I'm Almost 40 Years Old, And I Don't Have Time for This

by Jaime Ciarlello
A tattooed 40-year-old woman at her office
Hinterhaus Productions/Getty

Recently, when people give me an attitude or present me with bullshit that I just can’t deal with, I have had a recurring response in my head. “I’m almost freaking 40 — I don’t have time for this or IDGAF.”

For the last year, I have dreaded turning 40. DREADED. It’s happening in June, and yes, I have a countdown app on my phone reminding me how many days I have left in my thirties.

Thirties. The years of becoming a mom and growing into my role as a mom and wife. Growing in my career. Dealing with the ups and downs of anxiety. Vacations to the beach. Fun with friends. Kids sports. Working out. Concerts. It’s been real.

In my wild little mind, turning 40 automatically transforms a person into an old biddy. Maybe it’s just me, but when I was growing up and heard someone was in their 40s, it was just wild to me and there was no way would I ever get that old. LOL, well, dammit it’s happening.

Luckily, the last few weeks have been a bit eye-opening and I’ve begun to realize that turning 40 might not be such a shitty thing. I am pretty much in the best shape of my life (minus college lacrosse days) and just killed a 90-minute spin class with no problem. At my fitness studio, I have some amazing women around my age who are absolutely #goals. My kids are old enough now where I can sleep in on a Saturday morning and they can wake up and get their breakfasts and self-manage until I wake up (which is major, BTW). We are in a happy place, and I am hoping it continues into this new decade for me.

I am almost freaking 40 — I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for petty bullshit. I don’t have time for people who only care about themselves (i.e., relationships can’t be one-sided). When I ask someone how they are doing, how their kids are, how life is…I expect the person to be just as interested in my life as I am in theirs. No time for kids bullying my kids. I will continue to be an advocate for my kids and have confidence in doing so.

Goodbye to all of the things that make me feel like shit. If I don’t want to go somewhere or do something, I say NO. If I want to eat a damn piece of cake and ice cream, I am going to. If I want to lay on my couch for the day and binge-watch a crime documentary, leave me alone. I will not feel guilty. Maybe I will start doing more things that I have always wanted to — knitting and crocheting being some of them. Wait — isn’t this for old people? LOL. Maybe I will write the children’s book I have been thinking about. There are endless opportunities.

Will I still blare hip-hop and rap all day long in my car? You know it. Will I still shop at Urban Outfitters? Hell yes. Just because I am turning 40 does not mean I need to go to Dress Barn for a new wardrobe and start listening to light rock music. The Kardashians will still be my favorite show on TV. I will still rock my huge hoops.

I am going to continue to get strong, stay healthy(ish) and live my best 40-year-old life with Jay-Z and Kanye bumping in the background.