Monday, January 4, 2010

40 things to know before I turn 40

Forty wisdoms about life.

I think I knew all of them.

Practicing that knowledge is another subject. This is a reprint of a British article found here.

40 things you MUST know before you're 40
By Laura Kemp 4/01/2010

After Catherine Zeta-Jones [nb: she's 50 if she's a day], Renee Zellweger, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston and Cate Blanchett hit their landmark birthdays last year, here are the things you should realise before you hit the big 40...

(1) Lots of anti-wrinkle creams don't work.

A study by consumer mag Which? this year revealed what we've feared all along - none of the 12 tested products came close to eliminating or significantly reducing the appearance of wrinkles. [But for goodness sake, I can't stop using my cheap creams!]

(2) The way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.

There may well be an on-trend diet to follow - be it eating cabbage soup, copious amounts of grapefruit or lean protein - but more fruit and veg, less fat and restricted treats combined with 30 minutes of exercise every day is the only way to do it. Sorry!

(3) If he doesn't call he hasn't lost his phone, he really isn't interested.

Just ask yourself what you'd tell a friend if they were mooning over an unsuitable man - then tell yourself.

(4) If you have to ask yourself if it's OK to wear a mini skirt then it isn't.

A Debenhams study revealed that the majority of women thought the cut-off point for flashing your thighs was 40.

(5) When you've been dumped, "dignity" is much better than getting drunk.

In your younger days, you'd have been inclined to hit the town - hard. But sober reflection and accepting the relationship wasn't in your best interests is the way to go.

(6) Take those compliments gracefully - and gratefully.

You never know if it's going to be your last so don't bat it off with an "oh, I look a state, I found it at the back of my wardrobe." Have some self-respect!

(7) A salad will not fill you up at lunchtime - you'll end up having a Double Decker an hour later.

Research shows wholegrains will stop your tummy rumbling thanks to their fibrous content and lowglycaemic index so go for a bowl of pasta instead (minus the cheese!).

(8) The housework can wait.

Playing with the children, sharing a candle-lit meal with your man or catching up with your friends is far more fulfilling than playing the desperate housewife. Besides, the sooner you do it, the sooner you'll need to do it again!

(9) A good bra works wonders.

According to bra shop Bravissimo nearly 80% of women and girls are wearing the wrong size. A fitted one will improve your posture and silhouette. [Also, investing in good foundational garments that cost more than $15 at Walmart will pay for itself in the lifted - ahem - self esteem]

(10) You are turning into your mother, whether you like it or not.

A study by the American Society Of Plastic Surgeons found that mothers and daughters age in a strikingly similar pattern. So you can blame her for your sagging eyelids as well as your tendency to call everyone the wrong name.

(11) It's not too late.

Don't panic if you haven't done it by now, there's still time left for you to learn to play the flute/turn Buddhist/ become a pop star. The onset of "middle youth" as opposed to middle age means you can still achieve over 40.

(12) Just because you haven't had kids don't assume that yet, don't assume that it's too late.

Just look at actress Jane Seymour, who had twins at 45, or Susan Sarandon, who became a mum at 46. [Also, adoption is a beautiful way to become a parent]

(13) A wolf whistle is no longer something to complain about.

In fact, ring up your friends to brag about it! [This is one I do not agree with; it's abusive and sexist]

(14) And... relax.

A traffic jam isn't worth getting upset about. Instead, think of it as a golden opportunity for a very rare bit of peace and quiet.

(15) Learn to love luxury.

Backpacking was great fun in your 20s when you could deal without a hairdryer and sleep in a noisy dormitory. But a five-star hotel with room service and wi-fi wins hands down these days.

(16) Tidy your wardrobe and save yourself a few quid.

According to research by Weight-Watchers, every woman has £260 of clothes that's banished to the closet graveyard. Have a clear-out and sell it on the internet.

(17) Sex can still be great.

A recent survey by Saga found 65% of over-50s are sexually active, with 46% claiming to have sex once a week.

(18) You can finally crack smart-casual.

It means evening dos, business lunches and christenings no longer fill you with dread in case you're over or underdressed. Stylists recommend smart trousers, lots of layers starting with a silk camisole and a chic wrap topped off with a statement jacket.

(19) It's fine to daydream over an ex but Facebooking him will cause too much trouble.

You'll either end up disappointed that the school hunk ended up fat and bald or he'll start stalking you.

(20) Phone, don't text.

