Yesterday, I had “the talk” with my new chiropractor, who I went to see because my regular doc is on vacation. At this visit I discovered that apparently, I am now old. New Doc said, “You’re in your 40s now. Your spine isn’t as resilient as it was, even when you were 38.” He went on to tell me that I have to take better care of my body, now that I’m “getting older, and told me that I can “still” run marathons and be active, but I’ll just have to modify things as I age.
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“AS I AGE.” Oh. Em. Gee. But you know what?
I call bullshit.
Now, if you’ve read my blog for very long (or ever), then you know that swearing isn’t my normal M.O. In fact, I never actually do it in a professional setting. But this thing, this conversation, it not only took me by surprise, but it had me welling up in tears. And that makes me mad. And a mad Susan equals a Susan that is far more likely to swear. Sorry. And frankly, “bullshit” is the only word I can come up with that adequately expresses my feelings about this issue.
This morning on Facebook, I saw someone make yet another comment to a friend with a recent birthday saying something like, “Now that you’ve gotten into your 40s, watch out for the aches and pains and reading glasses.” Given the chat with my doc yesterday, this obviously struck a nerve, but since I turned 40, I’ve noticed just how many people seem to view 40 as this turning point, as if it’s the start of a terrible, painful, slow march toward death. Turn 40 and suddenly you’re “OLD.” There are magazines specifically for women who have turned 40, like it’s so tragic that we need support or special articles about fiber.
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Again, I call bullshit.
I reject that notion—all of it. 40 isn’t old. And today, after feeling a little sad for a little while about having had “the talk” with the doc yesterday, now I’m just irritated and annoyed about the way people treat 40.
Being in Your 40s Rocks.
40 is a GREAT age. It’s when you finally know yourself. It’s when you can make grownup decisions and take action. It’s when your life is stable, things start to make more sense, and you come into your own. Whenever I see those side-by-side comparisons of celebrities in their 20s and in their 40s, I prefer the photos of people in their 40s. In your 20s, your face still has a “baby fat” look to it, whereas in your 40s, your face acquires a certain definition of character.
I LIKE being 41. I reject that this is the beginning of the end or even that this is the middle. My dad got his first tattoo at 75 and he’s still going strong. I broke a world record at 40 and my first book was published at 41. Turning 40 was only a turning point for me insofar asI started taking even better care of myself and looking for even more adventure and monkey business to get into.
I reject that talk with my doctor and call bullshit on it because frankly, a) this doctor, being new to me and having seeing me only twice ever simply doesn’t know me well enough to know how my body has or hasn’t changed in the last five or ten years, b) my back is no better or worse than it was 5 years ago, thankyouverymuch, and c) this is just an injury, nothing more, nothing less. It will heal and I’ll go back to cartwheeling my way through life.
So if you want to disparage the 40s, go ahead, but I won’t do it.
Life is just starting to get good.