This is 40

40 is being reluctant to look at your online dating profile (YES, I STILL HAVE ONE) the first day there’s a 4 in front of your age. I was always hesitant to date guys who were 40+ because they were too damn old, now I’M too damn old. Shouldn’t my profile automatically deactivate at this point? Do I unlock special features since I’m still putting myself out there? If you’re still willing to date on the internet after turning 20×2, all subscriptions should be free and include weekly Uber credits (for rides or wings, depending on where the night takes you).

40 is waking up in bed with what you believe to be a dislocated knee, without even exerting any type of actual energy the previous evening. And no, a drunken two-step for 3 hours at the bar does not count – all you did was get your 10,000 steps in. Then you remember the last time someone had a dislocated knee in this bed and recalling that the events that led up to said injury was much more exciting than this current ailment.

40 is also realizing the most important thing in your life now is getting those 10,000 steps in. The steps that you clocked on your refurbished FitBit that was superglued back together because you’re not paying anymore money on a watch that reminds your lazy ass to get up and stretch every 50 minutes.

40 is crying throughout the day about nonsensical things. Unable to blame it on hormones, being sad, missing someone, or cramps, the waterworks come on for no reason. You start by crying in the deli when “Shallow” floats through the speakers, because Lady Gaga can sang and man, this song is beautiful. You follow it up by going to get a massage, only to start tearing up during the reflexology portion because it feels good to just SIT DOWN. You round up your day by crying at various Sportscenter Instagram posts- because all JV basketball managers deserve to play one game and then get rushed by the entire gym when they foul out and make a free throw in under 5 minutes.

40 is falling asleep after the aforementioned massage, rendering yourself useless for the rest of the day. The only other time you move around is to cook your own birthday dinner because you were being annoying deciding on what to eat. After drinking rose’ on a Monday, you pass out again, because ADULTHOOD.

40 is getting a birthday candle intended for positive energy for the coming year, only to focus that burning energy wishing for salacious items and an improved curl pattern.

40 is gleefully telling the guy in the elevator in your building that the drain cleaner in his hand is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. 40 is also telling him that this cleaner will work better than anything he’s ever used, and that you know he got it from Home Depot. You then feel very good about yourself, thinking that you just shared some wonderful household tip with a neighbor, forgetting that you were not involved in his purchase whatsoever.

40 is Googling “how old do you have to be in order to be a cougar?” and realizing that you’re not there yet. It then sinks in that you just Googled the age restrictions on a made-up term in which older women date 25 year olds, enticing them with good meals and car insurance. Not really sure how to let that sink in, you shrug and realize you’re blessed with dependable Wi-Fi and can also do whatever you want.

40 is acknowledging you are a semi-fit (can’t confidently say “strong”) independent woman, who is still open to the idea of having a sugar daddy. Understanding that your sugar options are smaller than that of your Instagram model counterparts, you begin extensive research on “hot 70-year-old actors”, as well as local divorced cardiologists.

40 is the final level of nap achievement- you can no longer be questioned about when you feel like sleeping. There are no more questions on your energy levels, stamina, workload, stress, responsibilities, or even familial obligations- doesn’t matter. You can pass out whenever you want and wherever you want, and not be harassed about your personal decision. If all you do is wake up on Saturday and eat some bacon, girl you better get ready for that pre-lunch nap because hey, you’ve done enough. You are not allowed to be interrupted by your KIDS, your hubby, your boyfriend, or a fire alarm- keep napping, boo. And sure, you have the freedom to take these baby naps in your car for 30 minutes at lunchtime if you choose to do so. But you want to flex your adult muscles and show the world what you’re really made of? Just remember that you are now 40- a nap is 2 hours minimum at this point. Do what you want- you’ve earned that drooled on pillow. Having six pillows now makes sense. Oh, and you will always be tired.

40 is ultimately whatever you want it to be. You want to call yourself old, do it. So what, who cares? Feel free to not correct people in the office that think you’re 32. Be comfortable lying to young guys hitting on you and telling them that you’re 45 so they can’t function. Know that you can always get out of anything by telling people that you’re just too tired, because 97% of time this will be an accurate statement. Go ahead and rebrand yourself at the office, even if your friends think personal renaming is concerning. Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do. Please feel comfortable asking to speak to a manager in any situation that you feel you can win. And did I mention you will always be tired?

-KEEP IT A HOT MESS

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