Jan 02 2017

40 before 40: How I’m dealing with a milestone birthday in 2017

40 before 40 BeautyJudy

Happy New Year!

A new year means a new opportunity. A chance to make new memories and fill our days with new experiences and accomplishments.

There will be heartache along the way – life is full of ups and downs – but 2017 is a clean slate and it’s ours to make of it what we want!

For me, 2017 is the year I turn 40.

I don’t know how I feel about turning 40. But whether I like it or not, it’s happening!

When my mind wanders to turning 40, I get the image of my mother, the home we lived in when I was in high school, and paper goods with “over the hill” all over them. She turned 40 when I was a teenager, and in many ways, I still feel like that teenager.

I think about my mother being 40 with a teenage daughter, and how I’m going to be 40 with a 2-year-old daughter. It makes me a feel a little exhausted, but also a little youthful.

I can see that I’ve gotten older when I look in the mirror, but I don’t feel “middle-aged.” Is that a thing for ’40’ anymore, being middle-aged? My mind still feels 16, sometimes.

As I get back to posting regularly, I’m going to dedicate my first post of each month to something personal. And for the next few months, that personal post will be about my attempt to accomplish 40 things before I turn 40.

I’ll wrap it up with a post on my 40th birthday, Friday, May 12, and my hope is that some of the things I set out to do will help shape my frame of mind so that when I start my 40th year, I start it with a positive outlook. That I will have learned something along the way.

Technically, I started my list December 12, five months prior to my birthday, but I am still writing my 40 things. In some ways, I’m open to life providing me clues as to what things I should experience and accomplish along the way. But I am also working to accomplish those I know already – #11 is to give back at least once a month, whether it’s volunteering, emotional or physical needs. On Christmas Eve, I took four big Christmas totes full of toys – infant toys, stuffed animals, etc. – to the local ER where my daughter spent her first Christmas at 6-months-old. I attached a letter to every toy, for every parent or caregiver, to tell them that it sucks to be in the hospital with a child you love on such a big holiday, but that someone is thinking of them, sending positive thoughts and virtual hugs. I signed it anonymously from “someone who cares!” I cried a bit when I dropped those toys off, knowing the stress of having to be in the hospital when you’d rather be gathered around the family Christmas Eve dinner table. Especially if something is wrong and you don’t know what. It’s never easy to see your child suffer.


I am a typically open person, but I don’t want to get too deep into my list with you just yet. There are some personal things on the list, and it isn’t complete yet, as I mentioned. I would rather focus on the details in coming posts.

40 before 40 BeautyJudy

I’d love to hear from you – Have you done anything like this? For a milestone age? 30, 40, 50, 60 etc? What was your favorite part of it? Would you do this for your next milestone?

Thank you for joining me in this adventure!

  • Aleya Bamdad

    This is such a great way to turn 40!! I love that your putting yourself out there and making goals. I just turned 40 this month and I haven’t done any of this yet.

    • BeautyJudy

      Happy birthday month, Aleya!!! And thank you!

  • Kristin

    You might enjoy volunteering with your local hospital’s foundation auxiliary, which is the fundraising arm of a hospital that’s comprised of volunteers. We basically dream up, and then bring into fruition, various fundraising events that involve the community, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the hospital. We have done/still do a fashion show, raffle, art sale, yard sale and princess party, among other things. Just a few hours of everyone’s time makes a huge difference!

    • BeautyJudy

      This is such a great idea, Kristin. I’m going to look into this. I would love to be involved and support it, they have an amazing staff both in the children’s ER and the regular hospital!

      • Kristin

        Absolutely! I’ve been involved at Inspira’s (Cumberland Co.) for almost 10 years now, and we’re always looking for new members, so no doubt your local hospital’s auxiliary would welcome you in!

  • polarbelle

    40s is the best. You will love these years. I truly thought you were maybe 26 at max, yet I’ve seen you work and you work with a diligence and maturity beyond that. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as I am that you said 40. I truly wouldn’t have guessed….but seriously…40s are just the best. Believe what they say when they say life begins at 40. There’s freedom that comes with it in the way you live.

    • BeautyJudy

      Thanks Shelly! You make me look forward to my next decade. And I appreciate that you thought I was younger lol!!

  • http://www.notesfrommydressingtable.com/ Erika

    I wish you all the best in hitting all of your 40 Before 40. And remember, age is just a number and forty is nothing to fear. <3

    • BeautyJudy

      You are absolutely right!!!

