This is 40 by Liz

40th birthdayConfession: I turned 40 two weeks ago. And it freaked me the hell out.

Initially, I had approached the big 4-0 with excitement. A reason to throw a kick ass party! It really IS the new 30!  Supposedly, I'm going to become sexually empowered! And according to all those quotes y'all post on Facebook, I won't have to give a shit about what other people think anymore!  Sounds awesome!

And yes, the party was fabulous.  We jumped up and down on the dance floor like we were twenty-one again.  We drank without worrying about waking up early the next morning.  We did things in the photo booth that shouldn't be captured on camera. I felt invincible--totally ready to make 40 my bitch!

But when my actual birthday rolled around a few weeks later, I started to feel a little something else too. Depression. I found myself pondering my own mortality. I started to wonder, are my best days behind me? Is it all downhill from here?  And the most important question: Will I ever be able to eat cheesecake again without my ass expanding? (Answer: probably not...)  In short, I became very funkalicious (and not in a good way!)

As women, many of us have been programmed to believe that our looks are what make us valuable.  And I'm not gonna lie, I've bought into this idea over the years--and I truly believe it's a huge part of the reason I fear aging.  Because why else would I?  Financially I'm better off than I was in my 20's.  And my husband in no way resembles the douchebags I dated in 1998.  I love watching my kids grow up right before my eyes, sprouting from toddlers to school age children to little mini adults. And next June, I'm going to fulfill a lifelong dream when our first novel, Your Perfect Life is published by Atria Books. In so many ways, 40 is fabulous.  It's not the end. In fact, maybe I could even argue that it's just the beginning.

So, here's to 40.  It may not be perfect. I may not be able to remember why I walked into a room half the time or be able to even LOOK at mashed potatoes without gaining weight. Or maybe I can't recover from a girls night out the way I used to, but dammit, that's okay.  Because I'd like to think I'm wiser, kinder and incredibly more patient than I was fifteen years ago.  And at the end of the day, isn't that what really matters?

What do you think about aging? Love it or Leave it? Tell me!