This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Slim·Fast.
[Note from Jodi: BlogHer has chosen me to be part of their review team. YAY! I love being on a team! This post is the first in this category – where it is sponsored, and gives my readers chances to win. YAY! I love for my readers to win things! This means you, yes, YOU (because you are my favorite) have an opportunity to win a $100 Slim-Fast gift pack. Details at the bottom! But dude. Don’t skip to the bottom. That will just hurt my feelings.]
Almost Forty, Almost Old?
My husband, Anson, is nestled warmly and safely on the right side of thirty years old. As such, I will chalk up his accidental indictment of my age predicament this past weekend to youthful naiveté. I am perched on the cold and unforgiving wrong side of thirty. I thought I realized, when I decided to marry a younger man, that age gaps didn’t change. He’s actually only six years younger. And what does that matter? When I’m ninety-nine, he’ll be ninety-three. Hardly any difference. Huh. But somehow that’s not exactly the case while I’m sitting here at thirty-nine, with his thirty-three self making gaffes such as the following…
Let me set the stage: it’s Saturday morning, and our family is eating pancakes on the floor, in front of the TV. My husband, along with our infant twin sons, our seven-year-old son and myself have put on an old campy Elvis Presley movie. I decide to offer this gem of trivia to our seven-year-old, Roan:
“True story. Elvis Presley died on the toilet.”
Roan roars with laughter. I knew he would because what’s funnier than potty-talk, laced with death? Anson adds:
“But he was an old man.”
Well. That was uncalled for. As Anson caught my eyes, ablaze with indignant poison-tipped fire daggers being launched at him over the heads of our children, he realized his gaffe. Elvis Presley was forty-two when he died. Elvis Presley, the old man, was two years older than ME now. Let’s just say that comment didn’t really really warm my heart and soul very much at all no siree it did not.
So, I’m turning forty in one month. 40. The big four-oh. What’s the big deal? Honestly I don’t know. I’m not clear on why forty is such a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. It could be a call back to my teen years where forty just sounded old. Anything over twenty, really was old. But things have changed. Madonna exists, for one thing. Certainly she’s had a fair amount of unnatural help in her war to be forever young but honestly those ripped arms and fit abs and strong legs on a fifty year old woman? It’s a game changer. Forty is no longer old, I’m declaring that here and now. It’s just….not all that young?
For another thing, babies. More and more women are having children later in life, myself included. My doctor’s insistence on using the phrase “advanced maternal age” over and over notwithstanding, I felt like a teenager having a kid. I stayed fit, I ate well (and often), and this pregnancy went beautifully. Even with two humans inside of my pretty small body, it was mostly a cakewalk. No complications and no bed rest even with my “advanced maternal age”. Take that.
Still, I need to prepare. Fortunately I have a few friends rounding this corner barely ahead of me. One of them is insisting that her girlfriends take part in an Adult Gymnastics class to celebrate the occasion. We are required to find and wear leotards. I will be looking for one with fringe and some sequins, as I would have demanded such in the sunshine of my youth. Another friend booked out a restaurant for her celebration, sharing a dinner with a big group of close friends. What’s becoming clear is that minds are changing. We’re not turning forty and putting on our mom jeans, resigned to it all being soft, flabby, sexless and downhill from here. My friends are not, and neither am I.
I am breastfeeding twins, at age almost-forty. I just had purple streaks added to my hair at age almost-forty. I listen to raucous, inappropriate music, at age almost-forty. I run over the bridges of New York City and through Chinatown with a smile on my face at age almost-forty. I love my life, my children, my friends, my home and my husband at age almost-forty. It seems I actually may not need to prepare for this birthday after all. Almost-forty feels better than the teenage, twenties, and even thirties ever did.
Now, if I can just avoid the toilets of death, and my husband’s inadvertent references to me being old, I fully expect my forties to be awesome, radical and tubular. See? Youth: I’ve still got it.
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