Getting older can be frustrating — but since life isn’t getting any longer, why sweat the things we can’t change? Let’s embrace aging for what it is: a combination of milestones like the big 4-0, and yearly reminders that we’re still alive and celebrating. Here are 40 reasons it’s totally great to be 40:
1. We don’t need to change who we are, nor do we have to waste our time trying to be what others think anyway. Screw ’em.
2. We still feel younger than ever. Why is that?! Probably because we’ve stayed connected to so many childhood and high school acquaintances and friends. Thanks, Facebook and Instagram!
3. If we want something, we get it. Whether it’s a tattoo, a nose piercing, a purple dye job, an expensive bag or a pair of Louboutins, we don’t need anyone’s permission. We answer to ourselves— well, okay, maybe our kids, too.
4. No longer getting carded at a bar, the beer or liquor store or a casino is such a time-saver. Digging through our cavernous bags for our driver’s license is taking away from our precious debauchery time!
5. But, when we do get carded while out for sangria with our other fabulous fortysomething friends, it’s nice when the hot young waiter doesn’t refer to any of us as “ma’am” and acts all shocked because he thought we were his age. (Such a charmer.)
6. As teenagers, we thought we knew everything. Now we are positive we know less than we think.
7. Everything old (no pun intended) is new again. Our fashion (overalls, crop tops, legwarmers, anything neon) and beauty (crimped hair, bushy brows, bright manis) choices that were once mortifying and cringe-worthy are now considered “cool” and “retro.”
8. The time for trying new things is now. We’re still young enough to do it but old enough to be sensible about it. Why not go for it?
9. That being said, if we don’t like something, we don’t have to pretend we do. We know to just move on.
10. Sex is so much better, no? There’s no rush, no playing games and no faking anything. We know what we want and how we want it.
11. Who needs The Weather Network when we can tell what the forecast is going to be based on our back, head and/or knee pain?
12. It’s a novelty clicking on a whole new age box on a questionnaire or survey. Um, right?
13. Back in the day we used to roll our eyes when our mom or dad always acted like they were right. Now we know they actually were. Ugh.
14. Speaking of the parentals, now that we know what they went through, we totally understand them more and more.
15. We may make noise when we get in and out of a car, on and off of our couches, in and out of bed and even on or off the toilet, but we earned those aches and pains. They might not feel good but we earned them.
16. Ditto to the grey hairs (which we may or may not be covering up). Chalk those up to experience.
17. We no longer sweat the small stuff. The things that used to seem so awful aren’t so bad; we just roll with the punches now.
18. Remember the days when we were self-conscious about our flabby arms and jiggly, cottage-cheesy thighs? Please. Bring on the sleeveless tops and bathing suits (and not the ones with the built-in skirts)! WE. DON’T. CARE.
19. Because, honestly, why should we? We’ve stopped giving a sh*t what anyone thinks about our choices. It’s eye-opening–a whole new world.
20. Failing at something isn’t a big deal, and our failures don’t define us. We’re not afraid to ask questions, and we make sure we always have time. We’ll just try, try again.
21. Success doesn’t last forever. Plus, no one’s keeping track.
22. A trip to the grocery store no longer requires getting all done up. We might brush our teeth and run a comb through our hair, but that’s about it. Now we just stay in our sweats, skip the makeup and go.
23. We’ve spent the last couple of decades trying to prove ourselves, so it’s a huge weight off our shoulders that we no longer have to care. We’ve accepted who we are, and anyone who doesn’t like us can take a hike.
24. Fewer hangovers or, even better, none whatsoever. Feels good, don’t it?
25. That dreaded question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” is no longer so ominous. We’re there, we’re doing it and we are finally comfortable with ourselves. We’re in good places, too, be it financially, emotionally and/or personally.
26. With every year that passes, we’re that much more appreciative of what we have and what we’ve worked for.
27. Things that used to haunt us and make us feel super-guilty no longer bother us. Take that, conscience.
28. And, even better, things in general don’t bug us as much as they used to. Long before it became an anthem, we’ve known to shake it off, shake it off.
29. Laugh lines. They’re physical proof we are happy and living a joyful life.
30. We aren’t always right. Yes, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’ve accepted it.
31. We no longer take our health for granted. We’ve reassessed, refocused, and are in the best shape of our lives. Maybe it’s for our own good? Maybe we stopped thinking about the numbers on the scale or the size we wanted to be and just, well, DID.
32. We have no shame and no longer fear embarrassment. See No. 18.
33. We don’t put up with nonsense. From anyone. If we get bad service at a restaurant or a store, or if some punks won’t shut up or turn their phones off during a movie, we won’t hesitate to loudly share our dissatisfaction or displeasure.
34. The words “old age” are no longer terrifying. In fact, we’re so young at heart that it feels we’re not even close to that far-away time.
35. We know that trying to change someone’s mind about something is a huge time-suck. People believe what they want to believe, whether they’re right or we know they’re wrong.
36. We might be totally pumped to see the new Star Wars movie, but most of us got to see the original three movies when they first hit theatres, before those so-called prequels.
37. If there are people in our lives who don’t make an effort, let them go. Friendships shouldn’t be work. Just because you’ve known someone for years doesn’t mean it’ll last forever. Later. It was fun while it lasted.
38. We know who matter most to us. Those family members and friends who love us, support us and accept us–in good times, bad times and the times in between.
39. Rules, schmules. We can wear skinny jeans, Uggs, shorts (not the Bermuda kind) and white before Victoria Day and after Labour Day. Sorry, fashion police.
40. We know who we are, we know what we want and we’re not afraid of reaching for more. We deserve it.