On April 4th, I turned 40 Years Old - being the generous person I am, made a list for you - 10 Things About Turning 40.
10. You don't give a shit, and that's awesome.
Maybe you never gave a shit, like me. But now, you really don't give a shit and it is like achieving Nirvana without having to relinquish any of your worldly possessions. If you're late for something, if someone doesn't like you, or if someone is being an asshole, it matters less and less. You realize that only a few things matter, and true happiness comes from putting those 3-5 things in the center of your universe, and ignoring the non-sense that orbits you.
9. You do what you want, when you want. (Well, if you're single you do, and I am)
Married people will try to tell you about all sorts of stuff when it comes to being married, how wonderful it is, how sad it must be for the single people, but take it from a (now) 40 YEAR OLD WOMAN who is perfectly happy being single - it rules.
I didn't expect to be 40 and single. I didn't expect to not have children. But, I also knew I was not going to get married just to get married, or to buy the condo, or the car, or any of the other things that married people can afford with their fancy double incomes.
---- God i hope i can really come up with 10 whole points -----
8. You don't have to worry about being cool... because the fact that you've been around this long makes you cool by default.
You've seen The Stones, Madonna, The Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, NIN, the first five Lollapaloozas (and then some). You once fought Dennis Rodman in an alley behind a nightclub. You've snuck into a black-tie, charity event by boating up to the grounds, and then scaling a 10 ft. fence in your gown. You've done Sake Bombs with a professional athlete(s) until the wee hours of the morning - on a game night.
7. You've made sacrifices for what is important to you, and you realize, you did the right thing! For me, that's travel.
We all make sacrifices in life, some choose to marry, buy a big house and do neighborly things. My passion in life is to travel and explore. I lose myself in travel, in fact, I prefer to travel alone because most people ruin the travel experience for me. They can't keep up.
Not to say that the girls don't look good now, but you do end up taking advantage of any opportunity to post photos of when your girls looked their best.
5. You've done a few things, you've probably ridden an elephant and a camel. Or both. But maybe not in the same day.
If not, nothing to worry about, both animals are big and slow plus they smell. It is more of a novelty in a third world country, you can tell the locals are laughing at you as sit on top of this big elephant, whatever. My elephant driver happened to be a a five year old boy. That's not weird (yes it is).
4. You got your Ya Ya's out and that's just fine.
Being voted "Biggest Party Animal" of senior class was an honor I wore with pride, if they had given me a sash, I would have kept it draped across my torso. In college, excess, of any sort, was a welcomed ritual. In my early 20s, I worked in nightclubs and rarely made it bed before the sun was up... way up. All of this started to take a dramatic slow-down in the past 8 - 10 years. These days, if I am up past 11pm during the week, it is because I am writing a blog post. Sure, I still get a little wild on the weekends, but probably less than suburban moms taking their kids to "play dates" (aka wine dates for mommy).
3. You still love rock and roll. Just not as often.... but probably still just as much.
Not only does it get tougher to keep up with bands, but your perspective has shifted. In my youth, I defined myself through music, these days, I just enjoy music. I am not waiting in line for anything in the cold, I am not going to a standing room only show, these days, I still want to enjoy music - whether it is in the privacy of my own home (with a better sound system), or by taking advantage of some special seats I may have access to through a friend - or my American Express Gold Card premier seating.
2. You start to think about your aging parents, how much you love them and how much they've shaped every inch of your being. You appreciate it, you're grateful for it.
You're getting older, which means they're getting older. You are at an age where you realize how much they have done for you over the years (and how much they screwed up). You probably realized your parents were human in your 20s or 30s, but now is the time where all sorts of forgiveness takes place and you simply want to enjoy every minute you have left with them.
This ties in with pretty much every other point listed above. You've been around long enough to know BULLSHIT when you see it, you know you don't want to be a part of it. You look for the upside and you want to take something positive with you from every experience. You're not afraid to ask for what you want, you're not afraid to work hard, and take what is rightfully yours. More than age, this is something that self-employment taught me - when something is not working MOVE ON and do it quickly. If there is a situation from which you can gain, or win, take advantage of that opportunity, the moment it has been confirmed that you are no longer benefitting, that the other party has more to gain than you do, it is time to collect your things and go.
And now a short pictorial... (more pics on the Leyla A. set on Flickr)