Age is relative, and you’re only as old as you feel. Right? Certainly, but society sure has a way of making you question it all. Yes, we’re not supposed to worry so much about aging. But there comes a time – usually at the exact same moment you see a teenager ironically wearing something you wore in high school – you realize that the years have ticked on and you are staring at your 40th birthday.
The good news is that the view from the fifth decade is looking pretty good. We’ve already brought you 10 Best Reasons to Turn 30. Now, we invite you to throw some Nirvana onto the CD player, sit back, and check out why it is great to be 40.
You’re more likely to be flush with cash.
You might even have flush retirement funds. Which means, of course, you’re that much closer to retirement and play time.
You already know your body is beautiful.
Maybe you’ve had kids. Maybe you’re a triathlete. Maybe you’re Martina Navratilova who won tennis titles well into her 40s. Many report that 40 was the first time they shed their smaller body insecurities and embraced the whole package, stretch marks and all.
Sex is better than ever.
Know what you’re not going to put up with in your 40s? Bad sex. You have the confidence, wisdom, and experience to shed subpar sex. Some people might try to call this being a cougar – to which we say, bring on the cat nip.
Hair color gets kick ass.
Going a little gray? You can start to tell people that covering your gray hair is just a way to look more striking. Or you can ditch the dye altogether and embrace the new with the old. Anne Hilton is a 46-year-old attorney in Arizona who recently put pink streaks in her hair and rocks the look from her minivan.
Motherhood is in motion.
Some of us might be first-time mothers while others might be first-time grandmothers. But even if you’re in the middle of your motherhood marathon or just starting the race, experience makes you most likely one of the most competent mother on the block.
You know how to get things done.
Susan Katz is a 44-year old stay-at-home mom in North Carolina. She can wrangle three kids, maintain a household, work a part-time job, and get organic meals on the dinner table – all in one day. “I’m more organized and efficient than I ever was in my 20s or 30s,” she told me before hanging up the phone to shuttle someone off to ballet.
Michelle Obama, and Tina Fey, and Halle Berry, oh my!
Behold, the three sisters of inspiration for turning 40. Obama’s intelligence, Fey’s wit, and Berry’s body are three pinnacles of impressiveness. Sure, you can argue that these are all characteristics attainable at any age, but a woman in her 40s has experience and self-assuredness to enhance all inner and outer beauty.
You know what you want to be when you grow up.
Some share that the 40s are the first time you take the time to really think about what you want from your career, not what your career wants from you. Sprinkles Cupcakes founder Candace Nelson was an investment banker who decided to try her hand in the cupcake business. Today this forty-something has a nationwide business on her hands and the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi.
You know how to take care of your body.
If you take an interest in healthy eating, you have your menus down by your forties. You know what exercises you can handle, how hard to push yourself, and that push-ups will never become your idea of “fun.” And this can mean health and heartiness in our 40s we never thought possible in our 20s.
40 is inspiring.
Amy DuFault is a recently turned 40-year-old Ecosalonista who lives in Massachusetts. As she told me, “I just am and I say bring on the next decade. I’m ready to kick some ass!”