In less than 30 days, I turn 40. There, I said it. Out loud. Holy. Crap.
I thought I’d be more reticent about it, but I’ve come to realize that I’m really not reticent about anything. I thought I’d take the whole “age is just a number” approach, but that’s not working for me either.
Despite the fact that I feel young, and most tell me I look younger than I am, the truth is I’m hitting an age that I’ve always considered, well, kind of old. As in, there’s no claiming youth as a justification for anything anymore. What I have, don’t have, have learned, or not all comes out in the wash right about now.
I had planned to take a little time off from the blog since I’m actually on holiday in Australia. But then I realized that the best way to own this milestone birthday is to celebrate it a little all month long. That does not mean 30 days of self-indulgence, especially as I am on a major health kick to transform my almost-40-year-old body into the kickin’ bod I had at 35-36, which was definitely superior to the bod I had at 25-26. Anyway.
This is a 30-day celebration of what I’ve learned in my 39 years.
A celebration of achievement and acknowledgement. Tidbits that I wish I had known in my 20s, or maybe a hunch that paid off. You may or may not be interested, but hey…this is my blog, right? So feel free to tune in—or not—as I meander through my mind for the next four weeks. Of course, I hope you’ll come back! 🙂
Now, let us commence.
Lesson 1: Wear Sunscreen
Seems trivial, the first lesson. But you know what? I swear it’s one of the reasons why I look younger than I am. My face has been under a daily veil of sunscreen for nearly 15 years! Of course, staying out of the sun and shielding yourself as much as possible is also key, not only to preventing premature aging, but skin cancer as well.
These are the products in my current arsenal. LOVE the Athleta tops, which I wear when walking outside in warm weather. As much as I am outside, if I didn’t wear long sleeves, it would be the equivalent of laying out almost daily for 45 minutes. That’s a lot of sun exposure and future freckles and spots I don’t need. So even in the dead heat of summer, when outside, I’m either sleeved and covered, or under an umbrella.
Because I use so much sunscreen, I tend to opt for drugstore brands that are inexpensive and easily replaced. I know there has been a lot of controversy about chemicals in sunscreen potentially causing cancer (read up on that on your own), so I do try to opt for products less heavy on the chemicals. One way to do that is using sunscreen for babies. I love Banana Boat’s Baby sting-free sunscreen. It’s gentle, thick, and effective.
And hey…parade your untanned self with pride!
I’m so glad that during my lifetime, the tanning pendulum has finally swung the other direction. We’ve not only learned that a tan is not a sign of good health, but that teasing people who are “white,” or fair-skinned is just totally stupid. In my youth I was teased because I was fair and my skin—despite my ethnic heritage—did not tan easily or maintain color. Back then I wished that I had olive skin that would tan and hold that tan all summer long, not because I thought it was prettier, but because I felt so awkward—and WHITE— in a bathing suit.
Now that we know tanning isn’t just an age accelerator, but a cancer accelerator as well, people don’t bat an eye at a white girl by the pool or on the beach. Sure, a pretty, medium tan does wonders for one’s appearance, but no one should be made to feel uncomfortable about their natural skin color, in or out of clothes.
So slather on the sunscreen, loves! Trust me, youngsters, when you’re pushing 40, you’ll be so glad you did.