So, here’s the thing, and actually, it’s not so much as a thing as a simple statement of fact, in June I turn forty-four.  Talk to me at twenty-four and forty-four would have been a HUGE drama-fest.  Now, I have to say, really okay with things.

For those of you who are younger than me, hey, hopefully when the number rolls around you’ll be in a similar place… and if you aren’t- I need to tell you… it’s just a number.  It can only hurt you as much as you let it.

I was fine with thirty, but I freaked a tiny bit at thirty-one because then,  I was “in my thirties.”  Of course then I was busy having a baby every time I turned around and I went without sleep for five or so years so my age seemed sort of like useless information.

Eventually I got my life back(-ish),

Still, forty rolled around and it went fine, but I was braced for forty-one, because, you know, then I’d be IN my forties.  Scary.  Epic depression oncoming.  I was ready.  At least, I thought I was ready.

Imagine my surprise when… I liked it!

Now, I’ve always been a little masochistic… after all, I run… for pleasure.  Then there’s an ex-boyfriend or two where one wonders why I bothered… but, I digress.

Turns out, I am really okay with my forties.  I mean, when someone doesn’t like me, or hates something I wrote, it still hurts, it stings.  However, I no longer feel the need to change, to temper my feelings, or dampen my glow.  I’m Erika.  That’s not perfect and I still have a long way to go for sure, but I no longer worry if the “beautiful people” like me or not.

First of all, my people ARE beautiful and second of all, those “popular” people in high school, yeah, things didn’t work out so stellar for them.  I wish them well, but all things considered, no way would I want their lives. Whew. Bullet dodged, who knew?

A fun article got passed around Facebook.  It’s attributed to Andy Rooney, but Snopes.com has the author credit as false.  I am not mad at it though.  Whomever wrote this, props to you.  I dig it.  Wherever you are, I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing your words here… for all the 40+ women and the people who love them, because you captured something here… and that’s especially hard to do in this case, because… we’re free.

That’s what 40+ does… it frees us.

“As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.”

Which brings us to this week’s song, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ’em Up).”  I chose it because it’s a catchy tune, but a 40+ would never do this whole violent “love me or die” thing.  We’re better than that and, frankly, we don’t need to get dramatic and violent.  We’ll just move on and you, the cause of the drama, will become a footnote.  We have better things to do and awesome lives to live.

But… the song still rocks… Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkIWmsP3c_s

Here are the lyrics to this angry- hey long live teen angst, right?- but so appropriate song…

Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.

B-B-B-Be careful making wishes in the dark, dark
Can’t be sure when they’ve hit their mark, mark
And besides in the mean, mean time
I’m just dreaming of tearing you apart

I’m in the de-details with the devil
So now the world can never get me on my level
I just gotta get you out of the cage
I’m a young lover’s rage
Gonna need a spark to ignite

My songs know what you did in the dark

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
In the dark, dark
Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
In the dark, dark

Writers keep writing what they write
Somewhere another pretty vein just died
I’ve got the scars from tomorrow and I wish you could see
That you’re the antidote to everything except for me

A constellation of tears on your lashes
Burn everything you love, then burn the ashes
In the end everything collides
My childhood spat back out the monster that you see

My songs know what you did in the dark

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
In the dark, dark
Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
In the dark, dark

My songs know what you did in the dark
(My songs know what you did in the dark)

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
In the dark, dark
Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.
In the dark, dark

Oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, whoa.

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.

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