And then we were 40.

Somewhere in between Xmas and New Years is my birthday.  It’s always vaguely forgotten because of a combination of holiday fatigue and me not really caring about birthdays.  This one is supposed to be a scary one…40…but it doesn’t bother me.  I feel 40.  And sometimes 8.  And occasionally 90.  And on terrible, terrible days I’m an awkward 14.  But 40 seems fine.

Someone told me that “40 is the new 30” but I think more accurately “40 is the new I-don’t-really-give-a-shit-about-how-old-I-am-because-I’m-finally-learning-how-to-be-a-bad-ass-so-get-out-of-my-way-or-I-will-shank-you-thank-you-very-much.”  40 means you’re finally old enough to be trusted with a taser, or a bunch of fainting goats.  (Someone tell my husband that, please.)

40 means you get to be staunch one day and flighty the next, and no one can question you because at 40 you’ve pretty much decided who you’re going to be, and people realize that they should either avoid you completely or just come along for the terrifying-but-entertaining ride.

40 is when you still wonder what you’re going to be when you grow up, and then you remember that you are somewhat grown up, and then you laugh at the very idea of you being considered a grown up and promptly pour yourself a drink as the lights go out because you’ve forgotten to pay the electric bill again.

40 is when you get to be just as stupid and forgetful as you were at 20, but instead of blaming it on being stupid you can pretend that you once knew all of the answers to Trivia Pursuit but you’ve simply forgotten a few things because you’re getting older.  And no one can question that.  This same logic works for asking questions everyone else is thinking but won’t say out loud, using the wrong fork, calling out people on their bullshit, and forgetting everyone else’s birthdays.  It’s not your fault.  You’re 40.  You’re just young enough to still do everything you still want to do and just old enough to not do anything you don’t want to do ever again.

40 is a get-out-of-jail-free card for any slight faux-pas, for “accidentally” running over political signs you don’t like, and even for a few minor felonies.

40 is perfect, and I am ready to embrace it with grace and with glee.

Please remind me of that in two days when I turn 40.

425 thoughts on “And then we were 40.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I am a few years ahead of you, my dear, and let me tell you, the forties seem to rock. Things haven’t started to break yet, other than the give-a-damn, which i don’t miss.

  2. I’ve never really cared for keeping tally of birthdays and how old I am in any given moment. As at as I’m concerned, each year means more wacky and hilarious stories to tell! Happy birthday in two days, Jenny. Can’t wait to hear what hoot of a tale you’ll have for us, then. 🙂

  3. Happy 40th Birthday!!! Today is my 40th so I totally get it. Personally anyone that gets pregnant so they can give birth for Christmas should be beaten repeatedly. Does this mean we’re grown up, hell no!

  4. Happy birthday! As someone who is in her late 30s I can get behind the view of 40 is when you *really* know who you are and people can eithe accept it or the fuck out of the way! 🙂

  5. Happy almost birthday! You’ll make 40 look amazing. And yes, you need the goats. I think they’d be good for you.

  6. Looking down the barrel of 50 myself. Somedays I feel 100, most days I still cant believe Ive made it this far.
    Happy Birthday Jenny .. make it a memorable one, and be sure you have plenty of bail money 🙂

  7. 30 hit me hard, I somehow felt like when I left my 20s behind I should be a grown up. Now that I’m 36, I’ve realized that growing up is optional and I’m actually looking forward to 40 because we already have plans for a new adventure in life in the next decade. Happy birthday Jenny! Enjoy the freedom the 40s bring!

  8. I love this! I am turning 50 in 2 months and I have never felt more free to say what I mean, do what I say and be honest about who I am. 🙂 That includes all the crazy things like wanting Legos for Christmas (which I got thank-you-very-much-wonderful-BF), playing in the snow, starting a new business BECAUSE I CAN, and generally not worrying too much about what anyone thinks of me. 40 rocks but 50 is going to be the BOMB!! 🙂 AK.

  9. The most exciting thing about turning 40 is knowing that in two years, you get to be the meaning of life for a whole year. Everything you say must be true, because you’re the meaning of life. I mourned the day I turned 43, until someone pointed out that now I was beyond the meaning of life. I am now the unknown… That’s not bad either.

  10. You won’t be able to use this one, but I can: Whenever I want to blame something on my age, I yell loudly, “HASHTAG, BORN-IN-THE-SIXTIES”. It works most of the time.

  11. You’re going to be great at 40! Me, on the other hand, well, I’ve already vowed to never turn older than 19 (see, I don’t care so much about booze). Not that 19 + 11 isn’t a good age or anything, but my mom keeps going on and on about how I’m not 20 anymore and I should probably visit a doctor and get my gallbladder removed or some crazy thing like that because I’m 19 +11 now and I’m not getting any younger and it seems to be trying to kill me. Joke’s on her, because I’m still 19! Hear that, gallbladder, 19!

  12. I turn 40 in August. One of my best friends does on 1/15. Thanks for blazing a trail for us. Keep 40 warm for us, we will be there soon to keep you wacky wacky company.

  13. Happy Birthday! Forty didn’t bother me a bit, but I will be 50 in a month or so and am wigging out more than I thought I would. I console myself by telling myself I’m that much closer to being the Dowager Countess Grantham or Olenna “Queen of Thorns” Tyrell – just old enough to say exactly what I want to anyone at anytime.

  14. Yay for 40! I can’t wait to be 40 so I can blame forgetting shit on my age. Also, I can’t wait to be 80 so I can live in a kick ass assisted living facility and play bingo and ride the bus to Kmart all the time and poke people with my cane.

  15. Happy Birthday Jenny! I hope that you do have a cake, with candles and that when you blow out your candles, your birthday wish comes true. I love this post. You put it perfectly about 40.

    At 42 I still figuring out life, working as a full time single mom, trying to date (the universe is not helping this part), raising an almost 16 year old and learning who my real friends are.

  16. The 40s are great! I’m hoping the 50s are half as good! Congrats on getting through another year with all the aplomb and grit that makes me (and I’m sure all your other readers) furiously happy that you are on the planet!

  17. Forty is absolutely fabulous. I have just a few years left before 50 and then I’ll think about starting to grow up. I have a feeling you’re going to like your forties! Happy Early Birthday!

  18. 🙂 Happiest of birthdays to you. Today is MY birthday and I tend to forget how old I am and well… I do all those things up there and I’m not quite 40 so I’m going to have to change it up a bit I think. Maybe. I don’t know, I’ll probably forget by then. Anyway, happiest of random Fridays to you my dear, you made my day nice and cheery since I generally don’t do much on this day except for the day I was borned.

  19. Happy 40th birthday to you! I turned 30 this year and was THRILLED to be out of my 20s for a lot of those same reasons…you’re making 40 sound even better! 🙂

  20. Happy Birthday!

    It is my birthday today! I’m 43. Unlike you however I consistently feel like I’m in my early 30’s.

    Being born two days after Christmas has been a sore spot with me since my little sister (born 6 1/2 years later) got all sorts of presents and had parties on her birthday, but all I got was a holdover Christmas present and friends visiting their family so they couldn’t come to a party. Bitter may be a better way to describe me. My wife is different though. She goes out of her way to ensure I’m treated well both on Christmas and my birthday. This year she gave me a sword. My parents never gave me a sword!

    I think all close-to-Christmas birthday folks should join a club and get together in the middle of the summer and celebrate their half-birthdays.

  21. Happy almost-birthday! I turned 40 about five weeks ago and I like it very much so far. My mail-order butler has been a big help, and the dancing pandas keep the blues at bay. 😉

  22. Y’know, someone told me 60 is the new 40 but I’m not so sure I’m buying into that…except I’m still wondering what I’m gonna be when I grow up, still staying up way too late writing while I’m watching old movies, and still thinking radical, leftist thoughts when i know at 60 I’m supposed to be en route to stodgy, Republican, and in bed by 8.

    Yeah, I have greying hair and I don’t dye it. Too big a pain in the ass to keep up. I kinda care about what I look like, but hey! I’m a widow…nobody else cares. My 91 year old mother keeps suggesting I go out with some of her young friends….80 year olds, and I think, nah, I’m not nearly _that_ old.

    I do like the freedom of not having to give a shit about anything that you get at 60. That’s kinda cool.

    So, Jenny, there’s something to look forward to. Really.

  23. I’m following you in six months, down the 40 trail…thank you for giving me a roadmap on how to handle it without resorting to a panic attack induced drunken botox session. 🙂

    Happiest of happy birthdays…and if you were in Phoenix…I’d buy you the BIGGEST drink.

  24. This could not be more true, I wish I had written it when I turned 40! Happy Birthday!

  25. You hit every nail squarely on the head! I will be 44 on my next birthday (June). On my 40th I wore a tiara to work (waited tables at the time), and welcomed all my customers to MY birthday party. . .got some great tips that night. I ignored my 41st, dropped major hints on 42nd so that I got a cake and cards at work, and celebrated my 43rd with the blue dyed hair I was too chicken shit to get in my teens. The farther I get away from my 20’s, the happier I have gotten! I finally figured out how to “grow up” without completely maturing! So enjoy! You are now in the F-word decade!

  26. I’m not worried about turning 40 in a few years thanks to something my dad – one of the happiest people I’ve ever known – once told me. He said his 40s were his favorite decade because he’d worked diligently to achieve many of his goals and now he could really enjoy the results of that hard work. He said a lot of that pressure we put on ourselves to “be the best at everything all the time no matter what” kind of goes away, and you actually let yourself breath and relax a bit. I hope I’m able to feel the same way!

  27. Today is my 30th birthday!! I’m attempting to have a get together at a bar tonight.. i think a whole 4 people (including me and my boyfriend) will be showing up due to the stupid holidays.

    Getting older is fun!! Who would want to get younger?? Been there, done that!! Chin up, fellow holiday sandwich birthday girl!!

  28. Looks like we share the same birthday but this year I will be 30….still think it all still applies! Happy Birthday have great day!

  29. What a sigh of relief! I’ll be 40 in about 3 months and it scares the shit out of me and excites me all at the same time! Happy 40th birthday!!!

  30. None of my “milestone” birthdays have ever bothered me. I long as I keep having them, I’m happy. As to which one marks when I’m “grown up”, I haven’t reached that one yet.

  31. I turn 40 in May. Hoping by then that the stupid awkward shit I do ALL the time will just become part of my charm or maybe I will finally find some grace (ha!). Here was last nights installment. Hope you enjoy, I have a welt on my ass, bruised my elbow (which I broke in May) and somehow got a woodburn on my wrist. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays.

