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« Now THAT is a pantry! A look inside the North Texas Food Bank | Main | Fashion Friday: Shopping for Mexico »

5 Ways to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

I keep hearing "40 is the new 20!" but I'm not feeling it. I'm not feeling 20. I feel old and wrinkly. Like one of my good friends said recently abou her upcoming 40th, "I wish I could just ignore it."

Why is it that some of us plan a celebration and some of us reject the idea that this is some major milestone?

Everyone has their own idea of what a 40th birthday celebration looks like. Here are 5 that vary from extravagant to mundane. Which one appeals to you?

1) Weekend getaway with friends


image of Muholland Brothers Safari Bag via Skyepeale on Flickr

This was how my group of girlfriends decided to celebrate. We figured with everyone turning 40 within months of each other, we could either travel all over to everyone's 40th birthday party or...all go away together! We are leaving for Meh-hee-co on Thursday!!

Other popular destinations as polled on Facebook and Twitter: Vegas Baby (you have to say 'Baby' after's a law), a cruise, Paris (not just for lovers), and Miami.


2) Professional photo shoot

photography by Melissa Arroyo Photography

A neighbor of mine did this with her 4 girlfriends and the photos are so great. We are not talking Glamour Shots here either. Is that place still around? We are talking PRO fessional!


3) Buy yourself something nice...REALLY nice

image of 5th Avenue Apple Store via bearroast on Flickr

Had we not planned a trip I was trying to think of something I've always wanted that I could treat myself to. There's the Cartier Tank watch I love, the Bulgari ring, and the convertible Audi TT that still calls out to me as I pick crayons out from underneath the seats in my minivan. My photog friends would get a really nice lense - and this is what The Mister did. What would you buy?


4) Nip, tuck and botox

Here is where I draw the the sand (not with permanent marker)...and then I causually erase that line with my foot. I realize the irony that I will invest in 1/10 of an organic grass-fed cow, yet I am not above injecting botulism into my face. I haven't done it yet, but those 'lines' seem to be getting deeper every day and the $500 I spent on airfare to Mexico would also have smoothed out a few of my rough spots.

If it's any consolation (mom) the nipping and tucking are totally out of the question.


5) Party like you are 29 and it's the 90's

image of a Rolls-Royce via Wikipedia

While my friends decided to ditch the big parties this year, other friends of mine are coming back from extravagant weekends where they were flown, hoteled, wined and dined by the 40th birthday boy/girl. It sounds like the 90s again when everyone had their stock options, talked IPOs, and spent money like crazy cause we were all turning 30 and had a strong economy at our back and zero kids climbing on it. These weekends usually include limos, clubs, and lots and lots of mixing of drinks that a 40-year old stomach just can't handle.

So tell me...

How did you (or how do you plan to) celebrate your 40th or 50th or 60th birthday?


Reader Comments (6)

I'm doing a Tough Mudder with my husband and two friends. Nineteen military-style obstacles over a 10-mile course on the side of a mountain. Crawling through mud, jumping planks into freezing cold water, scaling greased monkey bars. It's nuts, I know. But thrilling too! I wanted to do something both fun AND terrifying.

February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana

I'm turning 40 in July and had been planning a trip to Niagara and Toronto. It would have been my first trip out of the US!! But not sure if that's going to pan out with the little ones. I love your idea of a photo shoot and I will decide something cool soon. Have fun in Mexico!

March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I went to Disney World for my 40th...LOL

March 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMia

I'm turning 40 tomorrow! Don't feel it one bit and I'm celebrating in beautiful Jamaica! We got here yesterday and will be staying till Sunday. For my actual birthday, I'll be swimming with the dolphins, get pampered at the spa and finally enjoying the beautiful views and sunset in top of one of Jamaica's top restaurant. We'll end up the night a good old dancing. I think its the best way to welcome another decade! Here, here to the next 40 years! :)

July 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermin

I've been looking forward to turning 40 since I was 30; it's finally here. When I turned 30 I ride an elephant, and I thought to myself, "You don't get any bigger than that." Then I thought, "If turning 30 is riding an elephant kinda big, surely 40' a gotta be jumping out of a plane kinda bigger." So, in 3 1/2 more weeks I'll be taking the big plunge, literally and figuratively (turning 40 and jumping). I'm calling it, "My leap of faith birthday."
Also, been working out to become fit, fabulous, and 40. Almost at my desired weight, 140 @ 40. Again super excited. But more than all of that, to God be all the glory.

March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

I am 39 and on my journey to 40. I have exactly 10 months before the big day but I have already started preparing. My journey theme is "Faithfully, Fabulously Fit at Forty". First, I implemented a new routine that includes me working out 4-5 times a week. Second, I have stopped getting relaxers so that I can wear my hair in its naturally curly state. Third, I've started reading my bible everyday and trying to live my life the way that God intends (that's the hard one) :). By the time I get to the big day, my hope is that I am 40 pounds lighter with a head full of wild and beautiful curls, and in a good relationship with myself and with God. On January 1st, I will begin my celebration of giving. Each month I will give myself (my time, my resources, my money) to charity. I think that the best way for me to show my appreciation for 40 years of life is to help others.

The big day is always a time for me to reflect on my life and plan for the future. I will not go to work that day because I don't give anyone else MY DAY except for GOD. No cooking, no cleaning, no running errands for other. I will do whatever I want to do! I will have a small dinner party with close friends and family the weekend after and THEN..... Later in the year, I will take a week long trip (haven't done that it a while). I'm not sure where I am going yet, but it will surely involve sun, sand, and lots of fun! The celebration will last all year long!

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

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