Ok….drum roll please.  Da da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (pause). Today is a milestone day (breathe).  A day which I have dreaded, fretted about, worried about, cried about for over 365 days.  Today I am 40 years old (gulp).   Yep, thirdeyemom was born on December 6th, 1971 and today marks my fortieth year.

An oldie but goodie.  Me on my sixth birthday receiving my first pair of clogs.  December 6, 1977. 

There are lots of milestones throughout your life.  Learning to walk.  Learning to talk.  Learning how to swim and ride a bike.  Having your first sleep-over.  Learning to drive.  Going on your first date.  Having your first kiss.  Graduating high school.  Leaving home.  Starting your first job.  Meeting your husband.  Getting married.  Having kids.  And, of course turning 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and so on.

No matter what your age is, I am sure you feel the same way at each milestone birthday:  Excited, scared, nervous and in disbelief at just how fast life seems to be going.  Turning 40 is a big one.  It means you are officially “middle-aged“, you have technically lived over half of your life already (unless you are like my grandpa who just turned 96!), you can remember when your own parents turned 40, and you may even discover your first gray hair (the wrinkles have already long set in).

But….no worries!  What I’ve had to come to terms with over the last 365 days is that of course there is no turning back time.  You’re 40.  So why not decide to be “forty and fabulous”?  Of course there is no real fountain of youth yet there are ways to keep feeling young.

Here is my top ten list of ways to turn 40 yet feel like you’re 30.  For age is all a state of mind, isn’t it?  Life is a journey.  Each day is a gift.  It’s called the presence!  

So, without further delay here is my top ten list of How to Occupy 40:

1.  Exercise daily.  Run, walk, swim, bike or practice yoga.  Just do it.  It will keep you feeling younger, healthier, happier and thinner.

2.  Get plenty of sleep and eat good.  This is huge.  No McDonalds, potato chips, etc.  Instead eat lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies.  The occasional junk food pig-out is fine.  Just don’t do it all the time; you’ll pay for it more!

3.  Smile, relax and laugh often.  Enjoy life!  It’s the only one you’ve got!

4.  If you see a gray hair, dye it!  Why not look in the mirror and look young?  It will make you feel younger!  (Thankfully as a blond, I don’t have any yet.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t make my hair “blonder!”).

5.  Travel as much as possible. Travel keeps you young.  It keeps you learning, challenged and fascinated by the world.

6.  Learn something new each year.  Take a photography class, an art class or learn a new language.  It will keep you challenged and growing.

7.  Volunteer and give back.  It is important to remember those in need.  Helping others makes you feel warm inside and helps the soul.

8.  If you have kids, play with them!  Be a kid yourself again.  It feels great to be silly.

9.  Manage your stress.  Stress wears you down, makes you feel awful.  Try your best to not let the little things bug you.

10.  Live, laugh and love!  Life is short, enjoy it to the fullest extent possible.


  1. Happy birthday!!!! I am just over 1 year away from turning 60. I can’t believe I am that old. I occasionally catch sight of myself in a shop window and think who is that person? Anyway, I love my life and wouldn’t change anything. I still feel 30.

  2. Happy Birthday!! They say 40 can be the new 30 right? It’s often a state of mind. I love your top 10 so important to remember.
    Have a super day!

  3. Happy happy birthday to you Nicole!!! I hope you’re having a fantastic day!!! Remember it’s only another number, nothing to be afraid of! I’m 45 next week and can’t believe it! I don’t know how I got to be that old although I still feel so young.
    I love your list and I love your title! I agree with it all! So true! Also, loving yourself is important and I try to do something different every day even if it’s walk along a different street or have a coffee in a different café.
    Enjoy your special day!!!

  4. Happy birthday, Nicole! Based on what I’ve read on your blog, I’ve no doubt you’re about to embark on another decade of amazing accomplishments and moments!

  5. Happy Birthday from many of us who’ve already walked over that threshold this year! There is one thing I have made deliberate effort on this year for my 40th and that was to “create community.”

    I found your blog because I’m tracking “turning 40” out there as part of my Forty By Forty Initiative. I just loved your merge of the Occupy and Forty concepts–really nicely done! I am also a supporter of the Occupy sentiments around the world.

    Other than the 8 strangers who showed up at my door to ponder 2051 in October this year, there are many more out there in the ether also looking for “community.” Let me know if you’d like to be a part.

    Here’s the full story (in a series of posts): http://vampituity.blogspot.com/search/label/FortybyForty.

    Best and birthday wishes (birthdays last a whole month, by the way so…work it!)
    Vampituity, an Improvised Perspective on Our World

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