    “I don’t know who to be more torqued at, Sister Wives, American Horror Story or Michael Buble but one of you asshats owe me an iPhone.
    It all started out so innocent enough watching Sister Wives. By episode three I totally got it and realized the sisters are the smart ones, then Wade wanted to switch lanes to American Horror Story, which I HATE!! Freaks the shit out of me! So after a particularly freakish episode he’s all “night.” Oh no, I ain’t staying in the basement alone. So I went upstairs and decided to take a bath. Totally relaxed listening to my Frank Sinatra station on iHeart and here comes Michael Buble singing, “Feeling Good”, which I WAS. So I get out and pick up my phone which immediately slips from my pruny fingers into the toilet. The toilet which had not been flushed since the boys went to bed, which meant it looked like TANG!! So much for my TARTIS case cause that did NOTHING at all David Tennant! Luckily as a mom a bowl full of tang colored pee means nothing next to my iPhone.
    Its already soaked so I give it a quick bath under water, cuz what can that hurt. I then realize there is pee/iPhone water all over the toilet and rug so I wipe the seat down (with an antibacterial wipe, cuz that’s how I roll) and ball up the dirty clothes, rug and my soggy iPhone to take them downstairs. Gotta get the phone in rice!!
    On my way down the first 5 steps I drop a piece of laundry which acts as a foot slide. Oh did I mention I had a glass of water in my hand? Not pretty!!
    So the person I am legally bound to comes running out and takes one look at me, shakes his head and walks back to bed (apparently in his mind this kind of thing happens a lot). I pick up the strune laundry, my plastic (thanks for that foresight) glass, myself and hobble to the kitchen to put my phone, my baby, into rice (I only had brown, hope that works). Then I gingerly went to the basement to throw the dirty articles in the laundry and take a shower cause I was beat the hell up and probably had pee water on me.
    Now here I am in the basement, that freaked me out an hour ago after American Horror Story, wishing I had a sister wife to talk to, and my phone is in a blender ball of brown rice. Curses to you Michael Buble!!”

  32. Every word of this is true. (Especially the bit about the fainting goats.). I turned 40 three months ago and it’s the absolute best bullshit-meter in the world. I can see, hear and smell bullshit from a mile away now and I longer have to wade into it just to make some else comfortable.

    The official mottos for 40 year old are as follows (but not limited to:)
    *Fuck that
    *Fuck you
    *What the fuck is my body DOING?!

    It’s been a hell of adventure already. Now I just need the goats…

  33. Wow, I’m impressed that you figured this out at 40! It took me until almost 60, but I now have the I-gotta-do-stuff-for-myself-cause-nobody-else-is-gonna-do-it-for-me-and-damn-it-I’m-gonna-have-fun-doing-it attitude.

  34. Dude, you’re 40. You’ve made it to 40. Fuck anyone who tells you to act a certain way, you got here of your own fucking accord and slaughtered dragons with your bare hands to get here.

  35. THANK YOU for this! I am turning 40 next month, and have been approaching it with both dread and anticipation. I still feel as though I’m 20, don’t really know what I want to do with my life, and drink way too much wine, but I no longer feel the need to obsess about my appearance, or give a shit what anyone else thinks. It’s quite liberating! You perfectly described how I am approaching my 40s. So here’s to us getting older broads who can finally say out loud “I’m 40, so fuck off.” Happy Birthday!

  36. Happy Birthday !

    Just for the record, 40 means absolutely nothing, or everything, or whatever you want it to mean. Embrace it, ignore it, whatever – you’re already you, and have a ton of folks who love you just that way.

    I had my first child at 40, second at 44. So I break most molds about what age means. I always felt like I did things 10 years after my contemporaries, or, at very least, in reverse order. So, take it from someone who’s either always late or going backwards, revel in being you, at any age. Enjoy your day !

  37. 40 freaked me the fuck out. I didn’t want to turn 40..40 SOUNDS HORRIBLE…

    And then I turned 50. I FUCKING LOVE 50.

    40 rocks, too…and you’re gorgeous, talented..funny as fuck. You make 40 look good.

  38. Happy Almost 40 Jenny! I hit the milestone in September and aside from people telling me how different it is, it is still the same old same old. Enjoy it.

  39. Happy Birthday Jenny! When I turned forty, an older woman at work looked at me with pity and said in a Debbie Downer voice “soooo, how does it FEEL to be forty?” I sincerely told her that I had always felt like the understudy in my own life and at 40 was now the star. And when I turned 50 not so long ago, I simply told everyone they could kiss my wrinkled ass – ain’t nobody got time for other people’s judgments.

  40. OMGee……. We are birthday twins! How freaking fantastic! Let’s both have a fabulous 40th “celebration of you” in 2 days and ROCK our 40s!

  41. Happy Birthday! My father’s birthday is tomorrow & I’ve always felt bad for him that his b-day was lost in the Christmas crush.

    FWIW, IME, 40 was not nearly as painful as 30 was…

  42. i could have sworn you wrote “using the wrong fuck” and i had no idea there were wrong fucks.
    then i reread what you actually wrote and realized that i read it incorrectly. i am 42 and will just go ahead and blame being over 40.
    regardless, hope you have a happy, happy birthday!

  43. Happy birthday (in a few days)! My mom’s birthday is tomorrow and I always love how I’m already in present mode for Christmas, so it’s easy to get her multiple presents. Her birthday present is always wrapped in birthday paper/gift bag, but placed at the back of the tree and saved until the birthday. So on Christmas, you unwrap most presents, but then you have to wait three days for the birthday presents. (Okay, maybe this is more fun for me than her.)

  44. Happy Almost Birthday!!! I turned sixty in August. It’s cool. The only downside is that age-ism is the only “ism” that is not only accepted but nurtured in our culture. I haven’t experienced that directly yet. I think that’s because I’m a Bad Ass Motherfucker. I have an award that proves it!

  45. Wait till you get to 60. Then you have an excuse for EVERYTHING and you realize that 60 still isn’t anywhere close to old, even though you hurt a bit most days and have trouble staying awake for the 11 o’clock news. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (And if ANYone deserves fainting goats, it’s you!)

  46. Just turned 40 last week. The post pretty much sums it up, especially the part about not being grown up then remembering that you are. Happy Birthday!

  47. Happy Birthday to you! Here’s to no less than another 40 and then some. I hit 50 this year, and it is fantastic! Enjoy every moment of it, you deserve nothing less 🙂

  48. Happy early birthday. I’m right behind you. I turn 39 this year and then 40 the next one. 30 hit me hard and 40 seems to loom just as big. It’s mostly the number, but I have felt the twinges of a “mid life crisis” coming on. Luckily for my wife, that won’t entail quitting my job or running off with some other woman or anything. Knowing me, it’ll mean I buy some geeky movies, some computer hardware, some board games, and descend into a pit of geekiness for a week or so. (Now that I put it that way, I’ve been preparing for this mid-life crisis my entire life!)

    I figure that you’re only as old as the average of how you feel and how you act. I alternate between feeling like I’m still 20 and like I’m 70. I act my age sometimes, but mostly gravitate between 8 and 18. Average them all together and I’m still only 29!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to locate some old episodes of Doctor Who. I have a pit of geekiness to prepare.

  49. Happy birthday, you awesome bad ass woman!
    My 40s were awesome and my 50s have kicked ass so far….damn, now where did I put my glasses?…oh here they are…right by the wine….that’s convenient.

  50. I’m 45 and it’s been a fabulous ride of no-more-fucks-left-to-give until YOU say so. Priorities become clearer, you become less hard on yourself, and begin to enjoy the ride.

    Welcome, we’re very glad you’re here. 🙂

  51. Best and Worst year of my life but I lived it like it was my last. No regrets. I think I finally became the person I want to be! Enjoy and welcome to the forty club. Remember to gift yourself every month because you are forty!!

  52. Oh, Jenny Congratulations!
    40s are pretty damned awesome!
    At 40 I lost a 1/3 of my body weight (70 lbs), my son is in his Senior year at High School, I did a hot air balloon ride, and learned to scuba dive. I’m addicted to diving, even though I ruptured a disk getting bashed against some rocks, it may slow me down but, there’s no stopping me!
    I just celebrated my 41st diving in the Bahamas in October. Now, I’m getting ready to start training to do a mini triathlon for my 42nd…
    Who says everyone peaks in their 20s? I’m doing that in my 40s!

  53. Happy Birthday, Jenny! I loved being 40. I loved being 50. I love being in my 60s now. I will be 64 in a few days and find that I am just now realizing how truly awesome I am. I think the naked Korean day spa is in order for birthday celebration! I won’t be the only fat woman in her 60s there. There could be anyone there. I’ve even seen post-op MTF transgender ladies there enjoying being women with the rest of us. Delight in life and enjoy getting older, Jenny. It just gets better!

  54. I just turned 45 this year, and I have to say my 40s have been the best decade of my life so far. I’m saner and happier than I’ve ever been — and to celebrate my 45th spin around the earth, I gave away or sold everything I couldn’t fit in my car and drove 3,000 miles across the country to settle in Seattle, a place I’ve wanted to live for many years. Why? Because I’ve realized life is way too short to sit around and deal with bullshit in a job you used to love and a state you used to think was your home.

    My worst existential crisis happened when I turned 30 because I thought that surely by then I would have been a world-famous bestselling author ™ and I hadn’t even sold a book to an agent yet. Also, a lot of healing crises happened one after another, and it was a real shit-show at the time — but now that I can look back on it, I’m glad I went through it then.

  55. Happy Birthday! Mine is tomorrow, and that makes me…one year and a day older than you. Bask in my lack of maturity. I don’t celebrate my birthday, and I haven’t since I was old enough to have the option. Which means that every year some new idiot decides that “This one is going to be special” and strikes out on some misguided plan to make me like my birthday. I really don’t need to see the cops again. If someone wants to make this one special, just get me a card.

  56. Happy birthday! Best wishes for an amazing day and year! 40s are great, welcome to the club.

  57. Happy Birthday!
    Today is my birthday. I’m now 23 years old. I’m with you on the whole lost-between-Christmas-and-new-years birthday thing.
    But, here’s to us! Obviously, this time of year created some pretty weird people 😛

  58. just wait until you get to be 60. 40 you still wonder a little what other people think. At 60, ALL BETS ARE OFF.

