The Swinging Years

Halle Berry.  Demi Moore.  Jennifer Aniston.  Salma Hayek.  This is not our grandmothers’ 40s, my friends.

Today women in the four-oh’s are boldly embracing the singular beauty, wisdom and sensuality of their age and experiencing a renewed joie de vivre.  Many are having children.  Many are dating men that could have been their children.  Overall, I would have to agree with those that say 40 is the new 30 – but a sexier 30 with ten more precious years of self-exploration and divinity of knowledge built-in.  I personally was excited to turn 40.  It was the first birthday that I felt I earned.  It took a lot of love, sweat and tears to get here, dammit, I thought, as I belted out karaoke in my living room until someone more sober than me (my husband) cut the mic after what I thought was a stellar Single Ladies/Milkshake medley.  Now that I’ve settled in for a year and have had time to muse over this meeting of chronological age and me, there are some newfound, not exactly empowering ticks arising that my sexy 40-something celebrity peers have not been quick to divulge in Vogue.  Like the addition of two brand new “PMS” stages to each month:  post-menstrual syndrome and present-menstrual syndrome.  And having to stop eating things you really enjoy, like food, in order to wear your pants again from just last year.  A few days ago I discovered another otherwise non-disclosed joy of the swinging years.  Sneeze inflicted muscle seizures.  While bending down to retrieve my dog’s leash, I sneezed and felt the unexpected equivalent of an instrument of torture ripping into my lower back and lodging there for a few good, deep twists.  A weekend down for the count. So, while forty is definitely fierce and fabulous and this decade one I intend to fulfill with my heart’s desires, it is life’s little sprinklings of merde that certainly help keep it real – and growing.

© Jennifer Dowd  

(Jennifer Aniston feature photo from W Magazine, credit:  Steven Klein)

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