  • http://www.katstayspolished.com/ Kat D

    First of all, I love your handwriting. Second of all, with this 2nd baby coming around, I definitely have to get my life in order. I hope to be able to keep up with blogging in 2017 and not take so much time off after the new baby comes. I also want to get back in the habit of using my planner! I’ve ordered lots of stickers so that’s good motivation! I love seeing your posts with your little one – it always makes me smile!

    • BeautyJudy

      Aaaah my chicken scratch, lol! Thank you 🙂 oh my gosh yes I found that designating a notebook and creating that editorial calendar really helps!!! It’s understandable to take time off for your new little, but I do hope your blog continues to be an outlet for you!

  • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

    I’m closing in on you! Loved seeing how you’re dealing with it.

    • BeautyJudy

      You take amazing care of your skin, and you don’t look like you could be closing in on 40! Cheers to both of us! 🙂

  • marciaf

    I saw that you took items to the hospital and thought it was such a wonderful thing to do. This year I did more with Toys For Tots and it felt good so I’ll continue doing that. I think this is going to be a great series and I’m looking forward to your 40.

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you so much Marcia! When Lo was in the hospital, a local church had dropped off teddy bears on Christmas Eve, and a nurse brought us one. One Christmas Day, a nurse came around with a toy for her and a couple handmade cards from a local school. I ugly cried, and I was so touched that someone took time out of their day to think of those who couldn’t be at home on such a big holiday, that I decided every year Lo and I would give back in a similar way. My difference was adding the note for the caregivers/parents to offer support. It felt very good to give back in this way, and that’s where I got the idea of making it a monthly thing! I can’t wait to figure out January’s give back!

  • http://www.cosmetopiadigest.com/ CosmetopiaDigest.com

    I honestly thought you were in the latter half of your twenties. Not flattering or anything – it was quite the surprise to see this post! You should go rock that cat meme T-shirt!

    • BeautyJudy

      Lol thank you! And I actually wore it yesterday, hahaha!!!

  • robin

    Having my 50th birthday in the rear view mirror and reflecting on my 40’s I have to say, 40’s rock!!! I spend the decade in the most amazing physical shape ( I ran my first race to celebrate my 40th Bday) I had an amazing job and best of all I still felt like a 20 something! As you hit 40 you really know the things you thought you knew at 30! LOL! The 40’s just rock!!!!!!!

    • BeautyJudy

      This is so inspiring Robin! Thank you! Funny, I am definitely wiser than 30 and so much more than 20, but recognize learning will never cease no matter my age! While I’m not off to a “great” start with diet, I do want to be committed to running again, so my 40s are spent NOT getting out of breath when I do the “If you’re happy and you know it” song and I have to clap, stomp and shout “Hooray!” all at the same time, lol

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    Happy Birthday! Hopefully, you’ll never feel your chronological age. I’m ahead of you, and while I don’t feel 16 any more, I don’t feel my age either, thank goodness. All the best for a good year!

    • BeautyJudy

      Thank you Allison – I love that you don’t feel your age either. Keep feeling whatever you want to feel. I’m right there with you! Happy new Year!

  • http://www.lacqueredgeek.com/ Kim – Lacquered Geek

    I turn 40 this year too. I’m not looking forward to it. When I was growing up, 40 was always the epitome of “old,” and I don’t really feel old. Well, at least not emotionally – physically some days is another story.

    • BeautyJudy

      Kim you are spot on!!! When I was a teenager and my mom turned 40 I thought…holy hell. She’s old now, lol! I can’t believe we are here at this juncture. I really think my project here started out of a desire to have a positive outlook on this birthday. I agree, I also emotionally don’t feel old, but my body…well, it depends on whether it’s raining or not, lol!!! Cheers to a happy new year for you!

  • http://www.confessionsofasarcasticmom.com/ Destany

    I turned 40 about 10 days ago. I still don’t feel any different than when I turned 15. hahaha!

    • BeautyJudy

      Destany I completely understand what you mean!!! And Happy belated birthday, I am sorry I missed this!!! You look so young. Perhaps our personalities are geenrally set in our teen years?! Someone said to me recently, “I’m going to be 40 next week; I’m too old to wear shirts with characters on them.” I immediately thought of the brand new, $5 cat meme T-shirt purchase from the weekend prior and thought, I don’t WANT to feel like I am restricted in what I wear, the makeup I use or how I approach life because of my age. It’s bad enough I have trouble with my arthritic knee. I don’t want to ACT old too, lol!!!