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I am Turning 40. Now What?

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I am turning forty years old this May. Turning forty feels as if I am reaching some kind of threshold, a new door that I am going to open, a milestone if you will.

Now, let’s talk about my birthdays for a second. I hate my birthdays not because I am afraid to turn older, but because I always feel lonely.  And I cry a lot. I sob. I indulge in self-pity and misery. Yes, I love to feel gloomy on my birthdays. My birthday is the saddest day of the year.

Of course, there is a sadistic side to all of this because Beaker fears my upcoming birthdays like a tsunami. Or an emotional earthquake. He gets neurotic convulsions when he hears the word “birthday.” He does not know what to do with his wife who lays in bed, tears pouring down her face, blank eyes focused on the ceiling.

This year I told myself everything is going to be different. I am not going to shed any tears. I am not going to feel lonely and wretched. I am going to enter my forties with maturity. Maybe even some wisdom. After all, I learned quite a few things in life. As you get older, you start to pay less attention to people and more attention to yourself. Maybe it is self-centric. Maybe it is wise.

I embraced that:

It is okay to cry in public.

It is okay to take risks and lose.

It is okay to lose friends.

It is okay to make mistakes and admit it.

It is okay to fall down, get up and fall down again. You’ll live.

It is okay to ask for what you really want.

It is okay to say “no” to your family.

It is okay to take things at your own pace.

It is okay to be you.

Some people have their shit together by age thirty. Or twenty. Or in kindergarden. I am definitely not one of them. By age thirty I got one divorce behind me, fully developed a shopping addiction, racked up credit cards and debt up to my eyeballs. Ten years later and I am doing much better: happily married second time around, much less debt, my shopping addiction is under some sort of control, and I have no credit card debt. So, even though, I am behind some of you, I am still on track. Sort of.

My forties approaching, I decided to set up some short-term goals for myself. I am not a long-term goals person. I like sprints! This is what I want to achieve by May in two most important and weak areas of my life: financial and fitness.


  1. Increase my retirement savings by at least $200-$250 a month. I do plan to retire one day. I want to retire sooner than later. I will let you in on a little secret of mine: I want to start investing soon. Not now, no, but soon.
  2. I set myself a goal of no shopping this year. That in itself should help me to save some additional money. Which leads to the next goal.
  3. Save up a small emergency fund of $3,000. I am not sure if I can do it by May with tax season approaching and our bathroom slowly falling apart, but the least I can do is try.


  1. There is not much you can do about your skin when you turn forty. You get what you get. Say thank you to smoking, sun tanning and drinking till the wee hours of the night in your youth. The least I can do now is stay hydrated at all times and get enough sleep. Therefore, I will try to be in bed by nine every night, so that I can read till ten, and fall asleep at a decent time.
  2. I don’t want to become fat. I, honestly, think I am on my way there. I hate working out and lifting weights. Instead of sweating it off in our gym’s weight room, I decided that I want to become a runner. I want to face my hatred of running and conquer it. I am planning on counting miles, and probably bore you with it on this blog. I am also planning to run my first 5K this April.

That’s it for now. Sorry for the long post. Turning forty is serious shit!

Comments (20)

  • I’ll turn 40 this year also. I already made a big change last year by quitting my job so I think I will be OK this year. 🙂
    Yeah, it seems like 40 is the time to reflect and think back a bit. See if you’re happy with the ways things are going. Good luck this year. I hope you don’t get emotional this time. IM me if you need to chat with someone.

  • Ha, ha! Turning 40 is not that bad – I am fifty and I LOVE it. Having the time of my life; seriously (all this mid-life crisis cr*p offers opportunities for nad behaviour that I simply can’t miss). And I always celebrate my birthdays, I glory in them – after all, this is the one day that repeats and I am allowed to be the centre of attention and bask in it.

    As to sorted – please don’t do it. Being sorted means equilibrium, staleness and no growth. Just keep to the ‘creative destruction’ :). And welcome to the ‘blogging running club’ – would you join dailymile so we can share runs?

  • I turned 30 a few months ago, and I typically don’t like the movement of time either. I did okay though! I am not sure what scares me about time moving on, but I do feel that I am growing more into myself as it does, so I should celebrate that.

    I hope you accomplish the goals that you mention. Even working towards them should bring you peace.

  • I’m about a year and a half away from that milestone and man, it just seems like I hit 30. Goes by so fast as they say! I like your goals and your outlook. I think you’re welcoming the new number at the front of your age with a great attitude!

