Passionate About Fort Worth
and the Moms Who Live Here

I’m Old and Awesome – Why Turning 40 Rocks

Turning 40 Text

I’m not totally sure when it happened.  

Maybe it was when my OB used the phrase “advanced maternal age” during my second pregnancy. It might have been the time my witty Friends joke bombed at the preschool party because the other mom wasn’t old enough to watch the show.  

(insert soul dying)

Perhaps it was when my last Netflix suggestion to my offspring was met with an eye roll and the comment, “Is this another ancient looking movie from when you were little?”  

Your loss, kid. If you don’t appreciate the greatness that is Labrynth, I can’t save you. The future of humanity is bleak, y’all.

Anyway, I figured it out. I’m getting old. My 40th birthday is on the horizon, and before I remind you to respect your elders and get off my lawn, I’ve got some great news to share.  

This age is AWESOME.  

I was thinking about all the poor whippersnappers out there who made it this far despite not experiencing Ross and Rachel’s first kiss in the coffee shop. With that kind of start to adulthood, you deserve to know that turning 40 is sort of the best thing ever. So go ahead and let that worry go. And pretend like you’ve seen The Princess Bride when I mention it, or we will have to break up.   

Looking Back

My twenties were a blur of corporate success, raising a dog, and eating at restaurants that didn’t stock crayons. I also vaguely remember talking to my husband about whatever we talked about before we had these children.  

I was consumed with career choices and getting ahead. I worried about knowing the right people, making flawless impressions, and setting up my future. It was a whirlwind decade of fun and frequently crippling uncertainties best summed up by the question, “Am I doing this right???”

Then, the thirties. Oh, my beautiful and heart wrenching thirties. I met my babies. I became a mother. All the fear and doubt and indescribable joy . . . it’s amazing I’m still alive. From picking a suburb (I bid you farewell, fancy restaurant with no chicken strips), to infertility, to a special needs diagnosis — we hit all the Big Stuff. Decisions loomed at every turn. Should I stop working? Should he go to preschool? Should we have more kids? Am I going to keep this extra skin flap around my belly? Thirties are not for the faint of heart.  

And then, like the moment I realize I’m alone in the car and can switch from Kidz Bop to Snoop Dogg, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’m at peace with me. 

I feel good about myself, friends!  While it’s a shame that my neck skin seems slightly loose all of a sudden, getting older means I like me. And I can pay someone to fix the neck. I’ve heard it said before and was skeptical, but it’s not a myth! Turning 40 is magical, and I’m about to own this decade. Why? 

Exhibit A:  

I don’t care if people don’t like me.  

WHAT???  

It’s true. I’m a lifelong people pleaser. I will always care about being nice and helping everyone I can, but it has changed into something far more healthy in the past year. I don’t wring my hands over what impression I just made on those new moms at the PTA event. I don’t say yes when I meant no, or smile when I’m actually upset. Life experience means that I’m confident in who I’ve become. If I’m at peace with God, my husband and children, I’m good. If someone doesn’t agree, that’s absolutely okay. The superfluous “someone” actually doesn’t matter. Who knew?  

40 year olds, that’s who.  

Woman chair car

Yep, that’s a potted plant and two giant plastic lawn chairs stuffed into a sports car. Yes, I did make a HUGE scene at Home Depot stuffing them into the vehicle. No, I didn’t care that everyone was staring and snickering. (Because 40.)

Exhibit B:

I’m confident in ways I never imagined. I’ve embraced my always occasionally over-the-top personality. I used to pretend to be quieter and more serene. I spent years trying to limit my sarcastic comments in a new crowd. When I’m really happy and excited about something, I tend to be a lot like Will Ferrell’s character in Elf. Or Oprah during her “Favorite Things” episodes. You get the gist. But it’s not cool to jump up and down with glee and hug everyone within arms reach all the time. Unless you are 40, at which point you realize that you’re awesome. Even if it embarrasses your kids. And possibly your husband. “YOU get a hug! And YOU get a hug!” **throws glitter and high fives**

Bottom line? I’m suddenly owning it, y’all. I’m proud of the woman I am, scars and all. I still have no idea what I’m doing half the time. My boys are nine and four, and there’s a 98 percent chance that I’m directly responsible for any and all therapy in their future. However, age really does equal wisdom.  

