In our house growing up, turning 40 was A Moment.
It was a different time. Back when life expectancy was 60-65, 40 was the beginning of the downhill slide to death. Also, my maternal grandfather died very young and one of my mom’s brothers was convinced he wouldn’t make it to 40 (he did).
I remember my mom being apprehensive about turning 40. She was also incredibly anti-vanity. So if she did obsess about it, she didn’t verbalize a lot of her thoughts on Turning 40. And honestly, I can’t imagine my dad engaged in a long conversation about my mom’s anxiety turning 40.
So intellectually, I felt that turning 40 was supposed to be a big deal. Like, what does it mean to be 40? Previous generations treated 40 like it was “over the hill”, which is weird, because it implied everything after 40 should be easy. You’re going downhill. What is hard about pedaling downhill? Nothing.
But it definitely feels too early to start coasting. Like, I don’t think I’ve done enough to start coasting. But it also feels strange to lean into “forty is the new 30” sentiment. Because honestly, no one knows shit at 30. You think you do, but you don’t. Which makes it even funnier… oh, you thought you knew shui? You’re 30… you literally know nothing. You might as well be Jon Snow with all the shit you don’t know.
So instead of leaning into any of these sentiments: I’m going hard in the paint for 40 being the end of part 1 (and beginning of part 2). It’s nice because it’s open ended; I could have parts 2-5? Or whatever. Also doesn’t have that fatality of being “over the hill”. And I don’t have to kick my own ass after saying “forty is the new thirty” sounding like I’m trying to convince myself (and others) that I am not really depressed by being 40.