What no one tells you before you hit Forty

What no one tells you before you hit Forty

September 18, 2018 11 By Shan Ellis Williams

I had a birthday recently. It wasn’t a big one, but I definitely have one foot closer to the grave than I did two weeks ago! So with my experience of forty plus years on this earth, I thought I’d put a wee post together of the things I wish SOMEONE, nay, ANYONE, would have told me before 40 reared its little head and said – SURPRISE.

I still totally feel like a twenty year old. And certainly make rookie mistakes. If anyone tells you that mistakes are few and far between when you’re in your forties, they’re bloody lying. Well I made it to middle age and I didn’t die. I managed to safely manoeuvre through puberty, the roaring twenties, child rearing thirties, and this decade may well see me turning into a unicorn. But here goes. I wish someone would have taken the time.

PMT to the square root of a million

Remember when you used to break out in the occasional spot, or get a little cranky before auntie flo used to make an appearance? Screw that. When the forties hit, and peri-menopause is in full swing, those days you thought were quite difficult in your twenties turn you into a freaking monster from the deepest darkest depravities of Stephen King’s imagination.

You wake up in the morning bleary eyed and sweary and even coffee won’t help. The kids are under your feet, in your hair, your jeans don’t close, you’re wanting to claw at your hair which is doing it’s best impressions of signature Halloween witch wig on acid. I kid yea not. You can’t help it. All you want to do is sit in front of Netflix and cram The Vampire diaries, which take you back to your long-lost youth, in yoga pants, because that’s the only item of clothing that fits, eating chocolate and feeling sorry for yourself.

Definitely not roller blading a dog down a sunny pier somewhere with a huge smile on your face to a jazzy background song. No. Go away.

Oh HAI peri-menopause. At least I’m not pregnant again…

Tweezers just don’t cut it

No one bothered to tell me that hair just goes mental in your forties. Not the hair on your head but hair everywhere else. I don’t see the lovely Tyra Banks, or Gwyneth Paltrow struggling with wiry white or black hairs that sprout unexpectedly out of every orifice. And I do mean every glamorous orifice going. I don’t see them either endorsing shaving your face because you can basically grow a damn beard.

All these adverts of No No hair removal, lasers, waxing now make so much sense! All those years of saying to myself I’ll never have to think about that because my hair is light. It’s all lies guys. Be prepared! Tweezers have retired, and waxing is my new best friend. And I’ve always been a secret admirer of Chewbacca…

Hairy B&W GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Your Vajajay does not play flute

Everyone told me how down below, you know the lady garden bit. Are we on the same page? Yes? The Vajayjay would be unrecognisable after having kids. Never again would it feel so springy and youthful. Never again would going to the toilet be the same experience of tinkling bliss. I certainly am speaking from experience here, of someone who took her Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises very seriously.

The horror stories I was told here about lady gardens becoming windy and flappy. All wrong. Do your exercises. Good news yes? Well wait…it has an effect on something else…

Oh my days don’t make me laugh, or sneeze

I was one of those evil youngsters that used to make fun of incontinence. In all fairness I never thought about holding it in because the force has always been strong, until I hit about 38. Everything makes me want to pee. Running water, sitting on cold ground, laughing, sneezing, coughing. And it comes seemingly from out of nowhere. The magic pee that wasn’t there two seconds ago. Where did that come from, and why am I now so desperate to find a restroom? Why? Why me? Did I not say earlier I’d done my exercises *cries*

You definitely learn who’s with you and who’s in it for the ride

I love this one. After forty years on this earth you develop some sort of sixth sense about who has time for you. I’m lucky, I have two best friends one of 30 years almost and one of almost 15 years. But having that life experience you learn to hang back and suss people out before letting them in. I don’t know if it is age or just being more careful with yourself. Or if you just can’t be bothered getting to know people who you don’t click with because you’re almost dead? I don’t know you tell me.

And that saying that blood is thicker than water? It’s the biggest load of bollocks people feed you when you’re younger to get you to love your siblings. If there is no respect or mutual appreciation there, let them get on with their lives. Don’t hang on to someone who has caused you a world of hurt without seeing your positive attributes.

You spend a lot of time looking back

But in a positive way that’s a good thing because you can plan how to move forward. As long as you don’t fall into the trap of shoulda woulda, coulda. At this age it’s best to concentrate on how, where, when, and how you’re going to get what your ultimate goals are in life. Learn from the past, by all means, but use it to make a master plan for your future.

Planning is the new going out on Saturday night and getting very drunk. Well, no. But I guess you get what I mean!

Hangover, at forty, hello?

I’m famous for never having suffered a hangover. Scrap that now. I have had a hangover. And a red wine hangover at that. In my twenties I used to be able to drink most people under the table. Ditto the thirties. Now? Two glasses of red wine and I’m anybody’s. But try to get me up early the following morning and you’re more likely to raise Methuselah and all his extended family from the grave. Dry mouth, headache, and flu-like symptoms from two glasses of wine? Ok my glasses are the size of an average head, but even still. No fair.

Hangover GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I could add another thirty of forty points to this post. But GBBO (Great British Bake off) is on now and I want to watch (and drool over) Paul Hollywood. A man who I’d never have found attractive twenty years ago when he was still making hotel bread for a living!

Until the next time ardent reader!

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