GOODBYE THIRTIES…HELLO 40!!!

Well, it’s official; today I’ve jumped into the category of MIDDLE AGED.  Yes, as of today, I am 40.

Turning 40 for anyone of you who’ve already arrived, is a real mixture of celebration, and then an odd feeling that I should be more upset that I’m leaving my 30’s behind than I’m yet to feel.

You see I’ve always had the image of this fabulous lady I worked with back at Sportsgirl when I was about 17, and she was just so glamorous and cooler than any of us teenage girls, that I could tell she had something that we did not.

She said to me as clear as if it were yesterday, “don’t ever fear turning 40 Amber, it’s the start of the best years of your life!” But what about getting wrinkles I thought, from the base of my shallow little twit mind?

“You truly know who you are by the time you get there, and you know exactly who you want to spend time with.  You don’t even end up having sex with people you don’t want to.  Or, let’s say, you don’t look back with regret, because you’ve finally worked out what, and who turns you on.”

Ok, a little too much information for the 17-year-old girl I once was.  The girl that hadn’t yet decided if she even wanted to have sex just yet, but I clung to the belief that maybe she was right.

Maybe all the trials and tribulations – (the morons, the disasters) leading up to that age, were all about arriving eventually at a place that finally felt like home.  Finally, in every way that symbolic home was decorated the way you wanted it to be.  Not a lava lamp, or fake fur rug in sight.

And then as I pondered yet again the other day about what a major milestone this day was going to be, I realized that I am healthier physically, and emotionally than I have ever been at any other point in my life.  So if those mini axe wounds either side of my mouth have to be there because I laughed my head off for 40 years, then stiff &^%&.

As I sweat my 40 year old butt off on that cross trainer at Next Gen because I am now fuelled with a little more fear that my bum might drop a millimeter or so more, then bring it on.  Who cares what gets me on that cross trainer for the first time in my life, as long as I’m on the flipping thing.

Perhaps knowing that I should look after myself health wise more now, is actually a bit of a blessing, because let me give you the tip, for at least 30 of those years I’ve been thrashing the hell out of it, because I guess, I felt I can.  “I’m young, I’ll bounce back”, I thought.

Of course I realize down the road that there will be reminders that I’m now of an age that doctors feel I should have more check ups, and maybe that will annoy me at times.  I understand that I might get invitations to certain activities that I am not ready to enjoy.  But even if those ladies playing Bridge do think I’d make a good player, I will politely tell them “all in good time.”

My attitude really is, would I want to go back to being the girl that was turning 30, who felt that wearing a sequined boob tube to my party was ‘fun’?  No, I would not.

Would I still want to be thinking I enjoyed managing bands and living with a nosy, pain in the butt flat mate?  No, I sure don’t.

I have never been in a more happy place in my life so I just don’t see why I should mourn.  So I say, “goodbye dearest 30’s, I will think of you often, but it’s time to move on because I have a wonderful place to go.”

38 thoughts on “GOODBYE THIRTIES…HELLO 40!!!

  1. No-one ever told me that after 40 I would find a new sense of self assurance and confidence. I feel that I don’t have to prove who I am or look for reassurance from others. I think the magic recipe for staying young is to take new risks, celebrate the joy in small things and get on Santa’s naughty and nice list! I support the research that says that people involved in Church communities live longer. I believe spiritual connection with others brings peace, purpose and joy, it isn’t a crutch it’s like taking steroids for well being! Laughter is part of my daily workout and the perfect thing to bind relationships together.
    My 40th Birthday Party was held at Estia’s Henley Square. Laughter flooded the restaurant and the party went on until the early hours of the morning. I am now considering how I will celebrate my 50th and feel the milestones are important stepping stones to look back on, not just for me but for my family and friends that make my life so rich.

