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40 Things You Learn in Your 40s

Each year of life brings more life lessons and experiences. This is a given. Your 40s, however, hit differently. It’s like reaching a new level where perspectives shift, and you evolve. At least that has been my experience and it’s been one of the most impactful decades of my life. The more I gather with my peers and commiserate about middle-age things, the more I realize that our 40s are packed with lessons and liberation.

Here are 40 things I have learned in my 40s.

1. You cannot undo the damage of overplucking your brows (without microblading or some other procedure) so you teach your kids to leave theirs the fuck alone.

2. One day, you just wake up and cannot see right in front of you. Stop holding things far away thinking you can do it and just admit you need readers. It’s fine and they make really cute ones now.

3. You’re not in high school anymore and cannot consume fast food without major consequences to your digestive system.

4. Mean girls exist far beyond middle school, and they breed more mean girls.

5. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your inner circle small. It’s about quality, not quantity.

6. If you thought you would catch up on sleep when your kids are teenagers, you won’t. They start driving and it’s harrowing.

7. The world will not implode if you cancel plans or say no from the beginning.

8. Getting into bed at 9:30 pm on a weekend, in cozy PJs to watch Love Island is far better than being out at a club with sticky floors and watered down drinks.

9. A colonoscopy nap cannot be beat.

10. New appliances of any kind are exciting.

11. You will admire your neighbors landscaping enough to stop them in their driveway to get the name of the person they used.

12. The amount of time spent on the phone dealing with health insurance is mind numbing.

13. You have a “guy” that fixes shit around your house.

14. You and everyone you know is on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds and it's life changing.

15. Stress hives are a thing.

16. Protecting your peace and setting boundaries is real and necessary.

17. Sometimes friends change or you just outgrow each other.

18. That boyfriend who broke your heart in college was not worth the tears.

19. Do not try to drink like you used to in your 20s. It will not end well.

20. Most shopping now happens online, and curbside pickup is your best friend.

21. You will absolutely drive your kids to school without wearing a bra and will not be the only one.

22. Sometimes you purchase clothing at Costco.

23. Speaking of Costco, you now buy Advil in bulk because of the constant body aches and


24. Every week brings knowledge of a new supplement you should be taking.

25. More of your lady gang shaves their face than not.

26. With every passing day, the fucks you have left to give dwindle.

27. The bliss you feel when you’re alone in a freshly cleaned house is like the greatest dopamine hit.

28. You take a lot less shit.

29. It takes longer to put yourself to bed than your kids because of all the serums, creams and other nighttime rituals that keep you from morphing into the crypt keeper.

30. You will, in some way, shape or form, become your mother. It’s inevitable.

31. The snoring coming from your partner now requires you to sleep with a Bluetooth sleep mask blasting white noise while also blocking out any sliver of light.

32. One of the secrets of a happy marriage is sleeping with separate blankets.

33. You feel like you hit the jackpot if your mother is your best friend.

34. Also, you are deeply sorry for all the shit you put her through.

35. High-waisted leggings and jeans are where it’s at.

36. Restaurants you have frequented for years suddenly feel significantly louder and you can’t hear anyone at the table.

37. Shared family calendars are key.

38. You really didn’t need anything past basic math after all.

39. Being more comfortable in your skin is liberating.

40. It’s ok to finally make this era about you as you rise from the shrapnel of all the little kid parenting. Get a facial, treat yourself to a manicure, sit and read a book, have dinner with a girlfriend. Whatever.

We have made it this far and deserve to take some moments for ourselves to do what we want. That’s one of the best things my 40s have taught me.


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