  59. So. I turn 40 in about 4 months. We’ll be part of the same club. I have friends who are much younger than I looking horror everytime I say “bring it–let’s do this thing” because they can’t fathom being FORTY!!! I’m with you. 40 says–don’t fuck with me, I won’t fuck with you–unless it entertains me a little, then I probably will, for a little while anyway because hey, I’m 40, and at some point I’ll remember I have better things to do than just fuck with you 🙂

    One woman I know years ago told me that 40 was at once awesome and horrifying because you disappear. Men no longer notice you, women no longer critique you when you walk by. You’re invisible, anonymous. She seemed to regret that. I like it from the judgment point of view–I think people don’t think you give two shits anymore, so they likewise don’t put the effort of judging you into their day. And they leave you be. To be whatever you want. Whenever you want. And that sounds delightful.

    Cheers honey. Happy Birthday.

  60. Happy almost birthday. 40 was a breeze. and you will ROCK IT! (Sadly, body parts started giving out after i turned 50.)

  61. When I was 40, my 33 year old husband decided he wanted to go back into the Army. He got a medical discharge at age 18 due to bad knees, but wanted to go back in. After getting knee surgery, back in the Army he went. In my neighborhood, all of the other Privates were under 25, and the average age of the wives was 20. Seriously, I was older than most of their mothers. Strangely enough, we were roughly in the same stage of life, since I had my daughter at 38 and they had their kids at 18. We had a wonderful community and nobody cared how old we were, especially since we could by alcohol!

  62. 4017 are my favorite! You are comfortable in your own skin, young enough to change your life and old enough to know what is important and true. My very favorite decade!

  63. Happy birthday!

    40 rocks. I felt a bit meh about 30 – but 40 felt great. I’m loving my forties so far. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  64. I also celebrate my birthday in the no-one-ever-remembers zone between Christmas and New Year. Turning 45 this year, which in my opinion is everything you’re expecting from 40…but with wheels, bells and whistles. And the occasional sharp object. For when we feel stabby.

  65. Happy birthday, Jenny! I celebrated my 40th on Christmas Eve and was surprised with a party last night by my wonderful friends and family. I hope your 40th goes as well as mine. I have been looking forward to this birthday for a while. I don’t fear 40, I have embraced it wholeheartedly!

  66. Getting holder has its perks. Your odd clothing is no longer ‘weird’ but ‘eccentric’. You get to speak your mind. When you forget shit you can blame it on age. When you don’t want to do shit, you can say ‘sorry, I just wasn’t up to it’. You get to run kids out of the seats so you can sit down. You’re no longer an animal hoarder; you’re a crazy cat lady. The clothing you’ve had for years is no longer out of date, it’s vintage and cool.

    I turned 59 today. Tomorrow I’ll start shaking my fists at clouds.

  67. Yes… 40’s are when you start finding yourself… In your 20’s you marry and lose half of you, then the first child you lose more, second a little more, and in my case the third I was totally gone. In my 40’s I started looking for me. Art classes, ballet classes, educational courses and I learned how to say NO to things I really didn’t want to do. Now in my 50’s and it gets better. Jumped out of a plane, traveled across my country, and then all of Ireland (life long dream), wrote my first children’s book and working on the second with ideas for the third and fourth. Still have lots on my list, and damnit I am going to do it.
    Have a wonderful Birthday Jenny… the best is yet to come!

  68. Wow! I will also be 40 in 2 days! I also share this birthday with my twin sister. Happy Birthday to us!

  69. I think some of us (Jenny) were precociously badass (Jenny) waaaaay before 40 (Jenny) and numbers have absolutely NOTHING to do with it. But so far, I’ve been experiencing exponential decrepitude at 49. BUT DON’T THINK I CAN’T STILL KICK ANYONE’S ASS!!! Because I can– I can still kick THAT high, at least.

  70. I love 40! Calling people out on their bullshit is ONE of the many benefits of starting this decade. My life changed drastically at 40. That was 9 years ago now. YIKES. Happy 40th Birthday!! I love your attitude 😉

  71. I’m almost four years ahead of you and I’m liking my forties. I am more comfortable in my own skin and know myself better than ever before.

    I’m a little scared to know what you would do with fainting goats but, at the same time, I bet it would be awesome 🙂

  72. Happy Birthday Jenny! Welcome to the “Old enough to know better, but young enough to still get away with it” club!!!

  73. They say ‘life begins at 40’ so it’s the perfect excuse to let it all hang out, and go crazy for a while without anyone getting on your back. You’ll then calm down naturally or by force (by men in those little white coats) and let’s hope that too much damage wasn’t done.

    Happy Birthday, enjoy it, as you only live once and have a wonderful Happy New Year too.

  74. Happy birthday!

    I originally started my blog as a way to lead from my 29th birthday into my 30th…and here I am a few months shy of 31, and I realize that age doesn’t matter and it’s ALL in how you feel. And what you’re doing. And I think you’re doing pretty well. 😀 Plus, you don’t look a day over 30. 😉

  75. I turn 40 soon also! While I am not nearly as accepting of it as you are, this entry is fantastic and made me laugh, so thank you.

    I especially love: “40 is the new I-don’t-really-give-a-shit-about-how-old-I-am-because-I’m-finally-learning-how-to-be-a-bad-ass-so-get-out-of-my-way-or-I-will-shank-you-thank-you-very-much.” HA HA HA I want to have business cards printed up with that phrase.


  76. Women are their most beautiful in their forties. It’s an inner confidence thing not a thin thigh thing and it’s infinitely more appealing. And it lasts well into your fifties. You have just hit the absolute prime of your life. Thankfully, you, dear Jenny, have the brains to really enjoy the next two decades and all they have to offer you before you get creaky and moan when you get out of chairs. You should insist that your family celebrate your birthday at the 1/2 mark so you’ll always have an excuse for a very fun summer party or trip. Happy Birthday to one of my best friends (in my head) and enjoy! xoxo

  77. Could you please repost this in the second week of June, 2015? That’s when I’ll be turning 40 and I’d much rather look at it as you do, than dread the occurrence, as I did at 30.

  78. Happy Birthday Jenny! I feel the same way about birthdays as you. Mine is next week. They were never a big deal because mine was lost in the holidays. 40 was great. I am hitting 47 and it seems strange. I remember my grandma being 47.

  79. Need y’all be reminded that 42 is the answer to the meaning of life? Two years to your epiphany, Jenny!

    Love from Jenny, 42, who has all the answers ;D.

  80. happy birthday! I would totally get you fainting goats. but I just got you the bees, and I worry that the goats would have allergies… they do that you know…

  81. Can you change the part about being old enough at 40 for fainting goats pretty please??? I turn 30 a day after you turn 40 and I am trying to get goats or chickens or a pig! I’m not picky but if I have to wait until 40 I may have to shank someone and they won’t allow farm animals in jail!

  82. You make 40 sound really good. Now I’m kinda sad that I only turned 30 this year. You make me want to be 40! So many levels of wrong there! Gah! Just proves you’re good at lots of things. Oh, and Happy Birthday!

  83. Hm. My early-mid 40s were decent. I’m going to be 53 next month and so far the 50s have not been the rockin’ time I was promised. 🙂 Okay, so death and grief and unemployment may have something to do with that.

    Therapy and trying to figure out who the f**k I am aside, I do feel a bit more leeway as someone over 50. After all, I’m over half a century old. That puts me in Elder status. That means I’m Wise, right? At the very least, I can pretend. (And I’m really 8 years old inside anyway: being over 50 means I don’t mind being a kid and playing with the little kids — or like the little kids — because hey, I’m Wise.)

  84. Happy Birthday! I don’t give a shit about age either. I’m 44, for those keeping track. My sagging neck I care about a little bit, but if I take my readers off I can’t see it anymore, so PROBLEM SOLVED. *drink*

  85. Today is my half birthday, it always gets lost in the holiday shuffle as well. Well that and and no one gives a shit about half birthdays. But I’d rather celebrate my half birthday than my real one anyway.

  86. I remember when I was about to turn 40. A woman of my acquaintance who was probably about the age I am now (60), said “Oh, 40! The 40’s were lovely!”

    And she was right. The 40’s were lovely. The 50’s were pretty bad ass too. I can’t vouch for the 60’s yet, but I’ll get back to you…

  87. Jenny,
    As a woman who in 2014 will (and all in the same damned month to boot):
    -officially have 2 teenage sons
    -have one son begin high school
    -turn 40 herself
    all I can say is thank you. Now 40 seems a hell of a lot less scary than the other 2. 🙂

  88. Soooo I was in a lingerie store in the mall over the weekend & a lady came in with her husband, I swear she looked exactly like you… I was staring at her trying to decide if it was your or not, and she was, of course, giving me some weird looks, so I tried to look away. Then when she went up to the register she had 20 pairs of very shiny and lacy thong panties (they were *apparently* on sale for 5/$20). SO the question is… were you and Victor (or some other man) in a lingerie store in WV over the weekend, and if so, why does one person need 20 pairs of shiny lacy thongs and why were you so rude at me for staring at you, I was starstruck… ? Now after reading this post, I realize you were probably buying party favors for your 40th birthday party.

  89. I stopped counting after 29. Well actually I went back a year, like i was 29 for a few years and then I turned 28 for a few more, mainly because I’m getting old and forgot.

  90. Happy Birthday! I’m just a few short years past 40 and these have so far been the best years of my life. Embrace the I’m-too-old-to-give-a-shit attitude. It will serve you well.

    Also, I had a few more book suggestions to add to your previous post: Veronica by Nicholas Christopher (weird, otherworldly, high-on-hallucinogenics type of literature). Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins (or anything by him is just too sublime to miss). And, for an EPIC love story rich with historical references and written with intelligence – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. (This is the first in a series that you will lose days of your life reading.)

  91. Happy Birthday! Mine is the 29th, too. I will be 48. For me, 40 was a breeze to face. 30 was more traumatic. 30 sucked. Enjoy!

  92. I dreaded 40 because my mother died 17 days after her 40th birthday, but then it came and went, as did my “give-a-shit-ness” (yes, that is a word). I am now 42, and my daughter tells me I am the answer to life, the universe and everything. I just wish I knew the question. Welcome to Club 40–no secret password because we’d probably forget it.

  93. happy (almost) birthday, Jenny!
    i am not far behind you, and my husband will be 40 in three weeks.
    i feel like an old woman and an idiotic teenager all at once. wiser than my years, but young, dumb and pretty panicky when i’m honest about it. so i can’t think about it too much. if i do, i need a drink, or i need to call my therapist, or both.
    and i needed to read this today. you ARE grace. and you ARE glee. and i’m so glad i get to see you at BlogHer 14. or even if I don’t *really* get to see you because you might be hiding in the bathroom.
    oh, and I am 1/2 way done re-reading Karen Walrond’s essay about you in her book.
    oh, and i want to get a tattoo. i’m trying to think of what it should say/be. maybe a goat or a unicorn. or maybe a white flag that says, “i fucking surrender!”
    i’m leaning towards the latter.

    love and birthday hugs to you. oh, and unicorns, too!