Texting is brilliant when you're juggling kids, work and cleaning the cat litter tray but it is no substitute for a phone call to your best friend.

(21) Your handbag should contain a travel tube of hand cream.

Because our hands are exposed to the elements, they're one of the first parts of our bodies to show our true age, according to Neutrogena. So the next time you're waiting for the bus, apply a splodge of the soft stuff.

(22) There's no such thing as "no ties" sex.

In her 2008 study, Professor Anne Campbell from Durham University revealed that negative feelings reported by women after onenight stands suggested we are not really well adapted to fleeting sexual encounters because we are programmed to search for mates to reproduce with.

(23) A Saturday night in alone in front of the telly is not a tragedy - it's bliss.

Life is so busy it's a rare thing to enjoy your own company with a spot of me-time.

(24) Having a baby will not mend a failing relationship.

It'll put it under even more pressure. Research by Aviva Insurance this year found that the reality of parenthood leaves many new mothers and fathers feeling stressed, isolated and confused.

And, surprise, surprise, many couples reported that they had more arguments and less sex in the first year of their baby's life. [I confirm this, and I bet the stat is even higher for people who have children with medical issues].

(25) If you can't be bothered to go out, just say so.

There's no point making up an elaborate excuse. If your friends are real friends, they'll understand.

(26) Packing an overnight bag is a breeze.

It no longer needs to be the "Oh my God, what on earth am I going to wear?" dilemma it once was. Wear smart jeans, a pair of flats and a daytime coat and then pack heels plus a trendy top for the evening. Simple!

(27) Laughter lines are a lost cause - besides, all your friends have got them now.

But do take up facial yoga to prevent a turkey neck. Try the "clenched smile" by gritting your teeth, opening your lips as wide as they'll go and hold for a few seconds.

(28) Face it. You'll never grow out of your crush on David Beckham.

You fell in love with him "way back when" [no I didn't but substitute George Clooney] he was smooth-skinned and floppy-haired, you stayed true throughout his Mohican stage and even with those crinkles around his eyes, you just can't give him the elbow.

(29) Unlike fine wines which improve with age, hangovers don't.

Scientist Professor Elena Varlinskaya has proved what you've long suspected - teenagers have a greater resistance to alcohol and not only are they less clumsy and sleepy on the night itself, they do not suffer as much the next day.

(30) Policemen aren't getting younger.

You're just getting older.

(31) When it comes to style icons, you're too young for Helen Mirren and too old for Lily Allen.

Instead, settle on chic Michelle Obama by day and elegant Kristin Scott Thomas by night, who go by the golden rule of "legs or cleavage - never both".

(32) A night out with your girlfriends is much more fun than a night in with your husband.

But it's very comforting to stay in with him the following evening.

(33) Learn what true love is.

Not chocolates and flowers but a man who will drive round looking for the nearest 24-hour Tesco at 3am when you've run out of Calpol and the kids have got a temperature. [I don't know what this means, but generally the gist is the man got medicine at 3am]

(34) What's the point in...

buying a book when you can borrow it free from the library?

(35) Blokes with salt and pepper hair begin to look very attractive indeed.

Just look at George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ray Liotta.

(36) Wear at least SPF factor 25 whether you are on holiday or not.

Sunburn and strap marks are not a good look.

(37) Dating a man with kids doesn't put you off.

It makes him endearing and sensitive - and more likely to understand when your offspring reduce you to tears and frustration.

(38) Those hot flushes probably aren't down to the radiators.

But don't fear the menopause - you'll be free from periods, you won't have to worry about falling pregnant and you can live your life without being ruled by hormones.

(39) You find you finally understand the secret to financial success.

Spend less than you earn, sign up to competitive utility deals, pay off your credit card bills, start a pension and tuck a bit away for a rainy day.

(40) Don't bother being "forever 39".

A huge party for your 40th is one of those fabulous memorable moments in life, like your wedding, when you get lots of presents.


Gary said...

Hey, I like your comment on facial exercise. For a great program, check out They got an easy to learn DVD available

feitpingvin said...

#15 annoyed me... are we supposed to embrace conspicuous consumption by the time we're 40? My idea of luxury is several weeks alone (or with a few select people) in the African bush. No electricity, no running water, just the sound of nature and lots of fresh air. Pure bliss. Angry cities, gaudy hotels, and wage slaves doing anything they can to get scraps, I mean a tip, are for other people, I suppose...