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Thoughts About Turning 40

Here's to 40 more years of exploring!Yesterday was my 40th birthday. It’s happy and kind of scary to think I’ve been on this earth for 40 years. If you look at life expectancy charts, it means I’m about half way done, although I’m sure I’ll buck the trend and be doing water aerobics at age 99.

This past Friday, I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. My friend took me out to dinner for my birthday. When it was time for the check, we were told that it had been taken care of. We had no idea what had happened and after pressing the staff, we found out that another couple that we sort of know as friends of friends paid for our meal. We don’t know them well enough for them to buy our dinner or even know it was almost my birthday. The only think we can think of is that it was a Pay It Forward kindness. I walked around with a smile for the rest of the evening. I will certainly do something similar for someone else when I have the chance.

One question I’ve been asked is how does it feel to turn 40? I guess it doesn’t feel much different than 39, but I can say that I’ve certainly taken stock of my life over the past couple of years. While there is always room for improvement, I am pretty happy with where things are at this point. There is no Bruno Mars half time show, but I think I have my priorities straight, and I know how lucky I am to have a healthy family. In all honestly, 40 sometimes seems very old and sometimes it seems really young. What’s your opinion?


Forty Seems Really Old If…….


you are 30.


you are walking down the halls of a high school.


someone asks you to go clubbing.


you hear grunge music on the classic radio station.


you want to marry Hugh Hefner.


you get less than five hours sleep during a night.


you see a 12 year old wearing the same styles you wore in junior high.


a kid you bought a baby present for is going to college.


you have to wear bifocals.


the night after an 8 mile run.


your six year old tells you how to work the latest gadget.


you are more familiar with Alan Thicke than Robin Thicke.


you haven’t started saving for retirement.


Forty Seems Really Young if………

you are 50.


you see who is grocery shopping around 10 AM.


you see the dinner crowd at 5 PM.


you are in South Florida or Scottsdale in the winter.


you want to marry Ashton Kutcher or one of J Lo’s exes.


you see the people who drive Buicks.


you go to a Rolling Stones concert.


during an 8 mile run.


your glasses are so trendy no one knows they are bifocals.


you plan to be as wise as Warren Buffett.


you have enough money to retire!


What would you add to the list?

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Kim,
    We re nearly the same age I’m just glad that when we think of the karate kid it’s Ralph macchio and not jaden smith. Happy 40th.

    • Absolutely. I should have added that one to my list. I never even saw the newer one. The original is so classic, I don’t think I could take it after watching the remake of Footloose.

  2. Happy birthday and congrats on turning 40! The best thing for me about one day turning 40 is that my wife will have already hit 40 three years before me! 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday! Seems like you are in great company as Travis of Enemy of Debt and John of Frugal Rules both are in the club – and seem to be enjoying it. I really enjoyed your list it was creative. Now, I’m in my 20s and I have friends who literally CRIED when they turned 25 because they were getting old, isn’t that sad??? At 25! haha

  4. Belated Happy Birthday to you Kim! I think aging isn’t as bad as most people think. Adding a year to your age means you get another year of experience under your belt which most young people don’t have yet.

  5. HAPPY, happy birthday, Kim!! I remember when I said to my dad how weird it was to be 40. He said “How do you think I feel? I have a kid who just turned 40!”. Oh yeah, that would definitely be weirder. 🙂 I’m heading toward 50 – I’ll be 47 this summer. That’s feeling kind of weird.

  6. Happy birthday Kim and welcome to the club! I’m with you on the 6 year old telling you how to use a piece of technology. We’ve had that happen with our daughter a few times and are always baffled. I felt young last night when we were watching the Grammy’s and Steven Tyler from Aerosmith was presenting something – I thought “Man does he look old”. I agree though, I feel no different now than when I did at 39. 🙂

  7. Happy Birthday, Kim! I was just talking about this yesterday with some friends….in your 20’s and 30’s you look at high school aged kids and think “I’m not that much older than they are.” Now, as a newly turned 40 year old, I look at high school aged kids and am thankful that I AM older than they are. I’ll take my age, wisdom, and perspective over that of most high school kids any day of the week.

