This is 40

Walking past a poster for Disney’s “Maleficent”, I stopped to look at the evil Queen, noticing how striking she looked. Peering more closely, I spotted Angelina Jolie’s name. And had a sudden realisation, that with just days to go before I turn forty, I’ll never be Angelina Jolie.

I mean, I was never actually going to be Angelina Jolie – I have only half the kids she has and that’s as far as I’m prepared to go, I’m also not almost-married to Brad Pitt, and the last time I performed for an audience, I was doing Karaoke in a bar in Hamburg in 2006.

But still, there was this moment. This slightly surreal wake-up call. An understanding of sorts. An acceptance maybe. The realisation that after years of aspiring towards improvement; it’s time to call it maintenance.

Never consciously, but somewhere subconsciously, I must have always thought I was on an upward trajectory – I was going to tone up, slim down, drink more water, buy a better shampoo, start looking after my nails, change foundation. Taking a critical look at my wardrobe – questioning the floaty top bought two summers ago – beloved at the time, now just looking far too floaty. Putting it away, and making a mental note to go and buy a less floaty top. Something more flattering. Now that I’ve figured out what suits me of course – so much more than two years ago when I clearly hadn’t a clue. Until next year, when the new top will look, well, not quite right. But by then, I’ll really have figured out what suits me, so that’s fine.

And now – this is it, this is me. I’m hurtling towards forty, and really, the only way is down.

I’m definitely not going to grow any taller. My skin on my face is not going to tighten (not by itself anyway). And those annoying silver hairs are not going to lessen. Sometimes I wear the same jeans two days in a row, because they’re just there, and sure what does it matter really.

Wait. Is this the invisible age thing? Am I going to be the woman at the deli counter in the brownish-greyish-blackish clothes that nobody sees? Is it inevitable – do we all end up there? Or maybe the woman at the deli counter was just too damn busy to dress up for a supermarket trip – perhaps she’s buying steak for the dinner party she’s hosting tonight, at which she’ll dazzle her guests with her Chanel-inspired black dress and her witty conversation?

I’m not ready for the invisibility cloak. I’m not hanging up my heels and lipstick yet. But it will be more about maintenance.

So this week I’m going to colour my hair for the first time since putting in Body Shop Henna when I was sixteen. And I’m going to turn 40. And I’m never going to be Angelina Jolie. But that’s just fine.

office mum and Angelina Jolie
Hard to tell the difference right? Right??


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29 thoughts on “This is 40”

    1. Thanks Naomi – I too am the person at the deli counter – I think we all are sometimes, and sure it’s grand 🙂

    1. Thanks! I might wear some sludge from time to time on my work from home days, but then other times I cheer it all up with something orange or pink, so I think I’m OK so far 😉

  1. I think you look amazing…she has had Botox plus god knows what else done! Embrace it,look at what you have achieved,and keep smiling,it keeps you young xxx

    1. Thanks Anna and congratulations to you!! Delighted to hear your news and hope all is going well.
      In fact, we didn’t fit the pink champagne in yet, so must do so this weekend 🙂

  2. Well, Happy Birthday to you! Honestly, you look fabulous and so do your clothes, nowhere near 40, you shouldn’t have told us!!! Hope you have a great day.

  3. Angelina is a pain in the hole anyway. Sorry if that is rude but she is. She has an oscar for being smug FGS! She has no girlfriends. Brad is starting to look his age. And he’s a pain too! Can you tell I’m not a fan? BTW 40 ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. Wine helps. A lot!
    Wonderful Wagon recently posted…La la la la la la Long WeekendMy Profile

    1. I read an article recently how the author (over forty) was going to embrace the anonimity and who cares attitude, becoming invisible can bring. But I don’t think I will ever crave that invisibility and either will you as you are much to vibrant not to shine.
      And by the way, one of the presenters here in work intereviewed Angelina the other week and said she looks way older than her years because she is so painfully thin. Ok so she still looks a million dollars but so do you – you should rename this blog ‘yummy mummy’ – looking forward to celebrating in style on Friday

      1. Adele what a lovely, lovely comment. Maybe the author of the article had lived some crazy life and needed a break – or maybe we’re all just different, but yes, I can’t ever imagine you craving invisibility either. See you Friday 🙂

    2. You certainly inspire me to believe 40 rocks Gwen! And yeah you’re right, she’s a bit of a pain – I’m not sure how much fun she’d be on a night out

  4. As someone who recently crossed the finish line of 40, I’m more confident here than as young naiive self flagilating 20 something. I think each decade presents a new challenge. I’d never go back to that 20yr old….And I believe – as Cher- said you’re in your sexual prime.

    So dont maintain, celebrate. You no longer long for venial things, but have achieved purpose.

    Its the age of us cougars!!!

    1. Goodness! I don’t know about cougar but I completely agree with you about 40 being a more confident time than 20. Bring it on!

  5. Angelina will never be able to make me smile and laugh as much as you do! Have a birthday that is as fabulous as you are!

    1. Bad is not an option and I believe avoidance is not an option either… and yes, I don’t think I really want to be Angelina at all

  6. Life only begins at forty.My late father told me that approx 30 odd years ago. He new it then and I subsequently found out. So get ready for the best of your life !!!

    1. Thank you. I like that perspective. There’s no way I’m taking them off at this stage 🙂

    1. Ah good old Facebook. And make-up. And discarding ten photos before choosing the right one to upload 😉

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