Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The best time of your life...


Duffy Brown here and my daughter just turned the big 4-0. We did the dinner out thing and presents and cupcakes and sang but when we got ready to go home I turned to her and said... Emily, the forties are best years of your life! I wasn’t just being supportive because she’s getting older I meant it.

Here’s the thing

When you are in your twenties you’re thrilled your crush finally asked you out, you have no idea what a 401K is, you got the job of your dreams and a week later hate it. Every time you open the mail there’s a wedding/shower/bachelorette invitation or maybe all three and you don’t have a date and can’t afford a new dress.

Your bestie just broke up with her guy, you just broke up with your guy, your just married and hate your in-laws, new apartment, found out your pregnant and thinking what the heck have I done!

The twenties are indecision, deciding and deciding wrong, or deciding right and wondering is this all there is for the next ninety years?

Personally I wouldn’t be twenty again for all the tea in China.

Then there’s the thirties. Life is more meaningful, more established, more fulfilling, more stable.  You have fewer fights, cry less and make fewer bad decisions. You have less fun because life is more predictable and less spur-of-the-moment because you have a real job, a house a car and maybe a kid.
The kid thing is the real life-changer. You trade independence for craziness and no sleep and the five minute shower. You have everything you dreamed of those nights coming home from a bar when no one asked for your number, crying yourself to sleep because you felt so alone. In fact, you never feel alone and what you once prayed for sometimes feels  like a curse.
Most days are a blur of alarm, kids, shower, kids, breakfast (maybe), coffee (definitely), kids, car, road rage, kids singing "Wheels on the Bus," daycare, work, work, lunch (at your desk), dinner, bath time, bedtime, TV, glass of wine (much-needed), sleep (interrupted by to-do-list, kid crying, partner snoring, etc.)

Then there’s the forties! The best part of being forty-
something is that you finally feel comfortable in your own skin. You know who you are and you’re good with it. You’re calmer about challenges and function better in relationships. You look better than you did when you were twenty ‘cause you got more money to join the gym, buy clothes and the kids are sleeping through the night. 

You’re quicker to say I'm sorry, slower to linger in spaces that feed you, and generally liberated from 80 percent of the shoulda-woulda-couldas that dominated your life before. You are who you and that’s just fine.


So, what do you think? Did I tell Emily the truth? Are the forties your best years of your life? 


22 comments:

Margo Bittner said...

My life in a nutshell: When I turned 30 my youngest child was weaned and out of diapers. When I turned 40, my youngest child had his Bar Mitzvah. When I turned 50, I had survived breast cancer, started a business and finally taught my husband the joys of taking vacations. It only gets better from here.

Gram said...

I might move it up to the 50's, but then I am a slow learner. :-)

mary kennedy said...

40's are good, no doubt about it! Glad you had a fun celebration with your daughter, Duffy.

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

Yes, the 40's were good. I might say the 50's but my husband passed away when I was 54. Even with that, after a year or two, I was more confident in who I was and my own abilities.

Duffy Brown said...

Sounds like a great life!! 40s and 50s were good for me too. Have fun!

Duffy Brown said...

Yep, the 40s and 50s. I think we are finally comfortable with who we are. Makes all the difference.

Duffy Brown said...

It was a fun birthday!! And now we have the grandkids. More fun.

Duffy Brown said...

It all centers around being comfortable in out own skin. You’re over impressing people, and get rid of the people who drag you down. You know how to live.

Duffy Brown said...

Hi, Diane. Sorry your husband passed at such an early age. We are all stronger than we think we are.

kaisquared said...

I agree. The forties are great and the fifties have been fine so far. I hope you and your family had a wonderful party!

Kate Collins said...

My 50s were the best -- I'd finally met the love of my life, my children were finding their adult paths, and I was writing full time, traveling, and enjoying life like I never had before -- until my husband passed away. Now I'm finding a new life, and while it's not what I had, it's still good. But you nailed it on your advice to your daughter, Duffy. Good post.

Gram said...

Sure does!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

You were right that the forties are awesome! I loved those years, but like Kate says the fifties were even better. I would never go back to my twenties.

You may not want to break it to her just yet, but the sixties are also great. One decade at a time. Wish her a happy birthday and many more. Hugs.

MJ

LD Masterson said...

I'm trying to remember my forties. I know they started with my eldest leaving for college and ended with the arrival of my first grandchild.

Duffy Brown said...

With age does come wisdom. LOL

Duffy Brown said...

Losing my husband upended my life too but there are still so many good things going on for both of us.

Duffy Brown said...

Thanks MJ. Emily and Steve could not have kids…tried everything and finally adopted from South Korea. Now they have such a lovely family.

Duffy Brown said...

Sounds like your 40s were amazing!!!

Margaret said...

When I turned 40 (8 years ago) I finally felt like an ADULT. I am the "baby' in the family, and every one always refused to treat me like an adult. It didn't matter to them that I had completed college, was in a very professional and demanding career, owned my own home, and was very well traveled; I was the baby.
When I turned 40 I finally convinced them I was a peer and it kind of stuck.
I loved turning 40, that was a great milestone birthday, and soon it will be 50. I have never been stuck on the number. Although I have matured and grown I still feel like that young woman looking to the future.
As they say 40 is fabulous

Maggie Sefton said...

Just wait, Duffy. The 50s are WAY better. More freedome, more fun. Trust me. :D

Lynn in Texas said...

I'm late to the party, after being out of town, but just catching up and want to echo, YES, forties were fabulous! And it gets better, for the most part!

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