  94. My 40’s got better when Wil Wheaton tweeted about this really funny lady demonstrating relevancy. Then that funny lady wrote a funny book. And my husband and I bought that funny book. Twice. Well, we bought two books, one for us and one to share. Oh, and my other half and I got tired of waiting for national marriage equality and decided to take a road trip to Iowa to get married. 😀

  95. Happy birthday Jenny!

    My mom tells me that she’d rather be in her 40s and 50s than any other age. However, I think that’s because she can cuss young women out and they can’t say anything about it now. It’s pretty awesome to see someone who went from being afraid to say hello to people to cussing them out for coming off as anything but independent.

  96. Welcome to the club! Grey may be one of the many colors of hair on my head, but I’ve got a Peter Pan complex on the inside, so it’s cool.

  97. OMG for so many reasons, Happy Birthday!!! I am somewhere between 55 and 60 and I don’t give a shit and I’m real tired of people asking me how old I am cause I so can not remember and yet I am expected to remember so much other crap. Not long ago I was giving yet more blood for some unknown to me test and the girl asked for my birthday so I rattled it off once again and she made this face and looked at me. Okay so I goofed once again and added in 100 extra years. .. shrugs, at least she was paying attention.

  98. I’m that was not taser *and* fainting goats…watching the goats react to the Sounds of Wild Predators cd, you might double over laughing and accidentally taze yourself!

  99. So sometimes I want to comment on a post of yours but while scrolling down I see an Amy or two that have already comment and I’m like “meh. i’m sure in these 1302 comments someone has said what I want to say so I’ll just pretend one of those Amy’s is me. It could be.” and then I don’t comment. It happens more often than I care to admit.

    Happy Birthday.

  100. I love you for this post. I turn 40 in 15 days myself and have been in need of a serious non-alcoholic pick me up. Thanks for that.

    Have a very Happy Birthday! [And if I had to choose, I’d go with the taser. (My husband has kind of been pushing my buttons lately.)]

  101. Happy birthday! I think 40 is when you stop giving a rat’s….something or other. At least that’s how I’m hoping I’ll approach it when I hit it in two months.

  102. Ever since I turned 40, I now can never remember how old I am. Ask me right now and I would have to actually subtract 1967 from 2013 in order to tell you that I am somewhere between 46 and 47. The good part of this is I know ALL of my friends are older than me, and the one who is only 5 months older is just now sending her child to 1st grade while mine is only visiting for two weeks before he goes off to be a grown up again.

    Happy Be a Pirate Day! Oh, sorry I mean Birthday, Happy Birthday

  103. 40 is also when you can blame everything on hormones, peri-menopause, including illness, stupidity, moodiness, sometimes even felonious activity. If you’re a guy, you have the misfortune of having to blame it on a mid-life crisis which frankly just makes you look like a jerk.

  104. Goats are assholes. We finally got rid of all of ours. I turned 40 two weeks ago and went on a cruise with my favorite friend to celebrate, had so much fun!

  105. Happy Birthday! I have twins that are turning 41 in a few days….didn’t plan it that way, it was supposed to be a Thanksgiving single baby…. please don’t beat me for having children so close to Christmas!
    I’m looking at 67 next birthday…still 12 in my head, so it can be a problem sometimes when I flip idiots off.

  106. You know what? The same can be said about 50. And 60. And probably 70, although I have no personal experience of that.

  107. I’m in my late 40s now and the majority of the decade has been a bumpy ride due mostly to outside forces. Other than that I find it’s mostly been a trade off. I worry less about what I wear. I can say pretty much what I want. I don’t like the changes in my eye sight (booo reading glasses). I’m still young enough to foolishly daydream my Prince Charming might show up and fix everything that’s wrong ( from my bank account to the stalled van currently sitting in my driveway). I can drink as much as I like but it’s not as fun as it used to be. I think like anything else only part of it is under your control and what is left falls under the category of “life is what you make it”. It’s like that whole when life gives you lemons thing…
    a) You make lemonade
    b) You get some gin and tonic and make a drink
    c) You squirt someone in the eye
    d) You go all Cave Johnson in Portal 2- “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”

    Happy Birthday “gurl”

  108. Happy birthday-ish.

    One of my friends who has a birthday around Christmastime told me about her clever response to those whoever got her a single gift for both Christmas and birthday. Whenever their birthday rolled around, she would respond with: “Oh, I just got you the one gift for your birthday and Christmas. That’s ok, right?”

    In July.

  109. Oh Jenny, I LOVED turning 40. I decided I wasn’t going to take shit from anyone. I have heard this from other women too. rock on sweetie pie ! rock on. happy happy.

  110. 40s are great! I loved my 40s…until I hit 49 and decided to have cancer butI don’t hold that against my age, just bad luck. And on the plus side, the cancer is a super-rare cancer that only a few people get and is super treatable and it’s on my ASS! How many people get to have cancer on their butt cheek? So at 49, I have docs ask me stuff like “Would you like me to pull the curtain?” and I’m all “Hell no, most of the docs and students on the West Coast have seen my butt!”
    So, yeah, embrace those 40s, darlin’! Best time of your life!

  111. You & my daughter share a birthday. Hope you have a happy one! If you can spare a minute, send us wishes that hers isn’t a disaster, since, as a 7-year-old-to-be, she doesn’t yet have your wonderful perspective on birthdays.

  112. Happy Birthday!! I’m turning 40 in June … and I’m so going to rock it! I’ve been looking forward to it for about five years …only because I decided at 35 that when I turn 40, I’m going to take a big trip.. 30 was Alaska… We’ll see what 40 brings!

  113. The thing about 40 is, it lulls you into a sense of security, ie: “This isn’t so bad, I can handle this.” Next thing you know you are traveling down the road like an old Dodge Dart with parts falling off at random and you find yourself headed for a ditch at 60 mph. Guys start letting doors slam in your face instead of holding them open for you. Teen-aged girls stop sizng you up because you are NO competition at ALL. You’re not old enough to garner any respect or awe, you’re at the irrelevant stage of life. And then finally you grasp the concept behind socialized medicine, which is basically to help you get used to the idea that you need to get off the damn planet soonest and make way for somebody younger and cuter. Happy freakin’ b’day! You’re welcome.

  114. I’ll be 40 in March and I let my 12 year old read this post- he said it reminded him of me. Which I find a great compliment! Happy Birthday and keep on daring 40 to get in your way- I know I’m ready to make it my bitch.

  115. I have mixed feelings about being in my 40’s. 30 was really hard on me (I blame having seen the movie “Logan’s Run” when I was young).

    I had a mental list of things that I was supposed to have accomplished by the time I was 40. Now I’m staring down the barrel of 50 and the list still taunts me with goals not yet met. I’ve also started to run into being interviewed for jobs by folks who are 20 years my junior, a key reason I’m really trying to make it as a Professional Virtual Assistant. If I’m my own boss, I never feel that I’m not “hip” enough to be a tech savvy employee.

    Happy Early Birthday, Jenny! I hope the coming year is absolutely stellar for you!

  116. Forty is a fine age. I hit my 40s and dropped everything and went to culinary school (for those of you with similar dreams, here was my journey: Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood at Forty is old enough to do it and wise enough not to care what everyone else thinks. May we all be that confident and smart!

  117. I feel the same way about turning 30, but with a little more fear. I think I’ll take a page out of your book and say f it, 30 feels pretty great!

  118. 40 has been an interesting decade so far….I don’t feel the need to suffer fools and helped form a flat-track roller derby team in our small town. Talk about empowering…makes students think twice before giving me flack since they came out to see me get my ass handed to me, but instead did the handing out!!! BOO-YA! Happiest of Birthdays!

  119. jenn,
    you are very lucky you got the “get the fuck out of my way or I will shank you”. I only got that about 2 weeks ago (at age 53) when I 3rd husband dumped me 2 days before thanksgiving. (my second husband of 21 years dumped me for a chick the same age as our son, and they have 2 infants, who are the same age as my son’s baby). my 1st husband doesn’t really count, other than the fact that he said I was ‘dead weight’. (I make over 6 figures, have 2 master’s degrees and have served my nation within the DoD at home and aboard for the last 27 fucking years). but I guess none of that is good enough. so good for you for know that at 40 and good for me for finally figuring it out at 53. Happy BDay, U r the bomb!

  120. 20’s sucked
    30’s were 1/2 sucky and 1/2 great. Gave up on having a child/got divorced/met the man of my dreams married him – sum it up that’s 1/2 great.

    40’s – best decade yet!!!! I’m now 48 and finally like who I am. Not that I wouldn’t change a few things for the better -but over all – I like me FINALLY!

    Ready for the 50’s. I’m having a NOT 50 party on my 49th however. Just to poke fun of all my older friends.

  121. Jenny,

    I wish I had known all that when I turned 40. You will do fine. I am wishing you a wonderful birthday and a year full of joyful flabbergast-ment (ie. astonishment, not bewilderment).

    All my best,

  122. I’ve been feeling that way about turning thirty. I know who I am now. I feel happy to be me now. I can only assume that I will feel even more awesome at forty.

  123. I’m 30 next year and kinda can’t wait to hit it. But I’ve been doing the whole act of “I’ll be 29 forever.” when in reality, i don’t care. 30 is fine. 30 is way more grown up than 29. And I’m kinda ready for the 30’s… it seems to me that I’ll be way more calm and settled down in my 30’s. But then again, I’ll be the same old spastic me… so 30 probably wont’ be any different than my 20’s… SHIT. That kinda sucks.

  124. Forty is a relief! All those expectations you place on yourself simply vanish. A level of confidence you never knew you had suddenly appears and you feel free to do what you want when you want. You start doing things for yourself without worrying about what “others” might think. 40 is Liberating!!!!

  125. Happy Birthday!! I’m 40-something. I honestly have no idea. When people ask, I just tell them the year I was born and make them do the math. I hate math. But I’m definitely in my 40’s , I think, and it’s awesome! Holy shit, what if it’s been so long, I’m really in my 80’s. That would explain a lot. I’m sure this won’t happen to you. Happy Birthday!! Oh, I said that already.

  126. “40 means you get to be staunch one day and flighty the next, and no one can question you because at 40 you’ve pretty much decided who you’re going to be, and people realize that they should either avoid you completely or just come along for the terrifying-but-entertaining ride.”

