I am actually 45 right now, and looking back at my 40th birthday, I remember feeling a bit weird… Not that ageing really worried me in any way, but there is so much pressure about one’s 40th birthday, and I could not help feeling it, despite not being really sure what I was supposed to be worried about.

After turning 40

Well, moving forward I just did not think about it anymore, but in the first couple of years in my forties, learnt so many things about myself and about what it really means being over 40, that got me thinking: “Why don’t we have a fucking manual for this?” It would have been so much easier to have a few information in advance, I could have spared myself a lot of time that I wasted due to my ignorance! So here are 4 things I wished I knew before turning 40!

My personal Manual for turning 40


1- What you don’t use you lose – the real change in the body after 40

Is not that when you turn 40 you magically change into another organism, don’t get me wrong… But our body is going to go into another phase, yet again. Around the age of 41/42 years (in women), there is a change for which the processes that are taking place in the body are not anymore mainly about building up, but they begin to be about breaking down. These results in an increased need of physical activity, and a more articulated and constant one, otherwise you won’t be able to maintain the same level of fitness you had before.

yoga to maintain a flexible body
yoga is ideal to maintain body flexibility an strength

Hence, soon after turning 40 you might start to notice that something has changed. If you are very active it might take you a bit more to notice it, but still: if you happen to suffer an injury and have to stop moving for a while, it will take twice as much as it did before to get back on track in terms of time and effort. You might notice a decrease in your overall strength, because if you do not exercise it, you are not going to maintain it!


2- There is no right age to decide you can ditch the dye and let your natural grey grow!

Oh, how I wish I knew this earlier. I wasted many a night debating if was the right moment to let the dye go, well before my 40th birthday! I really wished somebody had told me that I could trust my instinct and go grey, not because I , in particular, look good with grey, but because the more I see natural grey haired women, the more I notice how the hair colour just suits them perfectly! There is no gamble, no hoping you’ll look good, just embracing your natural hair and go with it.

Natural grey hair has no age
Natural grey hair has no age, I did not need to wait for my 40ies to go for it!

I wish I know before forty that I could have trusted myself to go grey whenever I wanted, because doing it for myself was the only important thing! All the time I spent researching picture of grey haired women (still not many 6/5 years ago), downloading apps to see how I would look like with silver hair (all highly unhelpful, to be honest), asking friends and family and going over and over their adverse advice, believing that indeed I was still too young to go grey, and I would have looked old, and ugly, and I simply couldn’t. If you’d like to know more about my grey journey, and hot it started, click here.


3- You are actually entitled to not take bullshit from anyone.

Is like you enter the realm of finally-I-know-that-life-is-too-short-for that crap. Like a new coming of age, the age of wisdom: you know better! Maybe you have been lucky enough to learn this even earlier, but talking about myself, I had a hard time acknowledging it , because I’m a people pleaser. For this reason, sometimes I’ve taken bullshit from other people, just for the sake of being polite and not causing a fuss. When you turn forty is like you have actually won the jackpot, because something in your mind clicks, and you know that you are too old to waste any time with other people’s bullshit. You just know it! Best feeling ever!


4- It’s no big deal!

Except for the above 3 things, it does not change much, you are exactly the same you were in your thirties, except… You are bit better. An upgraded version of yourself, really. Definitely nothing to fear and all to embrace. Therefore, no need to feel any pressure about turning forty, other than the pressure to celebrate another year that you have been lucky enough to live!

changing perspective after 40
Changing perspective is a great present you receive after 40

The thing is that we actually get to have a different perspective, to look at your life with new eyes, and you realise that things do not get worst, just different, and they are more likely to get better if you just focus on the changes and how to get the best out of them. And you remember to just live, and be grateful to have the privilege of actually ageing. Because that is the truth: is a great privilege that not everyone is granted. And you understand that is not about ageing, but about living your life.


Images credits : Pixabay

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