Turning 40 and Figuring it Out

I am in an overwhelming state of flux and I don’t deal well with unknown.

I am deciding between pinching pennies and purchasing a larger home or living through the hell and unexpected expense of an addition to expand our already cramped living space.

I am waiting for my husband to decide if he remains at his company of nearly 20 years, or take on a position in a new company and start ‘fresh’.

I am waiting for my son determine between one excellent college over another excellent college, neither of which are even close to where we live and both cost an arm, a leg and a faraway son.

I am preparing said son to venture off halfway across the world to live abroad for 10 months.

I am dealing with the fact that this is the last year my baby will ever be in preschool. My next in line enters middle school, my oldest daughter – a sophomore in high school.

And then, to top it all off – I am turning 40 in less than 3 months and not feeling quite so fabulous.

Needless to say, I have been an emotional roller-coaster of tears, joy, tears, excitement, tears, fear and then of course, some tears. I have burst at any given moment for no reason at all, leaving my poor husband at loss for holding me or giving me space -whatever I yell first.

Nothing prepares a mother for the eventual reality that her children are growing up. You create an environment full of love, life and opportunities hoping one day, they will live on their own. But, that one day is supposed to happen long after you’re ready and far after I’m 40.


Just the number feels large and overwhelming. I don’t know what it is about them, as I never feared it before – but now 40 just feels so darn old. Like, I am supposed to have more ‘figured out’ by now. Like I am supposed to be hot and fit and look way younger than my years. And, well – I just don’t have it all figured out and I am not hot and fit. Blargh.

I recently read an article that asked other’s for tales from the ‘other side’ of 40. I think I will do the same. I need to hear that life isn’t so bad with grown up kids. That life can figure itself out. That finding meaning after my mid-life crisis will become simple and obvious. That saying goodbye to a family of 6 on a daily basis is not so bad. That my tears will end and my reality become much easier to handle. That I will adjust and change and grow and my unknowns will eventually reveal themselves and all will be calm again in my world.

So, do tell ladies and gentlemen. Do tell….


3 responses to “Turning 40 and Figuring it Out”

  1. I am there with you. I have a couple years until 40 but I feel like I am still figuring some things out. I do feel more settled and doing things I like but I feel like I am not where I should be. But, then I think about all of the people that have changed careers or taken on big endeavors later in life and realize that it is ok. So, you will be fine!

  2. Carolyn says:

    I thought 40 was one of my best years. Having said that, my boys were not as old as yours and not getting ready for college. It does not get “better”….but it does get different. Each age has it’s challenges and it does seem like you are grappling with quite a few changes …big ones…right now. Take a deep breath. Enjoy planning your sons trip…might be the only one. Enjoy that pre school while you have it. Something else is around the corner. It’s ok to think you are going crazy. Talk to friends. Then sit back and see what need s to be done. Each age brings it’s own challenges. I have a few right now and altho my kids are grown and gone ( and parts of that IS wonderful) I am nervous about retiring– do I have enough money to do it now? What if things change ? Where do I live? How do I make new friends if I leave where I have been for over 35 years? Crazy as it sounds…it WILL all work out

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Carolyn, I am trying to ‘hang in there’ thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I am hoping 40 will be my best year – but not sure about that at the moment!!

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