    I love this so much, Happy Birthday, Jenny!

    I freaked out a little bit on my 40th birthday. My own mother forgot to call. So, if it gets funky, you will survive.

  127. If you like 40, you will love 45. Except I have trained my kids to tell everyone I am 32. Which works well too. Or I just say that I am 90 and don’t I look good for my age? Whatever age I am I would never go back to my 20s. Ever.

  128. Totally agree. The 40’s have been pretty awesome so far and for all of the reasons you’ve mentioned and a few you missed. In fact, just the other day, I was in a discussion with several female friends reassuring one about to join the 40’s club how awesome it is.

    Happy happy birthday, dear one. You’re awesome.

  129. I’ll try to remember this in a few years because turning 36 in less than a month and having nothing to show for it seems really fucking shitty right now.

  130. That was probably an inappropriate comment.
    Yes, I think definitely inappropriate.

    Happy Soon To Be Birthday In a Few Days.
    That’s better.
    And truly meant, not just me trying to not suck.

  131. 40 is the new 30. Orange is the new black. Skiing is the new snowboarding which was the new skiing. Which is all just to say, it’s all relative. When we get past having to justify why our current age is okay with the rest of the world, we can stop pointing the shank at others or ourselves, and use it instead to carve up a block of manchego cheese as big as our faces. Cause that’s how birthdays should go down. With cheese. Happy birthday Jenny. You’re gorgeous.

  132. Amen. I’m 42, and I still feel 25, only I’m not an idiot like I was at 25. I now know how to love others AND love myself. I know that my worth is not based on the size of my pants, or bra, or anything. Good for you for going in to 40 with this knowledge.

    Now, 30 was terrible. I turned 30 on 9/10/01. The world went to crap the next day.

  133. Happy birthday from a December 30 baby, who also wonders what the heck the big deal about birthdays is. My childhood birthday memories are filled with “birthday/Christmas combination” gifts. Welcome to your 40s! I’ve been here a while already and the view ain’t really so bad.

  134. Zomg my birthday is between Xmas and New Year’s too, and everyone is always out of town! And I never got to celebrate my birthday in school 🙁 (although, plus in that I never had to go to school on my birthday)

  135. Meh, 40 isn’t so bad.. it is when someone asks you if your daughter is actually your granddaughter that is bad.. that was at 41. So- something to look forward to.

  136. I turn 40 in one month exactly…..thanks for blazing the trail! (And I will say I LOVE LOVE LOVE being absolutely unapologetic for who I am. It took me 39.5 years to get here.) Only downside I can see so far is the bags under my eyes that have become a daily thing.

  137. Happy birthday! My oldest son’s birthday is today, so I get the whole holiday fatigue thing. He actually likes it though, because everyone is off school and around every year. They’re past the rushing for Christmas and not to the resolutions yet.

    I hope you love 40 as much as I have. So far it’s been the best decade!

  138. Happy birthday, Jenny! Hope you have a blast. I’m glad you aren’t having the 40s blues.
    I on the other hand? Am 44 and am still in denial about turning 40. Of course you? Look fabulous, so no worries there!

  139. Just remember, Jenny: You’re not getting older, you’re merely succumbing to the ravages of time.

    But seriously, you’re getting stronger, more talented, wiser and cuter. You’re becoming Jenny 4.0.
    And that’s spectacular.

  140. 40 is awesome.
    43 sucks ass.

    And at NO TIME in my life will I EVER be trusted with a taser. Fainting goats, perhaps…especially if I insisted I just wanted to play Gone With The Wind with ’em and named one Scarlett and the other Rhett. But the taser? Nope. Kiddo would laugh at the notion alone. Hub would cringe and possibly cry.

    Actually, now I want a taser. Maybe for my 44th.

  141. Oh, and happy early birthday. T’was the point of the previous post before I got all excited about the taser. You’re a bad influence. Just sayin’.

  142. My birthday is the 28th and this year I hit 41 and I can tell you, it’s no big deal. Happy Birthday and may this year bring you as many laughs as you bring to us everyday. 🙂

  143. THIS is perfect. I have been much more ready to embrace my 40s because of all the reasons you listed. I am finally beginning to feel comfortable with myself and more comfortable ignoring those who aren’t comfortable with me. In other words, I am closer to being The Bloggess than I ever have been in my life. Huzzah for The Bloggess 40s.

  144. Happy (early) Birthday, Jenny! From the perspective of 53, I can tell you that the 40’s on-the-whole were really a good time for me. I’m hoping my 50’s start turning around pretty soon!

    My birthday is December 1st, so I totally understand combination presents. I hated it as a kid. Now I realize that my poor mom and brother actually have it worse–their Bdays are in mid-January and NO ONE has any money then, LOL!

  145. You know what’s really great about turning 50? I forget. But 51 – well, THAT has been quite the ride! Plus I keep forgetting that I’m not actually 52 already, so my crappy memory is sort of like the gift that keeps on giving. That, and I think I had a baby at 40, so yeah, turning 50 and able to sleep at night was way better. I think tasing someone sounds like a great way to celebrate my next zero birthday. Thanks for that, Jenny!

  146. This is the most beautiful, glorious, and apt description of how I feel at almost forty. I mean, not to fangirl and I’m always happy to read anything your write, but holy shit and shinola, this is exactly how I feel. So I guess that’s shallow, liking something more just cause it feels like you wrote it for me, but whatever, it’s brilliant. Happy birthday whenever the hell…

  147. Happy almost-birthday! I’ll be joining you in the next few months, and I know I will need to look back on this to make the approach more manageable. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being fabulous.

  148. Onwards and upwards I say…A very Happy Birthday to you….my daughter is 41 on the 29th, so I have always tried to keep Xmas and her bday separate….Age is only state of mind….:-)

  149. Happy Birthday! I turned 40 this year too. For some reason it did not bother me in the least. My husband got me a leather Harley jacket and motorcycle riding lessons because I have wanted to ride since I was a kid. My birthday is January 3 so I completely relate to your birthday getting lost in the christmas madness. People were always trying to give me one gift for both occassions and my father forgot my birthday more often than he remembered so I celebrate the heck out of my birthday every year and I always make sure to do the same for any friends or family with birthdays in the christmas zone. Welcome to the Bad Asses Club and enjoy the benefits. 🙂

  150. As someone who shares your birthday, but a year earlier — 40 is all of those things. and even better.
    40 is when you say “fuck this” and it’s entirely ok.

    I am consoling myself for my upcoming birthday with the thought that 41 is all the things 40 is — but also a prime number.

  151. I am turning 40 tomorrow & it has really been bothering me 🙁 However, after reading that you & I were born 1 day apart in the same year AND after reading your fabulous take on 40, I’m feeling MUCH less disturbed by this upcoming landmark birthday! Thanks Jenny for putting your fabulous “Jennygoggles” on & helping me to see 40 in a different light! And a happy birthday to you (2 days early)!

  152. Happy Birthday!! Nicely described. It is exactly how I felt when I turned forty two years ago. I am still glad I am in my forties. <3 love and thanks.

  153. Happy early birthday. As a 40+ dude I can say 40 is when you stop giving a shit what other people think if you haven’t already. That isn’t to say you can or should be rude or thoughtless but that you should be confident that you are who you are and the folks who count love you for it.

    I didn’t learn that until 42 but whatevs. It’s my free advice for whomever is turning 40 now.

  154. Happy, Happy Birthday!!! I must say how much I’ve loved being in my 40’s. I like to play a game with my friends called — “what would you do differently if you knew in you 20’s what you know now?” Me? I could have ruled the world with the self-confidence and self-acceptance that I possess now. Also, I would have had a lot more sex.

  155. I turned 40 at the beginning of the month and am proud to tell people I’m 40. I can totally relate to everything you wrote. Beware the minor lapses of depression that come a bit after the birthday. … I guess it’s just like always, but now that stupid voice brings up the fact that you’re 40and suck instead of 30-something and suck. Happy Birthday!

  156. Happiest of happys! You’ve accomplished so much at your age. Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 60’s when she wrote the Little House series. You’ve got her beat by 20 years.

    If you want to know what 40 is like, watch “This is 40” and know it’s the exact opposite.

  157. On the 17th I turned 40 as well. I too do not care about, or usually celebrate, my birthdays. 40 does not bother me, but now I know it’s so much more. Happy 40 to you.

  158. I have a fainting goat and she’s awesome. Her name is Syncope. She doesn’t faint often, but when she does it is usually not for a reasonable cause. She will not faint if charged by a strange dog, for instance (she puts her head down and tries to butt them, while making a strange huffing noise), but one time I wore a hat into the pasture and she fell over like a … well, like something that falls over really suddenly and awkwardly.

  159. The 40’s are great. The 50’s aren’t terrible but things don’t work quite as well as they used to.

    Enjoy and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  160. I turn 42 next April. My 40th birthday was great – I was pregnant with my first child and loving every minute of it. I love being in my 40s for all of the reasons you mentioned, but most especially the fierceness. I am FIERCE and loving and patient and I wasn’t any of these things in my 20s or 30s. Happy birthday and welcome to the club!

  161. I don’t normally do this, but: squee! We share our birthday! I knew there was a place we have a cosmic connection.

    I’m a year ahead of you, and 40 was just fine. 41 feels like I’m really settling in, which suits me fine.

    Every once in a while, on the rare occasion that I truly kick ass, I delight in getting to “geeze” the young ‘uns. (Boys don’t like getting “girled” by girls, youth don’t like getting “geezed” by geezers. I win on both counts! Occasionally, anyway.)

  162. Reading this post and these comments was more effective than any antidepressant I could take. I turn 40 in August 2014, and DAMN… now I’m totally pumped for it. Thanks!!! And happy friggin birthday!

  163. I turned 40 in October. While on my first trip off the continent. To China. Upon my return, I split with my husband of 15 years, becoming the literal single mom I’ve been figuratively playing for quite some time.

    40 is good. It’s a number that tells me I can handle this shit just fine.

  164. I turned 40 earlier this year and was pretty meh about the whole thing, couldn’t care one way or the other. A month later I was told I needed a pacemaker and went “oh shit, maybe I’m old now?” A month after that and my pacemaker was in and ticking away and I realised I was now the Bionic woman! HUZZAH. It’s all about perspective.

    Oh and as someone who was only this month diagnosed with a version of the Fainting Goat disorder I wholly approve of you owning some of my brethren. If I’m anything to go by they may have a hankering for margaritas, feather boas and glittery shoes.

