MomTalk.com January 18, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Facing Forty

by Diane Danielson

"I'm turning 40 this year," I say out loud to my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Fortunately, the woman in the mirror shrugs her shoulders and laughs because for some reason it's just not a big deal. Sure there are a few things that do give me pause about entering into the Fortysomething zone. Like the fact that I'm older than Daniel Craig, the newest James Bond. While I fully comprehend that he is portraying a "younger" James Bond, there is just something so totally wrong with 007 being born in 1968, a full six years after Sean Connery first introduced himself on-screen as "Bond, James Bond."

Nevertheless, thanks to the Boomers who have crossed this threshold before me, at least we now have all sorts of products, surgical procedures, diets and exercise regimes to maintain (or regain) youthful appearances. But, I like to think Mother Nature already had her own remedy to reduce the appearance of aging. Why else would we all need reading glasses? It's her way of preventing us from seeing the wrinkles and imperfections when we get up close to each other. (She is a woman, after all!)

But there are the other tell-tale signs of aging that can't be helped by Botox or bad vision. Each year I discover a new food that doesn't agree with me, and my knees don't seem to work quite the same way they used to. Then there's the fact that my friends and I can't carry on a conversation without discussing mortgage rates and the housing market or referring to news anchors and presidential candidates as "hotties." On top of that, I had a shock the other day when I hopped into my car only to find that all the radio station buttons had been set to talk radio. When did I do that?

There are, however, some things that I am truly thankful for as I turn 40, like not having a husband who will throw me a surprise birthday party. I'm sure having a husband would actually be quite nice, but I'm definitely not a fan of the surprise 40th birthday party. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I'm going to celebrate, I want to look spectacular, not surprised. And, unfortunately, "spectacular" takes a lot more work than it used to.

One benefit of aging I truly enjoy is that my ability to embarrass myself continues to lessen each year as one gets either too tired, or too busy, to care what other people think. But at the same time, my ability to embarrass my son is on the upswing, and it's proving to be a rather useful behavioral management tool. I hear that in a few years, I'll be able to embarrass him simply by existing.

More than anything, having a good sense of humor makes the whole aging process a lot easier. (They're called "laugh lines" for a reason.) Otherwise, I might not find funny the statement in a recent novel, The Starter Wife, about how men at age 41 are still considered young in business, but their female peers are "middle aged." Ironic, isn't it, especially when you look at life expectancies Or, perhaps I wouldn't see the comedy in the fact that the very same men who I consider too old for me to date, likewise consider me too old for them to date. That's o.k., too, because in a few more years, thanks again to Mother Nature, we'll all be having too many "senior moments" to remember we ever met in the first place.

But perhaps the absolute best thing about turning 40 this year is to truly be able to understand the saying, "Success is getting what you want; but happiness is wanting what you get." Hmmmmm. Maybe that's the real secret to living "happily ever after." I'll let you know how it's going on my 50th.

Diane K. Danielson is the CEO of www.DowntownWomensClub.com a career website and social network for businesswomen. In addition, Diane is the co-author of Table Talk: The Savvy Girl's Alternative to Networking (2003) and the upcoming Clicks & Mix Networking (or What Would Jane Austen Do?) (Spring 2007). She is a blogger for the Boston Globe and www.womensDISH.com.
Diane Danielson may be contacted at Diane@DowntownWomensClub.com

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