1. You will get laugh lines on your face but you don’t care because all that means is that you laugh a lot which is the sign of a great life.
2. After years of picking your body apart and feeling like you are not good enough because you are too fat/skinny/short/tall/weird-looking, you turn a corner and start feeling comfortable in your own skin. Now you try to break dance at weddings and you don’t care how crazy you look. You sing “Our Lips are Sealed” at karaoke night in front of a bunch of strangers. You don’t care if you sound terrible because life is short dammit, and this is how memories are made.
3. You go to bed when you are tired. You truly enjoy a good night’s sleep, the comfort of a cozy blanket, and a roof over your head. You know that not everyone gets to have these things so you feel appreciative.
4. You become resilient. You have been through some shit and you have come out on the other side. You know what constitutes a true crisis and you have experienced real trauma. You know how to handle all kinds of gnarly situations and you have been there for others when they have gone through tough times.
5. You remember to tell people that you love them. By the time you are 40, chances are you have lost some people that are important to you. You know the importance of telling people how you feel about them while you still can. You start giving more hugs.
6. You have a close knit circle of amazing friends. It may have taken a while but you have weeded out the manipulators, the Debbie Downers, and the drama magnets. What you have left is a group of amazing people who really know you and love you for who you are. They are the real deal. They cheer you on when you have successes and don’t turn their backs on you when you are in pain.
7. You don’t care about being cool anymore and therefore you become the coolest you have ever been in your life. This may mean dressing in fashions from the 90’s (or earlier) or openly listening to music that you used to be embarrassed about liking. You just don’t give a big shit what anyone thinks about you anymore and it rules.
8. You get a backbone. You don’t compromise your values. You fight for what is important. You let people know when they hurt you. You apologize when you hurt others. You move on.
9. You pull your head out of your ass. You take better care of yourself but you become less selfish. You appreciate the beauty in your surroundings. You stop taking selfies and start taking in sunsets. You accept compliments without countering them with a self-depreciating comment. You realize that, most of the time, you have more choices than you think you do. You stop wasting your time being a victim of circumstances that you have the power to change.
10. You don’t have to buy into the cultural messages that you get bombarded with about getting older. It is all crap.
Being 40 is awesome.