  165. But I totally used to know all the answers to Trivial Pursuit! Then life happened. Happy birthday Jenny! Love you!

  166. 40 is when you still wonder what you’re going to be when you grow up, and then you remember that you are somewhat grown up, and then you laugh at the very idea of you being considered a grown up and promptly pour yourself a drink as the lights go out because you’ve forgotten to pay the electric bill again.

    I still feel like this at almost 50!

  167. Happy Birthday Jenny. I turned 44 this year and still wonder what I’m going to be when I grow up. I also have the freedom of having a level of confidence that I didn’t when I was younger. 40 is just a number. Enjoy your day!!

  168. 40 will be awesome. You will rock it because of all the reasons you listed. And in 2 years, I will join you in being audaciously awesome forty. 😀

  169. hApPy bIrThDaY!!! My daughter’s is tomorrow and I’ve always overcompensated since it’s so close to Christmas. My son’s is in November so they both make bank…

    I LOVED my forties! It sounds like you have a great attitude about it.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and at first I thought I wouldn’t be alive this Christmas. I ended up stage 1 and am rocking the bionic boobs now. It’s all good! Every year is a blessing!

  170. You have the same birthday as me!! And this year I’m turning 30 and I feel the same way about it as you do about turning 40! Everyone told me it would be scary but I’m fine with it!! And I love my birthday cause it’s a day all about ME!!! 😀

  171. Happy Birthday! I also have a birthday between Christmas & New Years (today!). Although, I do have a couple of years on you. Enjoy your forties, they really are way better than your thirties. Life really gets put into perspective at this age…..

  172. Happy 40th journey around the sun from another between-Christmas-and-New-Years-Eve baby. May no one give you combination gifts and if you figure out how to get the husband to trust you with fainting goats let me know…mine won’t even let me have regular goats!

  173. Let’s all join in a chorus of the Mongolian Birthday song!!

    May the candles on your cake burn like cities in your wake!
    Happy birthday! (ugh) Happy birthday! (ugh)
    We love children yes we do — boiled, baked, or in a stew!
    Ad nauseum…. well it’s more fun with the noisemakers in person. 😉

  174. Have the happiest of birthdays, Jenny! I think the following is the wisest thing I’ve ever read, since I will be 40 soon enough: “at 40 you’ve pretty much decided who you’re going to be, and people realize that they should either avoid you completely or just come along for the terrifying-but-entertaining ride.” I hope I can get there by my 40th birthday.

  175. Yay 40!! Oddly, although my 40th year has been the toughest one I can recall, it’s also the most comfortable. I’m wishing for yours to be far less challenging and just as comfortable.

  176. You have expressed how I feel about 40 perfectly! I’m two years in and I feel exactly the same way.
    Happy Birthday!

  177. Happy Birthday! I’ve been informed by my youngest (whose birthday is 12/28) that winter birthdays suck, but at least I was well trained by my dad, whose birthday was 12/27. No birthday/Christmas joint presents allowed, or birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper.

    40 was good, at least what I remember of it. I’ll be 57 this April. I’ve never been bothered by my birthdays, since I figure it’s better than the alternative of not having any more birthdays. I’ve already got the goats (not fainting ones, just opinionated dairy goats, but still). Now I just have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

  178. Jenny, welcome to club 40; you will make a great ambassador, and I couldn’t agree more with you about what it means to be 40.
    20 always seemed kind of still young.
    30 seemed like you were supposed to be more mature than you were, but you were stuck with it.
    40 is just right, it’s the Goldilocks baby bear porridge, somehow it’s just right.
    I’ve never been as happy and accepting of who I am and what I can do as I have been since I turned 40 (nearly 2 years ago).
    Happy birthday for whenever it is, and congratulations on reaching the age where things start to make a bit more sense, and equilibrium seems finally within reach.

  179. Let’s you and me be forty together…we can start with ‘a few minor felonies.’ For me those started at a much younger age when I would put For Sale signs on the high school lawn and ‘accidentally’ set off the sprinklers at the swim club. I’ve been capturing the stretch between 39 and 40 on my own blog titled, beforty (as in the year before forty–beforty…). Love your writing ‘n stuff and thanks for getting the lay of the land before me.

  180. Hmmmm 40 is starting to sound pretty darn good, but I’m not quite to 30 yet. What can I get away with right now? I need your kickass guidance

  181. Happy birthday Jenny! Thank you SO much for writing this. I’ll be 40 in September, and this is pretty much exactly how I feel. It brought a tear to my eye (although that could be the bottle of wine I just polished off…).

  182. Happy birthday!!! You sell 40 as a pretty awesome age to look forward to! I’m turning 30 in 2014 and while I think everyone expects me to be devastated (I may or may not have cried on the eve of my 20th birthday – fool), but I am actually really excited. I know so much more who I am now and I’m OK with that. I much prefer it to being an insecure 20 year old – although I miss that body…

  183. Happy Birthday! I’m looking forward to turning 40, 20’s were stupid, 30’s were hard, I’m think 40’s are going to be my decade.

  184. live it up baby! AND 50 is “i don’t give a sh*t!” So its all good for 2 decades!!!

  185. Happy Birthday! And the 50’s are even better… We’ve got even more excuses. Things that are caused by one-too-many glasses of wine can be passed-off as forgetfulness due to aging. Awesome 🙂 Enjoy the ride; it only gets better and better.

  186. Happy Birthday! I would tell you how awesome 40 is, but I pretend not to know what 40 is like. You see, I’ve been 29 for a very long time. To perpetuate my illusion I only have anniversaries of my 29th birthday. So, Happy Anniversary of Your 29th Birthday! xo

  187. My 40th is in just over a week. I’m right there with ya, sista! Thanks for always bringing a snort to my day. Happy birthday.

  188. Forty is pretty cool. Fifty is cooler. On a holiday note, the Tiger rode her bike several times this week, which is pretty cool considering it’s her first bike (at age fifty-plus). Alternating between nice coach and tough coach isn’t as fun, but I do it anyway.

  189. Happy Happy Birthday! I’m almost 50, but still forget that I’m a grown-up sometimes – can’t remember my age half the time, but my girls who are pre-teen remind me. Calling out the bullshit is what I started doing this last year, and it’s been so liberating!

  190. Thank you so much for putting my feelings about turning 40 into words. I too turn 40 tomorrow….ugh sigh….do you think I can forget that tomorrow is D day? I can then blame it on being 40. LOL

  191. Congratulations on turning 40! It’s awesome. I was about 40 weeks pregnant when I turned 40 so everyone overlooked my birthday. Now I’m 52 and it’s cool because it’s fun to tell people how old you are and then watch as they don’t believe you. Even if they are lying, it’s a pretty good feeling. Ask for a Zoku slushy maker. You won’t regret it.

  192. I have been 40 for just about a year (11 months) and it has been the best year of my life that I have felt about myself. Not that there haven’t been trials, but I hold my head up more, my shoulders back more; I work out to feel better, not necessarily to try and lose those pesky pounds to fit an ideal I had nothing to do with making. You will feel great at 40. All of my girlfriends, universally, feel the same way. 30 was a difficult one for me. 40, is wonderful. Now is the time you life for yourself! Its natural and wonderful. Happy Happy Birthday!

  193. happy birthday!!! I did 40 a few years ago and it’s been a wild ride. pretty damn close to what you describe. hope your day and year are fabulous.

  194. I have had 3 years of practise being 40. Best time of my life. My Mom felt the same way about her 40’s basically if I can put it in a nutshell, its been the time when i really got over the bullshit I don’t give a rats ass what people think about me any more.

  195. I’ve been 40 for nearly two weeks now. Your post calls it like it is. Thanks, now I can just forward your words when people ask how I feel about being forty. (I’ll give you credit)

  196. Forty was great. Fifty was better. Almost 60 (59) is the best so far. 59 is realizing i haven’t changed the world and not minding. 59 is realizing that if I could do anything i wanted, i would do exactly what i am doing already. 59 is writing things down because I know I’ll forget otherwise. 59 is having people think I know what I am talking about when I am really just winging it – like I did when I was 40 – and 50 – and 20.

  197. I was born on Thanksgiving. It sucks almost as much as a Christmas birthday. My best friend has a Christmas birthday, so we’ve shared the invisibility for decades. If your birthday shares space with a family holiday, I think you’re guaranteed to be forgotten. BUT…it also means that we’re not required to share our birthdays with anyone, or celebrate it their way. It’s all ours, to do with what we want. And now that we’re well into our 40’s, it’s even easier to do it our way!

  198. Jenny, you will be awesome at any age. I personally cannot WAIT to see what you get up to in your ‘mature’ (HAHAHAAAA!) years, because you seem to be one of those perpetually young-at-heart-where-it-counts types of people who get more and more interesting with age. Have a very Happy Birthday! AND a Happy New Year!

  199. I agree with you about 40 being the perfect age. I remember explaining that to my mother when I was a teenager. In my twenties and thirties, as my friends freaked out about their birthdays, I kept looking forward to 40.
    I thought I was alone on this until I read your post. Now I know it’s one more piece of evidence that I’ve found my tribe.

  200. 40 is the age where every “humorous” birthday card you get for the rest of your life will be some variation of “You’re old!”.

  201. Life gets goooood at 40.

    All of a sudden you don’t give a rats ass if people don’t agree with you or even like you.

    It is completely freeing.

    And you start to use the term “rats ass” quite a bit. THAT is one of the best parts of turning 40.

  202. happy birthday! i am LOVING my 40s – i’ll hit the halfway mark in a few days. best decade yet! i agree on the rats ass. another word you’re free to use when you’re “old enough” – shit weasel. yep.

  203. I’ve never really understood what the big deal with age (and especially women’s) is. Really, it’s not that big a deal. I have a friend who has been turning 12 for the last 15 years or so. Oliver Age 24 has to clone himself and kill himself every year to stay 24 and it sounds like a headache. Every age is a good age as long as it’s still you at the end of the year. All I know is that I don’t really care what age I am (except when the law says I should be old enough to act a certain age) and that you make an awesome you at any age, Jenny.

    Happy early birthday!

  204. Happy 40th! I just turned 40 this spring, and I initially didn’t have any problems with it. But as the year went on, I had a string of bad luck that included finding myself unemployed and still single, which has nothing to do with being 40, but it did put a damper in things. You’ll do fine! ????. As soon as the year changes to a more “lucky” one…please?

    That being said, I did buy myself a Leg Lamp with the Christmas “play money” that I received, so life can’t be all bad, right?

  205. 40 was the first birthday that pricked up my ears. 40 humph. Aware of this one. It’s mostly ok.

