So here’s the thing about approaching your 40’s…these heifers come at you like a freight train in the night when you least expect it.
Lean in, dear ones: You 20-something beauties whose bodies still have positive rapport with gravity, because I’m about to drop some truth bombs that literally NO ONE told me.
You may want to grab some wine for this, sweet cherubs.
I am 38.
It’s a weird age, really, because some days you’re over here paying a mortgage, balancing (read: juggling miserably) work and home, and meal planning like a boss. The next you find yourself calling your mom to help you understand what health insurance even does and if you can actually afford the anxiety meds your doc just prescribed.
Your late 30s are like a parallel universe where you are simultaneously expected to be able to keep tiny humans alive but also, when asked how long ago the 1990s were, answer confidently, “Like 15 years ago, max”.
But here I am, killing it.
My late 30s have brought with it the following non-exhaustive list of total surprises for which no actual adult prepared me prior to this exact moment:
1. Freckles. Hear me when I say USE. SUNSCREEN. They are fine. But can someone please explain the science behind their seemingly overnight development!?
2. Acne. Didn’t have it as a teen, but apparently 38 is the year of chin acne and It. Is. Real. Proactive adult acne commercials, where you aaaattttttt!?
3. Weird Hair. Used to be straight and oily, now it can be dry and kind of wavy. No one knows. It’s a mystery. Also, what is that on my chin!? Jesus, be a fence!
4. Copious Amounts of Overwhelm. Disclaimer: I could try to explain this to you but there are not currently actual human words that suffice so you’ll just have to trust me that undergrad finals and your last breakup don’t compare.
5. The Ability to Want to Get it Perfect and Also Not Give An Actual Eff. I cannot stress this paradox enough.
6. A Complete Inability to Be On Time. I hate to be late, but apparently having kids just totally overrides the punctuality possibilities.
7. Equal parts desire not to look homeless and confidence that showers and pants with zippers feel like far too much work. Spoiler Alert: Yoga pants will win 127% of the time.
8. Complete Caffeine Dependency. I really should’ve relied more heavily on Jesse Spano’s experience on the “I’m So Excited” episode of Saved By The Bell because public school spent plenty of time warning me about gateway drugs but there was no mention of needing to support a twice a day Starbucks habit before 40.
9. You Won’t Have Time for It. Not for toxic people, off brand macaroni, fake friends, or cheap coffee (see #8). Your life is insane now and you need the real stuff. Always.
10. Always order the guac. I know it’s extra but it’s delicious and you’re worth it. Trust me on this.
None of what’s coming for you will make sense and that’s okay.
There will be times when you feel like everything is a dumpster fire–your house, your job, your kids, your hair, your husband–all of it. That’s okay, too.
Try to laugh at yourself.
You don’t need a ‘tribe’.
Find one solid Blanche to your Dorothy ride-or-die, hang on tight, and make the best of it. It’s not so bad.
**Follow me on IG @themamaontherocks