry. Before you hit the 40s, you could wilfully ignore your feet. But now, owing to the aches, corns, calluses, rashes, bunions, unsightly toenails taking on a distinctly mustardy hue, you give in. Using flip flops in the summers is now deeply worrying.
31. You cry – at everything
In the 20s and the 30s, you were the toughest gal or guy in the room. Nothing could bring out the tears. But now, in your 40s, you fall victim to the slightest of emotional outbursts. Even adverts on TV have you rubbing your face and pretending to scratch an itch. The festive showing of Forrest Gump renders you incapable of speech.
32. At last, you have a ‘party trick’
Back in those days, you were clueless about knowing a party trick that was never tried before. You would spend hours researching but failed to come up with. Now, in your 40s, you know a bunch of cool party tricks. Just a shame there aren’t any parties to show it off at.
33. Spontaneity is dead
20s are the times when you could come up with anything. You could even endure the worst of surprises. We would merrily set off on a trip with a rucksack and no accommodation sorted – ‘It’ll be fine!’ – you now experience extreme agitation if you haven’t booked rooms, car hire, a space in the long-stay car park and researched local attractions, six months in advance. You just hate being blind eyed by surprises.
34. You have to eat better and exercise
These are two of the worst things in a person’s life who is transitioning from his 30s into 40s. The junk dieting habits take a hit. You just can’t ‘get away’ with anything. If you eat pizza at the rate you once did, you would probably be giving yourself poison. You need to load your diets with veggies and micro-greens.
35. You have found your underwear soulmate
You remember the word bosom buddies? Underwear soulmate is something along similar lines. That means you have found the underwear that actually fits you. You kick away the lingerie that looks great on the body, but cuts away the skin underneath it. And you’re sticking to it. Life’s too short to trawl the shops for bras and knickers.
36. Your kids’ social lives are livelier than yours
Believe me when I say you are going to be fine with that. The days when you were a party animal, or precisely, a jerk at the parties are well behind you. You want to be a sociable Mom or a Dad, who can be an ideal example to their children. But you don’t want people all around you, all the time. You love to appreciate the peace and the quiet.
37. Eyes are weird
As you get older, your eyes start to mess up with its symmetrical pattern. One of the eyes starts to shrink while the other, mysteriously, remains the correct size. You just wish that this wouldn’t be that evident. Why is this happening? That’s because the facial muscles starts to lose their tautness.
38. You buy multiples
Yes, this is a common thing that people in their 40s do. They are so accustomed to finding it so hard to track down clothes which suit and fit, that when they do finally discover the one perfect thing, they buy it in multiples of seven colors. Just to be on the safe side, you see?
39. You’re never going to learn Spanish
When you are younger, you love to learn many languages. That’s because you want to roam the world and it wouldn’t hurt to be a polyglot, is it? The 20s are also the best time to learn the languages. That is because your brain functions better in those days. But once when you cross over into the 40s, it’s best just to accept it and stop saying ‘gracias’ to the staff in the local tapas restaurant.
40. Acceptance is lovely
40s are the times when you realize that your parents far from being heinous curmudgeons intent on wrecking your life, were actually pretty decent types who just tried to do their best. That realization comes with a sense of acceptance of being comfortable with yourself, with what you are and not what you wanted to be.