  206. 40 is when you realize that you are you and awesome no matter what age you are. It’s liberating, and so much better than 30.

  207. Hubby and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary today. I’m going to dye my hair red tomorrow, put in all five earrings, and wear something that allows my tattoo to show.

    Happy Birthday!

  208. Happy birthday, and hopes for more joy!

    I turned 39 the 26th, and its always been a weird thing to have a birthday that close to a major holiday, as you clearly know. When I turned 30, nothing changed, really, against my expectations and feelings about that milestone. I’m a bit older and a very tiny bit wiser, and I now expect nothing whatsoever to change next year, which means I’ll probably be surprised. Or not. The more you try to expect something, the less it happens, so on and vice versa. It appears that 40 is the official end of “middle age”, whatever that means.

    It is odd, however, that “old age” doesn’t seem to start until at least 60. At that point we can say whatever we want and people just have to make embarrassed excuses for us. 🙂

    Almost there, Salute!

  209. I don’t think I realized you and I were the same age.
    Turning 30 nearly killed me. 40 was nothing. In fact I rather enjoy telling people I’m 40 because they’re all OMG you look SOOO young and I am all “really???” like I don’t hear it all the time. It’s great!

  210. You remind me of Frances, the little badger girl, but all grown up and using more colorful language :p

    I’m also pleased to know I’m not the only one who forgets to pay the electric bill (or the trash and sewage bill for six months in a row, right?)

  211. Can’t decide if my mom friends are more mature than I am or if they just need to lighten the hell up.

    I’ve got a few years to go yet, but when I turn 50, I’mma gonna go all Sally O’Malley:

  212. If you think 40 is good, just wait until you hit 53. Everyone can just go to hell, you know?

  213. Yup, turning 40 didn’t bother me, and neither did 50. I had a slight blip the year my youngest went to middle school and I was “no longer a mother of an elementary school student” – but that lasted about a week and that’s it. I am coughfiftyeightcough now and that doesn’t bother me too much, although in the last two years my looks have aged a bit. I remember my mother saying when she was in her 70’s that she still feels and thinks the same way she did when she was young, but that it is only when she opens her eyes that she gets the surprise that she is old. Just try to enjoy life and don’t put things off, as time really does go faster the older you get!

    HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May you have more joy this year than you have given to all 321 (or more) of us who have responded here. Wow, that’s a lot. : )

  214. oh, bitch, pleeeeeze.
    I’m gonna be 54 in about 3 weeks, and
    I find it IMPOSSIBLE that I’m not still
    26 years old.
    how did this silly shit ever happen ?

  215. birthdays…one year closer to death! YEAH!!!
    I’m 42 and as I plan on dying in my 80’s, I’m halfway to death. Which means I still have half of my life left to do things I’ve been putting off.
    I too have come to the conclusion that this is it…this is who I am. If you don’t like me by now, you probably never will because it’s only going to get worse.

  216. My birthday falls right on Christmas Day. And since I’ve been 40 for a few days longer than you, let me tell you that it is… meh. I agree that it should come with a shank, though. And happy birthday. Let me know when you start feeling fabulous. Me, I’ll settle for flabulous.

  217. Happy Birthday! 40 is awesome – the world is yours. I’m hoping 50 is going to be awesome. Right now I’m freaking out about it. 40 is good. You will love it. I promise.

  218. Hi Jenny!

    Happy Birthday..:)

    You mean a lot to me, so here’s reminding you that you’re ready to embrace 40 today.. with grace and glee…because it’s going to be amazing!

    I wish you so much love ~hugs~

  219. Nancy W. Kappes would be proud of you. Welcome to Planet I-Don’t-Give-A-Rat’s-Ass-About-Anything. And Happy Birfday.

    RE: Tha’ Rheumatiz: Ah, fuck me running!! My index finger blowed up real good just last month. Now when I point at people, I am one scary motherfucking memaw. Age has it’s rewards? BOLLOCKS. The only good thing is you get to live on Planet I-Don’t-Give-A-Rat’s-Ass-About-Anything. My sympathies are with you, my dear. Just wait till your ass sags down on your thighs. HOWEVER, the good thing about ageing is that your croaker physician will write you script for just about anything. Yee-haw!

  220. Kudos on 40 years, and I have no doubt you’ll rock the next 40. I’m right behind ya. After all of the crap and drama and near-death experiences I’ve had, I plan to have one hell of a party when I hit the big 4-0. Everybody’s invited. That’s right…EVERYBODY ON THE FREAKIN’ PLANET.

    Except maybe my ex-husband. And maybe Gaddafi. Practically the same person, anyway.

  221. Just a reminder that you’re awesome.
    And large numbers don’t really mean anything, unless you’re winning the lottery or buying chocolate bars because a bulk-buy box SAVES money and it’s totally logical to have 100 chocolate bars in your house.
    But anywaaaays,
    Happy birthday!

    You rock,

  222. Happy Birthday!! Have a great day, eat an extra chocolate, have another glass of wine, buy yourself another christmas ornament, or do whatever floats your boat – it’s your birthday and you’re allowed to! 🙂

    Just a quick reminder: 40 is perfect, and you are ready to embrace it with grace and with glee!

  223. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JENNY!!! I too have my days when I feel 14 or 90. I’ve been a lot more 14 over the past months than anything, but today I’m 90. I think it’s the cold I’m fighting. 🙂

  224. Happy birthday, Jenny. I loved my 40’s. I turn 55 in 5 days. Weird. I don’t feel 55 and keep throwing away the AARP mail. It pays to never grow up. Enjoy your day!! 🙂

  225. Happy Birthday!! Enjoy your 40″s. . . . . I still remember mine, I was so young back then! It kills me when people ask if I am eligible for a senior citizen discount, and I am eligible!! I would rather pay full price and not be asked that question. Assholes. If I wanted the discount, I would offer the information.

  226. Happy birthday, Bloggess!! I have years of experience being forty. Trust me, you are just getting started!

  227. Happy, happy birthday! Nearing 40 myself and we share a birthday. Here’s hoping you don’t get any “Happy birthday to you and Baby Jesus” presents!

  228. When I turned 40 a couple years back, I was told that “40 is the new eff-you.” I love that and I am doing my best to embrace that!

  229. Um. So.. Ya… I turned 40 in August. I woke up all paniky and all out of sorts. This was a TRIPLE threat year. My oldest turned 21 in April (ya I started early), My youngest’s first day of 6th grade was on THAT day…then there was that day in itself. I decided to go test drive the car of my dreams on that day. Well the only blue convertible they had was in the showroom so a test drive was out. Then the battery was dead so I couldn’t even hear it purr. My mind was all out of sorts about what to do. So then I decided to go to the place that centers me and makes me feel at home. Then it hit me!!! I had been saving for diamond earrings to be bought from that town on that day. I even had JUST enough money in my account to cover them because I left my savings at home…duh moment. I walked by the river and somewhere along the way I BECAME 40. On the way home I was who I was and that was all there was to it. So now I am who I am. Period.


  230. When you hit my age, 52, you also realize all this and walk around with an evil little smile all the time. This makes your friends just a bit worried because they KNOW you’re either a) up to something b) have already done something and are pleased no one caught you at it or c) are formulating getting into something and you’re preparing a list of minions to go along with you.

    OR you go around nodding in understanding because you’ve been there done that and are going back next week to take pictures!

    AND above all you can honestly say, when someone asks you your age “Old enough to know better but young enough to not give a damn” You wear what you want, when you want, and how you want…but won’t be caught dead out of the house not wearing at least some lipstick and a twinkle in your eyes. It is even accepted that you’re going to say whatever is on your mind, because everyone knows there is absolutely no filter in place…in fact you probably burned that damn filter with great prejudice because it was no good anyway. Your boss is younger than you and is scared to death at the very thought of pissing you off. Because after all…we older gals know where the bodies are buried. (joking…sort of…) Most of the good looking men are either young enough to be your child, or grandchild, or they’re older but either married/gay/tottering with one foot in the grave/or looking for a sweet young thang with huge tits (oh gag…yup they never grow up). AND you realize life does NOT begin before your morning cup, or two or three…hell the whole pot, of coffee.

    You know what? It’s ALL perfectly alright….why? Because you ARE the older woman whom mothers warn their sons about and THAT its awesome because it means YOU ROCK!!!

    40 is the new whatever you want it to be….52 is the fuck that shit I’m a Crone now so bite me … I’m having way too much fun to worry about what others think age. (Although I still would like to know what happened to 21. It was there a second ago…I swear it was!!! If someone knows where it went will you please tell me, so I can at least mark that event in my journal?)

    Oh, and Jenny…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  231. LOVE it – I’ll be 50 in June and I think all of your excellent points still apply!!!

  232. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 40 is just fine. I gave up high heels and hose when I turned 40. I’m 46 this year and started roller derby & dyed my hair blue. My sons think it’s amusing. Keep on being yourself — we love you!

  233. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! And guess what? It’s even better at 50! By then you’ve got 10 years of practice and you’ve nearly perfected the “I don’t give a shit because I’m badass so either hop in and enjoy the ride, or get the hell out of my way or I’ll run you down and not look back”. Enjoy your 40s. They’re awesome.

  234. 40 is when they have to start trusting you with the fainting goats?? I need to go talk to my husband about my 40th birthday present(s), because he’s been refusing to get me some for years due to “animal cruelty concerns.”

    Happy birthday! Hope it’s fabulous!

  235. I am also one of those who has a birthday somewhere between Christmas and New Year’s. A good time, I think, especially when you are older to have a birthday. Mostly because people forget about it. I am on the other end of my 40s and will be 49 within the next 24 hours or so. Believe me, the other “end” of your 40s is another thing altogether. 40s are great so enjoy them. Just don’t think about perimenopause:)

  236. Happy Birthday Bloggess! Hope you have a glorious day chock full of I don’t give a fuck

  237. Happy Birthday! I’m one of thousands to say it, but needed to say it anyway. You have brought me great joy, I hope you have found some of your own, too.

  238. I was just thinking, “Wow! What a great way to look at turning 40! I just turned 40 and was inspired and ready to change my way of thinking! I then realized I turn 41 in April so I have actually been 40 for 8 months and didn’t even realize it so now it’s too late! I don’t think it sounds so cool when you insert “41” in place of “40”. Pretty boring stuff. Oh well, Happy Birthday anyway…hope your day doesn’t get ruined like mine just did.
    P.S. I recently finished your book via Kindle and loved it.

