I can admit that I'm getting old and, in fact, I've noticed signs that I'm aging. If I bend down, my back aches for a few minutes before I can straighten up. I carry a sweater with me just in case the air conditioning is on too strong. I've walked out of restaurants because the music was too loud crowing, "Who can have a conversation with such loud music?!" I've already failed the high-frequency hearing tests I'm supposed to pass until I'm 40, so it's clear that any day now, I'm going to start asking the waiter to repeat the early-bird specials.
At 40 I don't have any "mean-girl" friends or spend time with people whose company I don't enjoy. I don't worry (too much) about what people think about me because I know that they're probably too occupied with their own lives to think of me at all. I judge others less than I used to because life is too short to spend it thinking I'm better than others or others are better than me.
I can't say I'm very hip when it comes to fashion, but I know myself well enough to buy what flatters me instead of what everyone else is wearing. I've forgiven myself and others for their minor transgressions of years gone by. I no longer hold myself responsible for everyone's happiness. I don't say "yes" to things I don't want to do and if people say "no" to me, I no longer take it personally.
It doesn't take a slew of Facebook posts about my former high school classmates turning 40 to remind me that aging is inevitable. I have already dealt with enough loss to know that aging is an honor and that I should make the most of the years I have.
I may not understand the clothes at Forever 21 (I didn't know shorts could be so short!) and I may need a 20-year-old to help me figure out Windows 8, but I have enough wisdom to ask for help instead of trying to look cool. At 40, I know I'm not cool, instead I aim to be warm, adventurous, intelligent and always up for coffee or a cocktail with friends, new and old. Besides, you know what they say about being over the hill? Once you're over the hill, you begin to gain momentum. I'm in for a hell of a ride.