Fear Friday: Turning Forty

January 29, 2016


It’s happened, you guys.

I’m forty.


And while people keep on telling me that it’s no big deal and that forty-is-the-new-twenty-six-and-a-half-minus-two-days, I’m just going to go ahead and admit that my transformation into middle-agedom descended upon me like a big pile of Depends undergarments this week.

Behold the evidence:

  • Every single morning this week I’ve had to make the choice between leftover birthday cake and oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve chosen oatmeal every single time.
  • I forgot to wear my glasses to work for the first time ever on Monday. Which for reasons I can’t quite fathom, rendered me both blind and deaf. I spent the entire day screaming at my students, “WHO’S THAT TALKING??? I CAN’T SEE WHO’S TALKING! AND SPEAK UP! WHY’S EVERYONE TALKING SO QUIETLY TODAY!”
  • One of my students gave me this huge heart-shaped box of chocolate for my birthday. And after my coworkers helped me empty the box of its contents, I kept the box because I could reuse it someday.
  • I ran out of black dress socks earlier this week, so I’ve been wearing white athletic socks with my dress shoes. Granted my dress shoes are boots because MICHIGAN. But it doesn’t matter that nobody can see them, I KNOW THEY ARE THERE.
  • One of my students tried to explain Snapchat to me and NOPE.
  • I opened up my purse this morning to discover that there were no less than five balled up Kleenex in there.

So, yeah, I’m old.

But on the bright side, I’ve found that forty has lit a fire under my butt that I very rarely experience. And I swear to you I’m not talking about hemorrhoids.

I’ve decided this is the year that I’m finally going to finish that book that I’ve been talking about finishing for the last, umm, FOREVER. And, rather, than just talking about it (like I’ve been doing for, ummm, FOREVER), I’ve actually been working on it — spending an hour every afternoon after work in the library, typing away. Even though I’m exhausted and not at all convinced that I have a book’s worth of stories inside of me and all I want to do is go home and eat dip for dinner.

I’m also determined to make this the year that I finally pay off the credit card debt I’ve only half-heartedly been chipping away at. Even though it’s going to mean working all the way through summer like normal, non-teacher people and I ain’t about that life.

Heck, I may even consider dating again. HAHAHAHAHA. Nevermind.

So maybe 40 isn’t all that bad, after all.

Now if only I could find my glasses…


What age are you freaked out about turning? WHAT’S THAT YOU SAID? WHY CAN’T I HEAR YOU??? SPEAK UP ALREADY!



I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On January 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm Tim Schaub said:

    One of the cruelest ironies of life is trying to find your glasses at the one moment when you have been rendered blind by their absence 🙁

  2. On January 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm Isabelle said:

    I was afraid of 40 but it actually turned out really well. But a couple more years and I’ll turn 50, and THAT scares me a LOT!!!! I’ve never been happier and in better shape but 50? Really?!!!!! I know I don’t look my age but still, 50!!!!!!!!??????????????

    • On January 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm Sally said:

      Yeah, I have a feeling 50 is REALLY going to freak me out… if I make it that far. I don’t know, my knee has been giving me some trouble this week. It may be a sign that I’m not long for this world. 🙂

  3. On January 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm Priya said:

    Yay! I’ve decided to write a book, too, this year. Let’s do it together!
    Priya recently posted..Confession: It’s Really Hard To Get Out Of Bed When No One Is Paying You

    • On January 29, 2016 at 5:38 pm Pleddie said:

      Sorry, I disagree. It is nice to get out of bed when no one is paying you and it is your choice. It is also nice to roll over and grab a few more ZZZs or just to lay there and consider exactly what you want to get out of bed for. I find that is one of my more creative periods.

    • On January 31, 2016 at 2:32 pm Sally said:

      Ok! I already have 2 accountability partners, but I can always use more!

  4. On January 29, 2016 at 4:19 pm Monica Harris said:

    40 didn’t bother me and actually the next 10 years after that were great! Once I hit 50 though, the body just fell apart. Literally! I’m tired all the time, I’ll choose a nap over a night on the town any day, and every time I eat something delicious I’m riddled with guilt knowing I won’t be able to burn off THOSE calories.

    Enjoy the 40’s because it’s all downhill after that!

  5. On January 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm Pleddie said:

    Hey, 40 is just getting started. Besides your 40th birthday may be unique for you, but it is just one day of your life. Think about it, everyone in this whole wide world became one day older on your birthday, even the new-borns.

    I guess your “evidence’ list was Ok, but I will give you one that actually got my attention. My wife passed away almost six years ago, so I lost my soul mate and my dishwasher. I also downsized and opted for a simple little house which doesn’t have an automatic dish washer. As a result I wash all my dished myself. I very quickly discovered that I was not getting old; I was old! I was shocked to find that I was washing 4-5 times as many spoons as forks. Makes ya think, don’t it?

    Also a couple of years ago, someone asked me my age. When I told them, they told me that they guessed I was starting to think about the hereafter. I assured the I started that about that 10 years earlier. I would walk into our bedroom or out to the garage and stop, stand there looking around, and finally ask myself, “What am I here after?”

    What age am I freaked out about? I am freaked out about the day I turn 100. I really don’t think that is such a big deal, but I want that only if I can still be very active every day until then and that day in particular, so I can really celebrate. Now I see that as my challenge, but the good news is I only have 21 and a half years to go.

    BTW, you should have eaten the chocolates and given your co-workers the box. They won’t remember you gave them all your chocolates, but they will remember you gave them the empty box. HA!

  6. On January 29, 2016 at 8:43 pm Leslie in Oregon said:

    Happy Birthday, Sally! When each new decade of age begins, it feels (and, when you say your age, sounds) startling, but you’ll soon see that it isn’t. With any luck, you’re not even halfway through your life. “Middle age” has become a meaningless label, as it no longer necessarily applies to anyone at any particular time. Achieving forty certainly does not equal the start of decrepitude. My forties were a time of great energy, some astounding (to me at least ) personal and professional strides, and increasing comfort with myself. My forties gave me the best of several worlds all at once. Every good wish to you, particularly as you write your book, Leslie

  7. On January 30, 2016 at 4:36 am Claudia said:

    I turned 40 in July. I am never dating again. Dating is overrated. 😉
    Claudia recently posted..An overview of Rome attractions

  8. On January 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm becky hutner said:

    Happiest of Birthdays Sally! If it makes you feel any better, I too have totally descended into white sports socks with regular shoes territory. Sometimes I’m so ashamed of myself, I pull them off at the last minute and just go to work sock-less!
    becky hutner recently posted..Canadian in…London??

    • On January 31, 2016 at 2:27 pm Sally said:

      Ha ha! I would do that if it didn’t mean freezing my feet off. Luckily, I did laundry this weekend, so I’ll be back in black socks territory… for a little while at least.

  9. On January 30, 2016 at 10:31 pm Choi Kum Fook said:

    Forty is the “Golden Age” of a person a in life span, as an old Chinese people said, maturity in both physical and mental fully. Always looking forward, do anything you like and the things you think is right. Do not worry so much, your are a brave girl after all, Miss Sally!

  10. On February 3, 2016 at 11:37 am Samantha said:

    Wahoo to turning 40 this year! I am in the same boat as you. Part of me is excited and part of me is reevaluating my life to see what I have accomplished. The answer to that is……
    I figure that I should have a big hooray for this birthday, but then again it is just another day. Tomorrow 40 will mean nothing. Instead we have turning 50 to look forward too!


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