    • I am thankful I do not understand many of the things high school kids do or enjoy! I think my parents were like that with me. “That music is terrible. You’re clothes look like a clown, etc” I’m sure we all do that. I can’t wait to see who is popular when my daughter is in high school and how I’ll talk to her about the good ole days of the 90’s.

  8. Happy Birthday Kim! Don’t worry…40 is the new 30 right?! Another year wiser…it’s all good.

  9. Now is the time where you will want to punch in the throat anyone who turns 30 and says, “I’m getting sooooo old!!” 🙂 I try not to say those words if I can help it, in case a 60 year old wants to punch ME in the throat! But I know so few (like none) 60 year old bloggers. I didn’t have trouble with 40. I think I had built up a lot of excitement around it like “I’m going to kick 40’s ass!!!” But around 42 I started to feel “affects” of aging in my face. Not going to lie, that part (which I’ve been vocal about) has been a struggle. Still, people seem to have an idea of how the 40’s should be. Sometimes I’m sprawled across my queen sized bed in my tiny, rented apt. on my Roxy sheets and think, “this is not what my mom’s 43 looked like!” I’m still watching shows on the CW! I think age is what you make of it. I don’t feel 43…whatever that means. I may look it…not sure, but I don’t feel it.

    • I think you look amazing. There is no way either of my parents could have even considered running a half marathon at 30, much less 40, so I agree it’s all about how you embrace it. I realize things don’t look or work like they did at 25, and I take longer to recover from things than I used to, but that’s OK. I feel really good going into this decade.

  10. Ha! I’m 34 and I used to think that 34 was super old. But I still feel young on the inside. Happy birthday, Kim!

  11. Happy 40th Birthday Kim!! What a great pay it forward moment. I love it! It is those random acts that sometimes mean the most. I love this – “40 is old if … you want to marry Hugh Hefner.” LOL! So true! Well, I’m pushing on the big 5-0, so 40 does seem young. 🙂 But I remember when it didn’t. One of the best things about getting older is feeling a bit more comfortable in your skin. Don’t get me wrong, I slather on skin cream! HA! But I am much more secure in who I am.

    • The numbers do start to sound old, but I would not trade the knowledge and comfort I have developed over the years. If I can look half as good as you at at almost 50, that would be an accomplishment.

  12. This is great! I turned 40 two weeks ago and it hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. I think it’s because I can remember when my parents turned 40 and I thought they were as old as dirt…happy bday Kim!

    • My parents seemed older than dirt long before 40. I have established a new standard, though. 40 is the new 30 or maybe even 25 on a good day.

  13. Happy 40th! That is awesome that you had your meal paid for.

    And haha I love this post.

  14. Happy Birthday!! That’s so fantastic that someone paid for your dinner out, what an awesome surprise. You’ll have to pay it forward another day, when it’s not your birthday 🙂
    I love the lists… though honestly I can’t understand all of them! (Mostly the ones relating to specific people).

  15. Happy Birthday Kim! I just hit 30, but I know you are in good company there. Great list and I hope you really enjoyed your birthday!

  16. “…you are walking down the halls of a high school.” Haha…that’s me everyday. But it always makes me feel good when my students think I’m younger than I am. Happy 40th and welcome to the club! 🙂

  17. Happy Birthday!! Generation X is the Best.

  18. Happy belated birthday Kim! That is so cool people paid for your meal.
    40 is super young when you see you still look like 5 in the eyes of your parents.

  19. Happy belated! I love the whole idea of paying it forward. One day, I plan to pay the tolls of a few cars behind me on the toll bridge one day! That happened to my family once when I was much younger and I always wanted to pay it forward since then.

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