    • Thanks for sharing that my fellow 40 and fabulous friend. I really have only heard genuinely positive stories about being 40. And as my column said, I truly never forgot those words my ex manager at Sportsgirl said, nor have i forgotten how stunning my mother looked at hers. Anyway, thanks again, off to the gym.x

  2. Hey Amber, wishing you a wonderful 40th birthday – no doubt you will have a fab party organised and you will have a wonderful time with family and friends. My own 40th was a fantastic night. I really do think you become wiser when you turn 40 – I stopped caring about what everybody else thought when I hit 40. As long as I wasn’t hurting anyone and I could still lend a hand to anyone that needed it – I started doing things my way!!!! Happy 40th. ps miss you on the radio.

    • I think the stopping caring what everyone else thinks is key. I said to a friend yesterday “I just don’t feel like I have so much to prove anymore” Which doesn’t mean I don’t have things I want to avchieve, and goals I want to kick but it’s about doing them peacefully, and certainly not for anyone else’s approval. x

  3. I was diagnosed with cancer at 31! Advanced cancer at 34! I didnt think I would reach 40! Or see my kids leave primary school!
    My kids have left primary school! Im 45 and look forward to seeing my kids leave high school! Who knows what else!
    I am blessed to be alive, cherish each day and ecstatic at being over 40!
    I am healthier mentally and spiritually over 40, and wiser for the experience!!!!

    • Oh wow, that puts it all into perspective!!!!!!! People just forget that what we think are problems, are not even blips on the radar for others. thank you for sharing that. I hope we can all take your story on board when we fall back into sweating the little things.xx

  4. I was diagnosed with cancer at 31! Advanced cancer at 34! I didnt think I would reach 40! Or see my kids leave primary school!
    My kids have left primary school! Im 45 and look forward to seeing my kids leave high school! Who knows what else!
    I am blessed to be alive, cherish each day and ecstatic at being over 40!
    I am healthier mentally and spiritually over 40, and wiser for the experience!!!!

  5. Age is irrelevant; attitude is EVERYTHING!

    I will always remain child-like, not child-ish. Appreciation of life through a child’s eyes, in all its uncomplicatedness, is what’s needed. And when we can do that, we lose the fear of growing old . . .

    Now where did I put my long board????

    • Me too Mark! I will be an adult about things I have to be..finances, buying houses and that stuff, but outside of that, I’m not a day over 11.

  6. Great article Amber. I’ll be ticking that box very soon myself and can honestly say I’m cool with it. I wouldn’t want to be in my early 20’s again for quids! Although I did have a cool car…

    • we’re going to be the best 40 year olds ever!!!!!!! Embarrassing the kids and not putting up with shit. PERFECT.xxxxx Can’t wait till yours.x

  7. Hi Amber,
    I have been in my 40s for 6 years now and looking at 50 it doesnt worry me I just enjoy life…I have been through breast cancer and I have a lot of fantastic friends and I have been single for 6 years now I am enjoying life more now than I did when I was younger….I dont feel 46…..

  8. You made it to 40 and you’re healthy and happy.. congratulations Amber!! I turn 40 tomorrow and I must say that I am quietly thrilled to leave my 30’s behind. Not because I didn’t enjoy them because I made absolutely sure that I did, but for all the reasons you mentioned. The main one being, I no longer care what others think of me and that in itself is a very liberating way to live.

  9. Hi Amber Im in my 50’s and love it life is good for me and my son is 10 I think he keeps me young because Im not aloud to get ha ha. I harded turning 21 because you had to be married by then or be a old maid I got married at 41 divorced at 42 so 40″s not good for me 50’s are great Iam happy. Iam glad you had a great birthday with friends.oxoxox nice to hear that you are up to on facebook

    • HI there Fay! Well it sounds like the 50s are pretty good as well? I tell you, it’s just all about making sure that you’re happy, with the people you should be, no matter what age you arrive at. And I tell you what…if you’re healthy when you get there, then that’s the best gift of all.x

