Warning ladies: you can expect changes in your 40s
How to embrace the 40s is simple.
I’m now well into my forties and I must say – for me -this is a very distinct, trans-formative time in my life. I love who I am becoming as I age. Plus, I’m relieved to discover the question my younger self asked (how to embrace the 40s) has a great response: it is not as nearly hard as I thought it would be. When I was in my 20s, I thought 40-something was ancient. Want to hear something silly? Back then, I mentally measured each new president’s term by how close the end of his term would put me to age forty.
“Man, when he leaves office, I’ll be 30. Ten years from 40”.
“Wow! When he leaves office, I’ll be 34…just 4 years from 40.”
Well, forty has come and gone and it wasn’t anything like the doom predicted in year 2000. Y2K, remember that? None of it happened and none of what I dreaded about the forties has happened. In fact, it has actually ushered in some clear benefits.
I look different in my forties…
There are some physical changes – no doubt about that. Some of them are so dramatic they remind me of my adolescent transitions. Remember, when you were a teen how quickly your body changed? That’s the way the forties feel to me – huge changes.
- my skin is dryer – I’ll talk more about that later.
- my hair texture has changed – which is one of the reason I stopped using relaxers and went natural.
- my temperament is…different…. *perimenopause lurks in the peripheral*
- my weight is unstable and sometimes so is my mood *enter perimenopause stage left*
These are not necessarily bad things. They’re just very different from what I experienced in my thirties. Can you relate? For one, I used to hate my shiny, oily skin. Now, I spend a grip on illumining products to get even the remotest bit of shine. I’m praying for some shine!
My hair did change. My texture thinned a little. Not much, but a little. Update: I did relax my hair again. So far, I’m not regretting it.
I do find I am more impatient than when I was younger. Let me be blatant: I can be moody – very moody. I attribute that to my stage of life most of the time. Other times, I’m just tired or hormonal for monthly reasons.
You can find several posts about my over forty weight journey. Just do a quick search to the right.
I can accept the changes
My changes (no pun intended) prompted me to make mental and emotional adjustments in order to make peace with the “new” me.
Don’t get me wrong. I like so many things about my forty-something self. So, I won’t succumb to any sense of regret or anxiety about aging. I refuse to. I’m blessed to feel good, look great and I’m going to do whatever I need to do to keep my life moving forward.
Wearing what I want…
The best part of getting older is the confidence to wear what I want when I want. One day, a coworker said my jacket looked like worms were coming out of it.
“And?” I replied?
The truth is she is far from a fashion inspiration, so I considered the source and sported my jacket with pride. Hey, I’m free to be me and I attribute that to surviving my twenties and thirties in a way that rendered strength and resilience. Add those two together and you get CONFIDENCE.
My fashion sense is more daring than it once was; but, that’s alright. I’m being me. I love what Sylvia from 40+ Style says about her site: “…. this site is all about having fun with dressing and looking your best after 40, 50 and beyond.” That’s what my forties are going to be about having fun and looking my best! Yay-Yuh! I’ve decided to enjoy this journey – every bit of it!
Still. It’s an adjustment. That’s why I’ve made a few rock-solid constructive determinations.
Let me share some of them with you.
Again, my face and skin have changed. I no longer have the full, youthful face I had in my twenties and thirties. The plumpness has diminished a bit. Do you know the plumpness to which I am referring? Can you say sagging cheeks?
This is a common reality for many women in our forties. An article in Women’s Health Magazine speaks of these (and more) physical changes many forty-something women experience. They describe it this way: “your face starts losing even more of that subcutaneous fat you had so much of in your twenties”.
Subcutaneous fat? That’s what it’s called. I like plumpness. It sounds better.
Yes, my fat (on my face) is reduced. Not much I can do about that. But, I can do something about the dryness that accompanied it.
I exfoliate more, usually with sugar, and then I moisturize like a madwoman with Ponds extra dry skin cream and then slather my face with Vitamin E oil mixed with coconut oil.
Oh yeah, I try to drink tons of liquids (must add fruit to it) and then I may get a little shine and a bit of a girlish glow after a few days. When I’m dehydrated, it’s dull skin city.
The point of this entire post: things change as you get older. But, you have to accentuate the positive, determine to enjoy each stage and moisturize like a madwoman.
Also, I didn’t even touch on my 40something weight gain. Yes, I did – in this post.