Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Almost, Not Quite, Just About 40

I’m going to need to update my sidebar soon. It describes me as a 30-something, and that won’t be true much longer.

The race to 40 is not a race at all, but a slow and steady march toward the other side of youth into a land of eye lift serums, fortified yogurt and yearly mammograms. I finally upgraded my skin care routine, which until recently included drugstore cleanser and a drop of coconut oil. I discovered my upper eyelids were starting to droop at the same time I realized it’s time for nose hair clippers. I walked into Kiehls’ flagship store on 2nd avenue and announced to the first guy I saw, “Help me. I’m turning 40″. His name was Bobby, and his eyes danced as he dreamed of commissions while playing dress up with my face. When the bill came I looked Bobby in the eye and said, “Listen, if in two weeks I don’t look like an eighth grader, I’m coming here and demanding my money back.” He laughed and said, “You’re not turning 40. You’re going to be young forever! You have a young spirit.”

I thought about what Bobby said, about having a young spirit and all, and I decided that he’s wrong.

I don’t have a young spirit. My spirit has no interest in staying up late and playing beer pong. My spirit craves 9pm bedtimes and takes probiotics after every meal. My spirit gets overwhelmed in crowds and shoves two fingers in her ears at rock concerts. I actually have a very old spirit with a good sense of humor and a slight curiosity about the whole thing. The whole thing being…what happens next anyway?

I have a profile on the social networking site Facebook (you too?!) and have been following along as all my friends from high school and college turn “THE BIG 4-0” this year. Some of them threw ’70s or ’80s-themed birthday parties. Two had enormous displays in their front yards, the letters 4 and 0 constructed entirely out of balloons. Most booked sitters and took nice vacations someplace tropical; Hawaii, Jamaica, Miami, Puerto Rico. That’s the route I’m going as well. The tickets are booked and I’m already stocking up on big straw hats, which I plan to wear faithfully in this next chapter of my story.



It’s been kind of a trip watching my oldest friends hit this age, the one that used to be associated with mid-life crises and tipping  ”over the hill”. I don’t live close to these friends or see them often, so all I get are little snapshots every few months. What I see are tasteful, grown-up houses and kids dressed for the first day of kindergarten or fifth grade, and sometimes even high school. My old friends are running businesses and church fundraisers. They’re PTA moms and soccer dads. A couple have health problems, the kind you only start to develop “after a certain age”. A few are switching gears or completely starting over.

None of this matters because I see them now as I did then.  The people I grew up with will be 16 or 18 or 22 forever, at least to me. True, most of them don’t look too different physically, but more than that–and as corny as it sounds–their spirits really have remained the same.  Situations and lifestyles and faces change, but at the end of the day or the start of a decade, I’m starting to believe youthfulness has a shot at everlasting.

Eh, we’re not really turning 40. We have young spirits. We’re going to be young forever.

Jenn P.

30-something psychotherapist. Loves cooking, hosting parties, exploring new places. Texan by birth. New Yorker by choice. Likes to tell little stories. Pull up a chair; I'll tell you one.

  • Lauren Crosby
    Totally agree. My only question is did you find something that combats the eyelid droop??
    • Jenn from much to my delight
      So, I’m about 30 days into my new skincare routine, and I think my skin tone looks better. Maaaybe my eyes look a little more refreshed? The problem is that I sleep on my stomach (which really means that I sleep on my face) so that’s going to present a problem that an eye serum probably won’t be able to compete with. I bought the Keihls’ super multi-corrective eye serum. It’s kind of pricy, especially since the pump cap forces too much out at a time.
  • Sonya
    Yay! I’m glad you’re going on an awesome trip for your 40th. I have 5 more years and I’m already thinking about where I want to go. Age really is just a number. :)
    • Jenn from much to my delight
      Thanks Sonya! It’s seriously made me so excited to have that to look forward to. Age is definitely just a number; I feel in many ways like the same dope I was at 22:). Maybe with slightly better judgment.
  • Melinda Denton
    I just booked my trip for my 40th too! Going to Amsterdam, Belgium and Iceland! Seems like a good way to ring in a new decade, right? :-)
    • Jenn from much to my delight
      YES! Good for you! That’s going to be such a fun trip! I think it’s the only way to go. Gotta wake up somewhere great on your 40th!