It’s not exactly the most flattering term but could ‘middle age’ in fact be liberating?
Long gone is the angst of the teen years, the mistakes of your 20s are far behind you, and those full-on 30s where you juggled it all are drifting out of view in the rear-view mirror.
Yep, by the time the mileage ticks over into the 40-something age bracket there’s a creeping sense of acceptance.
In fact, as a friend and I were discussing as her 4 and 0 birthday balloons gently fluttered in the breeze of a local pub, for many women the big 40 might just be the beginning of your best years yet.
I don’t envy women in their 20s.
Sure, the toned skin, flat stomach, and perky boobs were nice to have but at that age you sure as hell don’t appreciate them, and spend too much time worrying about what everyone else thinks.
Then there’s the life planning…the endless life planning…by 28 you’ll have a partner, by 30 you’ll own a house, followed by a couple of kids if you time my career right.
“You can have it all,” we smugly believe. “There’ll be success at every corner.”
But that’s a pressure cooker waiting to blow, and life tends to have different plans.
By your 30s you’re old enough to know better and arrogantly believe you do. Then you throw some kids into the equation and how little you know becomes apparent.
Gone are the plans of organic-only, technology-free child-rearing. That yelling mum you once judged in the supermarket is the woman who now greets you in the mirror.
In fact, your 30s might just be the craziest decade of your life – a whirlwind of awe, amazement, anxiety, and fatigue with a sprinkle of barely coping.
It’s a decade that sees you in the trenches of family life, adjusting to the new world of parenting while attempting to navigate the work-life balance.
By the time your 40s kick in, it’s almost akin to relief. You know who you are, you’re not afraid to show it, and with any luck, you’ve found a tribe of kindred spirits who actually like you for it.
It’s that turning point where you’re not afraid to speak your mind, yet have the wisdom to know mistakes are inevitable.
Sure, there are a few more wrinkles, gravity’s proving a foe that’s hard to fight, and there are a few greys gracing your mane.
But really, who cares? Laugh lines map a life lived, and a toned stomach is overrated.
So yeah, you may not bounce back from a night out like you once did, there may be a few extra creaks or groans come the morning, but you can’t help appreciate that calmer, wiser middle-aged woman staring back at you in the mirror, even if you now need glasses to see her.