Deep Thoughts on my 40th Birthday

At the risk of taking a number too seriously, I was pondering this monumental birthday on my morning run. I won’t lie, the number is a bit daunting to me. I’ve been dreading it for an entire year. In fact, I’ve been saying I’m 40 ever since I turned 39, just trying to get used to the idea.

I know, it’s just a number. But I am vain. I will admit it. I don’t want to get old. I don’t want the wrinkles and flab and aches and pains that accompany old age.

But I realized something this morning while I was jogging along the road, sweat beading on my upper lip and dripping down my back (it was HOT!) I have spent the whole last year dreading 40 and trying to get used to the idea that I barely enjoyed the last year of being in my 30s. What kind of existence is that??

I look around at the women I know who are in there 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. I see beautiful, confident, inspiring women. I want to be one of those women.

40 is just a number. It’s up to you whether or not you get old.

I had all these goals for my 40th birthday. I would be at a certain weight, I would run a certain amount of miles, I would . . . the list goes on.

But this morning? I decided to ignore the number and celebrate the day.

I didn’t get on the scale. I didn’t time my run or count my miles.

I decided to count my blessings instead.

So far, it’s been a LOVELY day. And I don’t feel a day over . . . 40. HA!

Join The Conversation

44 Responses

  1. Happy birthday! I hope you had a good run, after all that deep thinking. 😉 I don’t know how I’ll feel when I’m 40, but I do know that I am loving my 30s. I can only imagine that my 40s will include even more good things. I’m sure you will make 40 look fabulous.

  2. First…Happy Birthday! You will LOVE being 40! My daughter asked me the other day, which of my last few birthdays were my favorite. I answered 40. It was like a new awakening. It’s not that I didn’t care what others thought…I realized that what they thought did not shape me and dictate my life. It’s like Kathy Bates line from “Fried Green Tomatoes”…”I’m older and I have more insurance.” Embrace 40….it’s gonna embrace you!

    P.S. It also helps that you do not look close to 40!

  3. Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you’re having a good day. I really dreaded turning 30 for some reason, but turning 40 didn’t phase me much. 50 I’m not so sure about, but I still have half a dozen years before I have to worry about that number. =)

  4. Happy Birthday! Age is relative to how you feel inside. I love that M.E. Picture as I have become that woman in the picture. When I see pictures though it is a different story. 40 was a fabulous year. I had a great time. 20 years later I am still having a great time. I hope your day is filled with love and family with sweet moments of how blessed you are. Keep on living life and enjoy the ride!

  5. Amen! It’s just a number. I’ve gained so much more confidence just from becoming a mother. You’re a mother of three with a beautiful family – hope you enjoyed your day with your family! Happy Birthday Jo-Lynne!

  6. Happy Birthday, Jo-Lynne! 40 is awesome, and I have three years experience regarding the 40’s. When I turned 40, I took it for all I was worth, and I have continued to celebrate the liberty of being past my 20’s when I knew nothing; my 30’s when I thought I did; to now in my 40’s where I can say what I know with confidence and with assurance and humility pursue what I don’t. Welcome to a great decade!

  7. Congratulations on reaching 40! A Happy Birthday to the both of us, as we share this wonderful day! I must say I am slightly jealous though, I turned 41 and would much rather be turning 40 again. 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful day. I know I did!

  8. 40 is a piece of cake and besides Life begins at 60. And I am loving it.
    Happy Belated Birthday!

  9. Glad you had a fun day ! In our newspaper, the obits are on page 5 of the metro section. I always tell age bemoaners that there are about 22 people on page 5 who would give anything to be celebrating another birthday.

    You are doing wonderful things to prevent the flab and aches of older age..enjoy it !

    1. Yep, exactly. I had a few sentences in there that said basically that but deleted them before I published b/c they just weren’t flowing. I may not want to get old, but I certainly don’t care for the alternative. I am thankful for every birthday I get!!!

  10. Happy Birthday! I laughed when I read that you’ve been saying you’re 40 ever since you turned 39 just to try to get used to the idea. 🙂 But I loved that you counted your blessings instead of all the other numbers we women like to count. Have a wonderful day!

  11. Happy Birthday Jo – I did the same as I celebrated my birthday too 31st yesterday too! I usually try to set certain goals for myself each July 1st but this year I decided to count my blessing too and look at all the fabulous things that I have accomplish, my every supportive husband, 2 kids that think I’m super girl, fairy princess & friend all rolled in one and still have my parents & inlaws in my life….could it get any better? I think not!!!
    Cheers to our life.

  12. Happy birthday from a 50-year-old! The older you get, the easier it is to get older. Does that make sense? Being 50 isn’t bothering me one bit. 🙂

    1. Yes, it does. I am already beginning to feel liberated. Maybe once you get to a certain point and realize that it’s inevitable, it stops bothering you so much??

  13. Happy Birthday!! I had some of the same sentiments when I turned 50 last summer. So now I read this and think..”girl, you are so lucky to be just turning 40!” You are right, it is just a number. I am learning to embrace my age and be proud of it. And of course it helps when I get compliments and people say that I don’t look, act or dress like I’m 50! But, what does that mean–is 50 so old? I think not. I am also convinced that 40, 50, 60 looks different than it did 20 years ago. I see women in their 60s who look fabulous and I hope to be like them in 10 years. Enjoy your day!

    1. Yeah, it is definitely different these days, but then again I don’t want to be one of those ladies at the mall that looks cute from behind until she turns around and then you realize, YIKES! SHE’S OLD! lol…. I think it is more challenging to find stylish, age appropriate looks as you age.

  14. I love that image at the beginning of your post – so true! Happy Birthday, sounds like it was a good one! And you are certainly a beautiful and inspiring 40-year old, Jo Lynne! xoxo

  15. Birthdays are hard. Especially those that creep up around milestones. I think as women we worry a lot about what others think of us, and also that biological clock ticking is another factor. Good for you for embracing today! I hope tomorrow you run for the joy of it, put away your scale and hug all those you love.

  16. Happy birthday! Your refreshing and fun way to approach the milestone clearly highlights the key benefit of wisdom.

  17. Hope you had a wonderful day. Thank you for stylishly paving the way for me…I’ll be 40 in September.

  18. Oh my goodness! This post got buried in my “starred” post in google reader!! I can’t believe I forgot to click over and say Happy Birthday!!! So sorry!! So Happy Belated Birthday!! =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close this search box.