  10. Hi Amber, Happy Birthday and thanks for this excellent article it really helped me out recently so thought I might tell you the story so you can see how your writing positively impacts us out here.
    One of my classmates at the Next Gen (from Lana’s Sculpt on Mon Wed) is just coming up to her 40th birthday. I chose a light and hopefully humorous card but I wanted to try and find some profound words to do justice to this significant event. We have been in the same classes and talking for a couple of years now, but my dilemma was what does a guy know about a woman’s feelings on turning 40?
    Just when I was in the middle of wondering I glanced at the paper and saw it was your article day and as I often do since being impressed after meeting you at the Fashion Parade at Next Gen a couple of years back, I had a read.
    Well your lovely column solved everything; it was such a great personal account. You are at similar places in your lives in many ways and so you had the words all there. I just cut out your article and put it in the card and then did the best I could with my words.
    Enjoy your “40s” and I will look forward to continuing to watch for your frank and insightful articles.
    Don
    Ps The Next Gen sculpt classes are great for shaving millimetres and I reckon are a lot easier to stick at than killing yourself on the cross trainer.

    • Don your message is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO gorgeous to read. I am massively honoured that you read it, that you cut it out, and that I got inside your lovely friend’s card. I know I’m probably too old to say this but, “how totally cool”. I really do feel proud to be 40. And how divine that you care for your friend so much that you thought so much about what to say. You’re divine. Make sure IF you see me on the cross trainer, come and say hi…….. Haven’t seen that cross trainer for a week and a half. Very naughty. Thanks Don.xxx

  11. Being in your 40’s is fantastic. 40 is the new 30’s ,it is all in the mind set. Iam 47 and i feel like Iam still in my mid 30’s. Enjoy the ride ,all it’s ups and downs. Because if you stop participating in lfe and enjoying it ,thats when you start to slow down and feel your age.Stay active. cheers

  12. I think I know who you are referring to in our old sportsgirl days. Was it the glamorous sophisticated blonde who managed knitwear? I so wanted to be her and I was at my so-called peak of 18! I’ve found getting older to be liberating and you grow to be the person you always wanted.

  13. Hi Amber,

    I thought when I read your reply that I had achieved my goal of cheering you up. Then there you were in the paper again today breaking all our hearts with your stories. I sent my first message the other day after reading your blog about the party and how you were sitting in bed crying afterwards. I just felt my story might give something back to the person that gives so much of herself in her writing and sharing of her personal experiences to everyone in Adelaide.

    So now we hear you are still sad and I feel I failed in my mission. Anyway I thought I would have another attempt.

    Singleness is a great gift, even the bible talks of it as a good way to spend the precious minutes of your life. I bet if you had met that “perfect” man (of which there are very few) and had kids etc then your ability to achieve so much with your life would be way different.

    Yet here you are living a life that few of us dream of. Writing “blogs” that heaps of people actually want to read. Holding a party and we all wanted to attend. You are gifted with an uncanny ability to reach people with your writing and the ability to put it together in a few hours between all the other events. Your writing builds word pictures that have us living the moment and the emotion right there with you. These are extraordinary talents and I expect would be lost to us if your life had happened in other ways.

    I am of course being selfish here and am not without empathy. As a man we love to have spectacular women out there that we might aspire to whilst we go about the routine nature of our lives.

    Thank you for being such a generous person that sacrifices on these routine things to give so much of you to us. There should be some recognition of your efforts and what an asset you are to our beautiful city. In an ideal world what goes around comes around and I also wish this will deliver great blessings for you sometime soon.

    In great admiration, Don

    Ps for the days that are sad I find the gym is great. Swimming or gym class a friendly smile or the solitude and challenge of the exercise or even the steam room. Thanks for the invite to say hi – I near live at Next Gen this time of year and never seem to see you, so not quite sure of your schedule. Anyway, I look forward to saying hi sometime soon!

