15 In LIFE/ Vent Sesh

That Weird Age… Approaching 40

So I’m not “old.”

But at nearly 38, I’m somehow not young anymore.

I didn’t just graduate college.

I wasn’t just a 20-something who had no food in her fridge, and slept in until 10 am with no kids or worries.

I laugh about the girl who would first go out at 10 or 11 pm.

Who was that chick? How was she not tired all the time?

My dream in life is to be in my pajamas by 6 pm.

Cozy clothes make me oddly happy. Give me a pair of joggers and a cozy cardigan and I’m yours.

Is it a problem when you own more comfy clothes than going out clothes?

(don’t answer that).

Now my pre-party game is drinking a triple shot concoction so I can stay awake long enough to do a 7:30 pm girls dinner. Don’t judge, I did that last week.

And, I obviously want to be home by 10 pm. After that 11 pm is late night partying.

And, dare I start talking specific numbers…

When did I become closer to 40 than I did to 30?

When did I become this full-fledged adult?

This year is my TWENTIETH high school reunion.

I’m sorry, what?! That’s not possible.

I was just going to high school football games and youth group conventions. Yup, I was really cool like that… and I loved every second of it.

I now have nearly TWENTY YEARS of professional experience.

I remember being 26 years old, trying to prove myself to the white haired men who thought I absolutely couldn’t be smart since I just graduated college.

Obviously, the joke was on them.

But now, I’m a nearly 40 year old who has the years of wisdom behind her.

In meetings or when I volunteer, people take my word for fact because with age, they assume you know what you’re talking about… and I guess I look like I have enough wisdom to know what I’m talking about.

I also never get carded anymore.

A friend around the same age told me that recently she was at a register — and instead of asking to see her license — the gal said, can I see your face? So she looked up, and got in response, “Yeah, you’re good.”

Talk about soul crushing.

That said, some people think getting older is scary.

I don’t.

Because it’s not.

I know what I want. Even though I know far from everything.

Now when I don’t know certain things, I smart enough to admit I don’t know them. I can ask for help.

I am wise enough to understand some friends are worth fighting for.

And others were never friends at all.

I can afford to order what I want on the menu.

And, best of all, have a little extra to surprise treat a friend for lunch.

I understand the value of picking up the phone to call older relatives we’re still lucky enough to have.

And, I have wisdom to know that I still have so much to learn.

I know what I’m willing to work for.

And on the days I question it all, I remind myself I still have another 50+ years in my journey so I will figure it out.

We have the power to dictate our own course.

And, if you’re not happy in the direction you’re going, remember that you are absolutely young enough to alter course.

You are always young enough to alter course.

I hear that all the time: I’m too old, I’m too established, I’m too… blah, blah, blah.

You are excuse-ing yourself out of figuring out what you really want.

I might be almost 40, but I have plenty of life to live.

If my nearly 38 years of life has taught me anything it’s that I’m one hell of a strong woman.

And, you are one hell of a strong, determined women.

When I’ve been knocked down, I’ve seen myself rise up.

When someone told me no, I refused to let that stop me.

When someone thought I couldn’t do it, I decided I wouldn’t let their opinion of me determine my worth.

When someone thought my dreams were silly or too big or even too small, I decided I wouldn’t let their vision of success determine mine.

My 20-year old self might have valued myself based on others opinions, but the blessing of age is that we know better.

I am strong, I am determined, I am beautiful, and I am proud for what age has taught me. You should feel the same.

I am capable of everything.

You are capable of everything.

If age has taught us one thing, it’s that we shouldn’t let anyone tell us otherwise.


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  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 12:38 AM

    Such a fun post dear. They say 40 is the new 20, and the way I see you in your photos, it couldn’t agree more!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Clemons
    March 6, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Excellent post, Alyson! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I’m 41 and feel the best I’ve ever felt in my entire life. 40 is the new 25, absolutely! I skipped my 20th reunion for many reasons, but I’d love to know if you choose to go to yours. Cheers! 🙂
    E-beth 🙂

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Clemons
      March 6, 2018 at 10:52 AM

      OOPS! This posted twice. Feel free to delete the duplicate, Alyson. 😉

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 1:36 PM

      I’m debating going to mine — I didn’t have a ton of friends in high school but also think it would be fun to revisit the area. I’m really excited about what’s to come with a few extra years! (And no worries about the duplicate comment — deleted!) 🙂

  • Reply
    Nancy M
    March 5, 2018 at 8:21 PM

    For some reason, turning 30 bothered me way more than turning 40. And believe it or not, turning 40 bothered me more than turning the big 5-0. I guess the milestones get easier the older I get.

    It probably helps that people never believe I am as old as I am. I actually feel younger and more carefree now than I did in my teens and 20s. It is all in your attitude and outlook!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 1:37 PM

      That’s so interesting… think we get smarter with age and recognize all the values that come along with it. People get so freaked out by 30 but it’s still sooooo young! You’re carefree vibe is totally inspiring me by the way, Nancy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren Small
    March 5, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Love this post!!!! Turning 43 next month and while I can’t believe that I’m actually this old, I wouldn’t trade it for my twenties in a million years. Yes I’m tired….a lot, and I definitely have more wrinkles, but I also have so much more. Knowledge, wisdom, confidence, sense of self, and all of the wonderful things that you mentioned above. And the 20th reunion is soooo fun! You’ll have a blast!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 1:38 PM

      LOL, yesssss to ALL of this! For sure more tired and definitely have some wrinkles but I also loving having all of these other things so much more.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    Alyson, I turn 44 in one week and it feels amazing. YOUR FORTIES ARE AWESOME! So much better than your thirties or twenties, I promise. Read Jen Hatmaker’s essay “On Turning Forty” and it will make you smile. 🙂 Humor, love, confidence, understanding, perspective: they’re all ours – but they’re so much easier to come by the older we get. xxxxxxxx!!!

  • Reply
    Shira Rosenbluth
    March 5, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    I love this post so much Alyson! I’m approaching 30 this year which is another milestone birthday and this was so nice to read.


  • Reply
    March 5, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Thank you for putting into words what a lot of us women needed to hear.

  • Reply
    Sharon Depcinski
    March 5, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    At 45, I say that I claim every one of my years–I earned them! Every year gets better and I don’t think we have to feel embarrassed about our age. Some people never get the luxury of aging.

  • Reply
    Kellyann Rohr
    March 5, 2018 at 7:18 AM

    You nailed it and with my 50th birthday just three months away I can honestly tell you that each year just gets better. I used to think turning 40 was a big deal and thought 50 was so old. Crazy, I feel just as good now as I did then and yes, you can do anything and everything as long as you don’t give up!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2018 at 6:48 AM

    I’m 32 now, and after my 30th birthday had passed, I started to contemplate a lot of these things. At 30, I still didn’t feel much different, but somehow 31 was like a milestone for me. I agree, though, I feel much wiser and even a little bit stronger now! May this inner strength stay with us as we age!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Smith
    March 5, 2018 at 6:24 AM

    YES to all of this! I care so much less about what people think now and I wish I hadn’t wasted so many years living for the approval of others!

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