I told some kids at work today I had just turned forty. With funky dyed hair and pierced noses, colorful sneakers and Garfield books clutched in hand, they reminded me of myself in grade eight. Not yet a woman, still holding onto a bit of my childhood.
"You don't look forty."
"You are the same age as my MOM!"
"Well, I do have a 15 year old," I grinned back.
"Forty is totally not old," she snaps her gum and looks up from her iPhone, smiling sweetly through pink lip gloss and long, mascara laden eyelashes.
No forty, you're not old. At least not today.
Twenty years ago, I met my husband, and when he told me he was forty, I forced him to show my his driver's license as proof. I didn't realize then how good it must have made him feel; this young blond thing smiling at him behind a counter at Starbucks, hair bouncing in a ponytail and pouring him a coffee.
I know now.
When I got my first gray hair I began dying my hair, and lived with bad dye jobs for almost a decade. Now I let them grow. What's a few grays when I have a head of 99.5% brown?
I agonized over a few minor wrinkles. These days I don't even think about them. Seriously? A couple wrinkles?
My stomach is more flabby than it was when I turned 30 and over time, I've become a little self conscious about it. Gone is the bikini, and I won't even wear a bathing suit unless I really have to. Still working on that one.
Forties is fabulous. I look back to just after Hubs turned 40 and noticed that he got married, became a Dad again, learned how to fly a plane, ran a dive shop, traveled to Australia, ran a scuba diving business, went back to school, and changed careers. If he can do all that, I can surely come up with something amazing too.
"Honey, your life really began after 40," I mused. He took my hand and smiled. "Except there's one thing that you got that I think I just might need."
"What's that?" His expression turned quizzical.
"A 20-something lover. You had me, I think it's only fair....."
Well. Maybe not.