    • what a kind man you are Don, and also I very beautiful writer. I appreciate so much letters like this. I am incredibly grateful for all I have, and there’s none of those unattractive moments in my life that I’d take back, because if you haven’t lived it, then you can’t connect to those that might need to know someone else has been there. That’s the hardest thing about depression, or bad relationships is that when you’re in it, you think you’re the only one, which is never the case. As my life and career goes on, I thank the universe for all the good and the bad, and the fact that I get to communicate with the wider public, is just a gift that I will never take for granted. Although reliving some of the harder times, sort of drags you back down to that sad place, the best part is knowing that it’s not owning you anymore. I’ve done so much work on myself to rid myself of the lack of self love, the self destructive streak that I can get from time to time, and just to try and be a happier person. I deserve to be happy as does everyone. But I tell you it takes alot of work, every day. You can’t drop the ball and just think “right I’m done now, I’ve got life and happiness sussed” because it is and always will be a work in progress. I will still fall off the emotinal wagon, will doubt my abilitiies and doubt my place in the scheme of wherever I feel lucky to be. But I have learnt tools to re-set my head space. Tools I never had before. I can’t wait to launch my future website Not Just For HIppies because it will be a place that I hope I can keep putting myself out there, and show the people that haven’t had the luxury to get to know themselves, as I have…being single, yes….that you have to find the time to get to know yourself. What makes you tick, what issues are holding you back, and what your dreams are, and how to reach them. I have had a blessed life, although had my own stuff as we all do. Peeling away the layers is what its’ all about I think Don. It’s about the decision to make the time to do it. Because if you do, you’ll become a better person, and better partner, and a better parent. My favourite quote which I aspire to is from Dianne von Furstenburg ( a glamorous fashion designer), said “I am lucky enough to have become the woman I hoped to be” I just love that, and that is my goal. Thank you for being one of the kind one’s Don. We all need someone to acknowledge and encourage us. Because we all need reminders that we’re on the right track. Or, to get on it. THANK YOU. lots of love to you.x

  14. Hi Amber,
    Yesterday when it was raining and there was lots of complaining I was secretly anxious and hoping the rain would hang on till afternoon when I finished work a bit earlier and I could get to my “special place”. When I am contemplating those things which absorb me and often seem to be without a solution I find there is nothing better than a swim in the rain!
    Next Gen is generous and keeps the outside pool open in winter – the only ones in Adelaide! I was lucky and the rain came during my swim yesterday and I had that unique experience of the whole pool and pool area to myself in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city. There I am with the fabulous feel of sliding through the relatively warmer water and the cool rain on my back. The rain enhances the experience as it seems to close the pool in around you and then there is only you and the water and an amazing feeling of peace and time to think!
    Most people would consider I am mad, but there is always the steam room to warm up in afterwards and on Friday afternoon you can even have that to yourself for some of the time. I even snuck in a quiet beer before heading home!
    With all that ambiance and contemplation successfully completed my curiosity got the better of me and I had a look to see if you had replied. Once again Amber, I was overwhelmed with the frankness and transparency of your reply on what most people would consider unlikely subjects to discuss so openly. Since then I have been grappling with how I could possibly respond to the powerful things you have revealed and then this morning my “roses” thankfully came to mind!
    To bring out their best paradoxically a rose needs a hard pruning and so in the winter you would never guess what lies beneath. Then in the spring as they are now the first shoots of green appear out of apparently nowhere. In just a relatively short time the rose plant bursts forth in every direction and you begin to see buds. Finally the rose bush blooms with what I think are the most beautiful of all flowers. At this time they take your breath away, especially my 40 year old roses these are the deepest red and also the most fragrant. Just one of these lifts a room and grabs your attention instantly whilst filling that space with its heavenly scent.
    Whilst I would not wish the events you describe on anyone I can only think how unique you are as a person and how lucky we are as a public to be witnessing “Amber’s bloom” in all its glory. Just as a rose you clearly light up Adelaide and capture our attention with your special beauty!!
    It’s exciting to hear you have more things planned and it encourages me to think that my writing helps in some small way to support your endeavours. Thank you. Don

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