  239. Happy our birthday to you! I’m ahead of you by two years. I dreaded 40 for an entire year before it hit. I did insist that my hermit husband throw me a party and have lots of alcohol. Combine that with lots of cupcakes and 40 was fine. 42? Uneventful and at this point in my life, I prefer. Although I am still bothered about the no-present-from-my-hermit-husband thing……however, his birthday is in a week, so I’m preparing a payback. I believe a big party will bug him as much as no presents bug me.

  240. Yep. 40 was excellent, 50 was fantastic and even 60 + doesn’t seem too bad – but really – in my head – I am only about 22! Happy Birthday Jenny and enjoy the festivities – all of them!

  241. Happy bday to you, J. I trust it was splendorific. Love this from Coco Chanel: “A woman is not interesting till she’s over 40.”

  242. Did you ever drive by Lake Nasworthy to see the fainting goats? They were owned by the coffee family, Decoty? Anyway, you could honk as you passed and then, bam! Down they went.

  243. My friends all cried when we turned 40. That was last year. We wasted tears, because 40 was pretty awesome.

    Or, as we like to call it, the 8th anniversary of our 32nd birthdays. We enjoyed 32 a lot for whatever reason.

    Happy Birthday! It will be a wonderful year!

  244. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! I am going to be mid 40s this year and I still wish that I knew who I really wanted to be.

  245. I needed to read this — I turn 40 in the new year. I was fine with it until about a week ago when the oldness of it sank in. Thank you for all the wonderful reasons to celebrate 40 (and also for the perfect reason why I can never remember where I put my car keys).
    Happy Birthday!

  246. Well said! I turned 40 a few years ago and there was indeed something liberating about crossing that threshold. Enjoy and Happy Birthday!

  247. wow. I will be 40 on the 7th of Jan. Happy Birthday.
    such a weird birthday, still don’t know what to feel about it, relief I am here is the best I’ve got, “meh” is there wine? is about the rest. But from one xmas 74 babe to another, good fucking luck with that.


  248. I so totally agree. I just turned 45 (eek, middle aged) and 40 has been decade where I feel so much more ‘me’. And for you, that could be very, very interesting!

  249. Happy Birthday! I have another year to go before I’m 40 and I think I’m more scared about my daughter turning 10 (too close to teenage years) than I am about turning 40. Of course it helps that I’m starting to have trouble remembering how old I am anyway.

  250. Happy birthday! I hope you have a lovely day despite forgetfulness and not caring about birthdayness. I hope you get something taxidermied with undeniable personal style. Like Blair Waldorf is she was a squirrel and dead.

  251. Happy birthday! Let me know if everything suddenly clicks into place when you hit 40 – it sure as hell didn’t happen at 30.

  252. Happy Birthday! You’re true age is how old you feel. If you feel 16, you’re 16! As long as your got something amazing from Victor, you’ve won

  253. Happy birthday. You are absolutely right about all of this–I’m now 44 and I don’t give a flip what anyone thinks of my hair or my outbursts. When I do worry a bit about how people see me I consider adding a few years just to freak people out. Why lie about your age and have people wonder why you look so rotten at 29? I’ll tell people I’m 56 and have them say, “DANG, she looks good.”

  254. The Housekeeper and the Professor by
    Yoko Ogawa
    He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem—ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.
    She is an astute young Housekeeper—with a ten-year-old son—who is hired to care for the Professor.
    And every morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to each other anew, a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them.

  255. Happy Birthday.
    I didn’t think 40 would matter either, until afterwards. Then, when I would feel like “oh, I have to do this thing” I would realize I’m 40. I don’t have to do this any more! It was great.
    I turned 50 this year and I’ve added even more to my list of “I don’t have to do this any more.” Can’t wait for 80 when I can do whatever I want!

  256. Happy Birthday Jenny! You have a good outlook. Numbers are just numbers. As you mentioned there are advantages to having bigger numbers. One does tend to not worry so much about things that don’t really matter. Like what other people might think. Meh. You can trust me Jenny. My age number is more than 10 but not as much as 15 of yours. HAHA math. Not to worry, I probably didn’t give the correct math problem. but I am old so I don’t care. 🙂

  257. Happy Birthday! I am right there with you approaching 40 in 6 months time. Side note, (which has nothing to do with your birthday but hopefully important anyway) I bought your book right before the holidays. I fucking love it. My husband not as much, as I’ve spent a large portion of his time off sitting by the fire in a big comfy chair, kindle in hand, completely ignoring him while I laugh hysterically to myself. Sometimes I laugh so hard cry. It is awesome.

  258. Happy Birthday! I turned 40 eight days ago, and I feel much better about it now.
    Thanks for being you!

  259. Happy Birthday to you. My Birthday will be here on Thursday and Im at that age where I will officially be closer to 40 than I am 30. Im glad to know that 40 Kicks ass and I can now go willingly into it with things to look forward to. I am Tired of the 30’s. They are too damn much work. I look forward to 40 when I can relax a little and enjoy all the fruit I collected in my 30’s. Cheers and happy birthday, You have earned ever damn one of those candles my dear.

  260. Happy Birthday!!!!! I turn 40 pretty soon myself. In May of this coming year. You’re a huge inspiration to me and I really love reading your posts. Thanks for being you! <3

  261. YES to 40!!! I don’t know about you, but I am surprised and thankful I made it past 27. Thanks for staying with us in the darkest of days and the haze of medications. Your tribe loves you!!!

  262. I’m 42, and reading this post is probably the only thing that just prompted me to pay the overdue bill for trash pickup. 😉

  263. Happy Birthday! My 40’s were good. I earned a black belt in karate. My 50’s so far have been pretty good — I’ll be 58 in a few weeks. I mostly feel weird about approaching 60, like “How the hell did that happen?” Inside I still feel like a kid; even when my joints remind me I’m not.

  264. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (yesterday). I turn 40 in 3 days, and am looking forward to it.

  265. Happy 40th Birthday! You seem to know just how to live it right – and I look forward to living it like you do when I turn 40!

  266. Happy birthday! I’m on the far side of 40, and I still feel the same combination of ages that you talked about. Ninety one day (or one hour), twelve the next. But it’s not so bad to be over 40, so welcome to the club!

  267. My birthday is 12/27 – i just turned 43. I celebrated my fortieth by having a big blow-out party – in February, because who wants to go to yet another party in December?

    Happy Birthday!

  268. That might be the best description of getting older I’ve ever seen. You’ve eased my fears about the impending 3-0. You rock, Jenny. Happy birthday 🙂

  269. I remember twenty years ago when I was in my twenties, and I thought people in their 40’s must totally have their shit together..LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL…….Happy Birthday chickie!

  270. I’m halfway through my 40s and I can assure you, they are awesome. You are smart enough to know a lot about what is important and what isn’t the least bit important but you still have your looks!

    I have been loving my 40s. I suspect 50s rocks too.

  271. So many have already said it, but I pile on: this decade is just dandy. (I am two years in.) I like that the giving-a-shit urge is fading, but I certainly don’t feel old. Welcome! Enjoy! Do whatever the hell you want! Freedom! (Wait, the two young kids hamper the freedom just a tad, but still…)

  272. 40 is really just the 29th anniversary of your 21st birthday. 21 yr olds don’t care because they don’t know any better, 40 yr olds know better but just don’t care. (if someone had told me how much fun being forty was I would have started lying about my age in my late 20’s! then I would have looked knock out fabulous!)

  273. I was totally freaked out by 40 (2 months ago). I felt I hadn’t accomplished enough (unmarried, no kids, still renting in NYC), but I was happy, and then I began thinking something was wrong with me for being happy b/c wasn’t I supposed to be MORE?

    And then a friend reminded me that I never gave a damn about what society said I “should” be and why the hell would I start now?

    It was the kick in the pants I needed. Had a huge party with my friends (who came from near and far), drank like my liver was still 21, and haven’t looked back.

    What does 40 look like? It looks like us and we are AWESOME!

  274. 40 is when the numbers became imaginary. They no longer meant a damn thing. Besides, I got to lok forward to 42 (which I am right now) for enormously geeky reasons – MEANING OF LIFE, BABY.

    Happy Birthday and welcome to your 40s!

  275. That’s my birthday too! Happy Birthday fellow Capricorn! You should come up to Michigan and join our Capricorn Club. We are a group of fine ladies (if we must say so ourselves) that have been meeting for breakfast on Saturday for almost 20 years. How can we do that you say? Because we are Capricorns and we put it in our planners, so we have to show up. One of the group once complained that she wasn’t spontaneous enough and didn’t do enough fun things. We all agreed that we were the same way and pulled up our calendars to see when we could schedule in some sponteneity. It took us a while to realize what we were doing. I know you are wild and crazy, but it is your Capricorn nature that keeps you going until you are a New York Times Bestseller. Go Goats!

  276. I am 41. I love my birthday and celebrate the whole month… because frankly why should breast cancer awareness get a whole month and not me… I have never killed anyone. I accept each year as one step closer to being my Grandmother’s age when she used to say to me… “If I said anything to offend anyone today… well… I am damn glad I said it.” The woman was a icon. I WILL be her… when I grow up.

  277. I love this post! I’ll turn 40 next month, and I especially identify with the part about feeling 20 one day (or moment) and 8 the next. I usually blame my ADD for that, though. I was kind of dreading this birthday- I’m the youngest of three, and I have the feeling my brother and sister won’t be nice this year- until I read your post. I’ve been doing some of this already the last year or so, and I’m ready to up the ante in the ‘Avoid the Drama’ department. Thanks for putting into words what so many of us feel!

  278. I love you for so many reasons but this just makes me love you more. The week between Christmas and New Years is the worst week to have birthday, also the best because I can make people feel über guilty for missing it. But in all seriousness, I hope your birthday was fantastic.

  279. First of all Congratulations!

    I know how you feel time flys so fast when you have so much to deal with. Here’s to hoping everything goes well for all of us this year!


  280. i turned 30 last year and it was brutal. i spent most of the year blogging about my struggle of finally realizing i was a grown up and not being where society says ‘i should be.’ your post makes me optimistic about 40. hopefully in the next decade i will decide who i am and make no apologies for it. oh, and i also feel 15 some days and 50 the others. weird. cheers to the milestones birthdays! let’s eat cake.

  281. On the eve of my fortieth, THANK YOU for putting in to words so much of what has run through my head! You Rock!

  282. Finally got around to reading this and all of the comments. I agree, might be one of my favorites, ever. And, as usual, the comments were as magnificent as the original post. Funny how a simple thought of knowing that there are liked minded people out in the world, can change your whole attitude about the day.

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