The Fourth Decade

Amanda Mininger

One of my closest friends turned 40 today. Iโ€™ve been thinking about this one, trying to figure out why we put this much significance on a birthday, why we decorate this particular mile marker with lights and flowers and well-meaning phrases full of pith, borrowed from antiquity or Sex in the City, one of the two. Iโ€™ve had this conversation before with friends in their late 30s and early 40s, and we all say the same thing: โ€œI donโ€™t feel 40. I donโ€™t know what itโ€™s supposed to feel like, but whatever it is, I donโ€™t feel it. Does it mean we have to wear longer skirts now?โ€

Whatever cause for contemplation there is, Iโ€™ll take the bait. I know that, at minimum, turning 40 gives us permission to take stock and see where we are, to ask of ourselves: What have I learned (if anything?) What have Iโ€ฆ

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