  • I always set really big goals for decades (30, 40, 50, & 60 years old). I no longer do that because I am 66 years old. I made plans for retirement (published this week) and I look at birthdays completely differently. They do not matter! I think it is my age and I no longer have really big goals left just small(er) ones.

  • Hey, my birthday is in May too! Are you a Taurus or a Gemini? 🙂

    I really like your goals Aloysa. The “running” goal is a good one. Let me know how you progress with that one, as I want to take up running too.

  • I think you are great and I am so sorry you get upset with birthdays! I love celebrating birthdays!

  • I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys-R-Us kids!

  • I turned 40 last year and it didn’t really affect me much. I also don’t have all my crap together – still working on saving, paying down debt (that I racked up last year), and eventually buying a house. But, I feel much more in control of my life – though I don’t think that has anything to do with the actual number 40. If anything, I feel like I have a whole lifetime ahead of me (of course, I have to remember that there is a limit up ahead and must save for retirement!)There’s something about getting around that birthday or number and feeling relieved.

  • I have a little ways to go before I hit 40 but I’m not sure what to expect to be honest. I think that setting short term goals is great especially if you like to sprint along as you say. I try to stay on schedule as much as I can with sleep and keeping fit. Life goes on, that’s what I say.

  • I’ll be turning 30 in 2 months… and the thought of it kinda freaks me out. In my 20’s I feel like I’m a “young adult”.. whee as the 30’s are full-fledged adulthood! We have plans to start our family this year, but I keep thinking “I’m too young to be a mom!” – but I know I’m not. it’s such a weird feeling.
    I think I’m going to set out some goals I’d like to accomplish in my 30’s… and make it something I look forward to!

    • Julie,

      I am 35 and never felt ready to be a mom till now. Do not rush it. If you are not ready there is no need to start pumping them out because you feel like you should be ready. I know far too many of my friends who followed the time line and are envious of the lifestyle i live being kid free. You will love your kids no matter what age you have them at and the only way to be prepared, I believe, is to be mentally ready to have them… If your gut says “no, not right now!” then listen to it. Biologically we are ready in our teens, so who cares what the trending age is. Go with your instincts. My sister loves her children, and I adore my niece and nephew, but I know that sometimes she wishes she didn’t feel the pressure to have gotten married (she is now getting a divorce) and honestly sometimes wishes she didn’t have children as much as she adores them!

      Live in the now because who knows how many tomorrows you will have.

      Goodluck and enjoy being you. If we all normalized being normal then we wouldn’t feel so much pressure to be perfect…because normal would be the new perfect.

    • I disagree with Julie a little. I am about to turn 40 and you know what live that is all I can tell you. If you want to have kids in your 30’s do it. It’s all good and not having kids you might regret. Everything else you can do, travel. So if you want to have kids go for it. Life has ups and downs and money comes and goes.

  • I am hitting 30 this year and I am looking forward to new opportunities. My husband will be 39 and he has a whole other attitude on his birthday..I have to tiptoe around it. I think you have great goals! I started running in October and I love it so much,I hope you do too!!!

  • 31 here. You must REALLY hate birthdays writing this post 4 or 5 months in advance lol. Do you think you enjoy your 20s or 30s better?

  • I will be turning 40 this year in November. My personal view is one reach an important milestone at. Yes, it is the beginning of middle life or adulthood. It is also the age of maturity. By 40 is supposed to have discovered their life purpose and Destiny. It is a significant age in the Bible and in Islam.

  • Now Casting “THE BIG 4-0”

    A major production company is currently casting men and women who are attractive, affluent and on the brink of turning 40.

    They say age is just a number, but the big 4-0 is the exception to this rule. Caught between youthful dreams and grown up realities, transitioning into your 40’s can feel like the end of life as you know it…Or is it just the beginning? Only one thing is for sure…40 is a moment of truth. Are you ready?

    Are you highly successful but still freaked about turning 40? Did the 10 year plan work out like you imagined? How will you conquer the next decade as you leave your 20’s and 30’s behind?

    If you are in your later 30’s and gearing up this midlife turning point that is the big 4-0, we want to hear from you.
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  • I will be turning 40 in October 2015 and I am dreading it. I have no friends to celebrate with just a 9 yr old and a 4 year old and my husband. I have been trying to climb the corporate ladder but keeps being stuck doing the same thing and getting passover. Depressed I am, lonely I am, scareda big fat YES.


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