I forgive myself and move on when I don’t get it right the first time. I recognize my good intentions and my unending love for my family. I know that I’m imperfect, yet honor myself for doing the best I can. I’m not worried about the people who judge me. Also, I’m fully down with leggings as pants. I will freely admit that I love 90’s gangsta rap. I’m not embarrassed to tell you that I put up my Christmas decorations in November because I love them so much. If you are being a jerk, I’m probably going to tell you. If I want to chop all my hair off, I’m going to do it. Seriously, this decade is going to be my jam.

Where are my fellow old folks? Did you feel the shift in personality as you neared the Big 4-0? Crank up some old school Salt N’ Peppa and tell me your favorite thing about being in your late 30s and 40s!  

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13 Responses to I’m Old and Awesome – Why Turning 40 Rocks

  1. Tina March 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    You are writing my story! I’m fourty in a few weeks and I’m already using “I’m almost 40 and I” line to explain everything. Loving my 40’s!

    • Chalna Shaffer
      Chalna Shaffer March 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

      RIGHT?!?! It’s amazing how quickly the change happens!! My big day is actually in April, and I’m already a new woman! This is clearly going to be the best decade so far. LOL!!!

  2. Allison Shopbell March 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    Sister. I LOVE, ❀️, LOVE forty. I feel like I’ve always been a “late bloomer” and people pleaser, but at 40, I feel like I’m doing what God put me on this planet to do. I don’t hide my joy or enthusiasm for life, I embrace my quirks, and make my mark on this crazy, mixed up world. I love my tribe because these people are good, honest and REAL. I accept them for who they are, and they take me, full of fluff and all. Love you!!!!

  3. Kaye Rogers March 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    Chains, you go girl!! I love the that you’re so in love with life – your life! Our culture makes a big deal out of turning 40 as if all fun is now lost and any hope of achieving dreams is gone. However, I’m a prime example that there is more to life after 40. When I turned 40, I was entering graduate school to become a counselor. College was a dream I thought was not to be mine. But with encouragement and support of a wonderful husband and my fabulous kids, I not only graduated but have been practicing as a licensed counselor for 23 years now. As long as there is breath, dreams are achievable.
    Love ya’, Meredith’s Mom

  4. Kaye Rogers March 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

    Ok so auto correct doesn’t like your name! How narrow minded! CHALNA!

    • Chalna Shaffer
      Chalna Shaffer March 19, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

      Thank you SO MUCH, Kaye!!!! I thought turning 30 was so traumatic, but this is AMAZING! I’m truly enjoying life so much more now that I’ve let go of the youthful insecurities that seemed to follow me everywhere. It’s good stuff!!! And I’ve got an entire group of friends who call me “Chains” because of that lovely autocorrect. LOLOLOL!!!!!

  5. Janell March 19, 2017 at 10:05 pm #

    I don’t know who you are, but I want to be friends with you! Rock on soul sista!

    • Chalna
      Chalna March 20, 2017 at 10:07 am #

      HIGHEST of solidarity high fives, new friend! πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

  6. Tricia Garza March 19, 2017 at 10:54 pm #

    Yes to all of these! I have a teen and 2 toddlers, with one in between so I get overwhelmed pretty easy but I also know that I had no clue with the first and since each kid is different, I still have pretty much no clue, but I realize that and go from there. I also teach middle school so I get to tell them in 30 years, none of this will matter and you will laugh about it!

  7. Chalna
    Chalna March 20, 2017 at 10:11 am #

    YES!!! It’s amazing how much easier it is to sit with the knowledge that I don’t have all the answers and am generally just winging it. I’m so much more apt to just do the best I can without sweating the small stuff. And at 40, I’ve decided it’s mostly ALL small stuff!! πŸ˜œπŸ‘

  8. Stephanie C. March 21, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

    Sister!!! I agree 100%! My kids think I’m cray cray jamming out to 90’s on 9 in the car and dancing and singing like no one is there! I am excited to turn 40 in a couple months! We made it! Let’s celebrate our awesome lives!!!

    • Chalna
      Chalna March 22, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      AMEN, my friend!!! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

  9. Jessie March 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

    You are my new favorite person ever!! I’m turning 40 this year and you are obviously inside my head!

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