The Empress is in the House

Greetings from the other side of 40.

So it wasn’t as traumatic as I envisioned.  Mostly because I was distracted by revelry.  And presents.

Yes, my friends know me well.  I’m obviously a deeply complicated person.

Now that I have been given more bottles of wine than I can count, coupled with the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, I can’t be an ingrate and let them go unused.  So I’ll be on my couch with those items for a while.

And speaking of gifts, how about this?

Recently, I asked a few of my very favorite bloggers if they would partake in my extended celebration by writing something for my blog.  These are very funny, very talented women with wonderful blogs, fantastic storytelling skills and, presumably, little to no down time to spend moonlighting for my little corner of the Internet.  And yet, three out of four of them responded to me right away and said yes. How nice is that?

{As for the fourth, my guess is that she’s also knee-deep in Fifty Shades of Grey and couldn’t tear herself away.  That’s OK.  I totally get it.}

I asked my three guests to share something about a birthday in their writing.  Anything they wanted.

So today I am beyond thrilled to have Alexandra here, also fondly known across the blogosphere as The Empress.  Her blog, Good Day, Regular People, was one of the first I encountered and is still one of my daily must-reads.  You can also find her regular columns at Aiming LowFunnynotSlutty, Mom Renewal ProjectMilwaukeeMomsSprocket Ink, and TikiTikiblog. Oh, and she was a 2011 BlogHer Voice of the Year!  Her words of wisdom, sense of humor and pay-it-forward attitude are all priceless, and I’m really grateful she took the time to stop by.

I love birthday presents.  Thank you, Empress.


Fordy is forty.

She is 40 and I wish 100 percent A Very Happy Birthday To her!

Cher (of Who-needs-a-last-name-anyway) said she peaked at 40. She said it was the BEST GD freakin’ year of her life. In an interview, Cher said she never felt healthier, happier, sexier, hotter, more capable, than she did at 40.

All the insecurities of her youth? Gone.

All the self doubt and constant self scrutinization? Gone.

All the standing in front of a mirror with a microscope, all the filtering of what you might say so you don’t say it. Gone.

And she is right.

Hitting 40 becomes a time when you finally start to fall in love with yourself. Thinking maybe all those around you that love you, may be right about you being something special. You lose all the self absorption and realize there are people on this planet who count on you, like you, and enjoy knowing you.

Once you lose all the monitoring of self physically, mentally, emotionally, you become free to live your life and become your truth.

When you trade in the line-free eyes and foreheads, you gain a feeling of acceptance in return. Of saying, Yeah … maybe the thighs are a little jigglier and the upper arms a little flabbier, but that’s all right. It’s a sense of relief to say to yourself I don’t have to look good in everything anymore, and I’m Okay with this.

Other things become important, as they should.

We had our glorious days of youth in the sun. And now it’s time for us to share, let it be someone else’s turn. Let the under 40 crowd do what they do best: look seamless and line free.

Let us, the over-40 crowd, tend to all the rest: which is becoming worthy of those that love us and of the love we’ve been blessed with, over our lifetime.

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  1. Alexandra says:

    So happy to be here, at your cool home, and thank you for including me in this milestone birthday celebration.

    40 is the new hot mama.


    I always think of what Cher said.

    You will love this side of life.


  2. Anna says:

    with a certain milestone which i cannot even bring myself to write looming ahead of me as well i really hope all of what you say is true. really, really, hope.

    happy birthday, fordy!

  3. brian miller says:

    you become free to live your life and become your truth….nice so i have 2 more years to go through to look forward to being good looking…that is a great thing! and i only had to wait 40 years to get there…smiles.

  4. Because I’m a cradle-robber, my husband is five months younger than I am.

    So two weeks ago, when he turned 43, he was the tiniest bit morose about it.

    He asked me, “How are you so cool with the whole aging thing?”


    Good question. Perhaps it’s because I agree with every single thing you wrote here, Alexandra.


    And also this:

    We have only one life to live. We’d best get to making it extraordinary.

    So happy birthday, Kim.

    I promise you won’t regret embracing 40.
    (But I can’t say the same about reading 50 Shades of Grey.)

  5. Alexandra says:

    Right, Julie?

    IT’s so much better than all the worry from your 30’s.

    Won’t say I hated my 30’s, but let’s just say I love the “who in the heck really cares” of the 40′

    Day #3 in the same clothes for me: and who in the heck really cares.


  6. Happy Birthday! I love this post. I have a few years to go until 40, but I have to say I become more comfortable with myself with every passing year.

    • Alexandra says:

      Right, Sarah? There is never a perfect answer or state of being in life.

      We finally have the bliss of our babies, but that brings sleepless nights.

      We finally have our spouse, but that brings learning to share a home with someone you never grew up with.

      We want to stay healthy and look good, but that takes time and energy for exercise.

      It’s always a trade off: a cost. But getting older, I like it so much better.

    • fordeville says:

      Thanks for the birthday wishes! And yes, Cher + Empress = The Truth 😉

  7. Suniverse says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I loved turning 40. It was awesome. I cannot WAIT for 50, because I understand that as freeing as 40 was? 50 is even more so. YAY!

  8. Kimberly says:

    Dang it…these saddle bags get jigglier as we age?
    It’s good to know that there will be a time when all is balanced and we all start to think rationally. Like normal people should 🙂
    I would like to tap into Cher’s surgeon network though.

    • Alexandra says:

      How are you doing? I hope you’re feeling semi healed up.

      Have to come see you. Thanks for stopping over


    • fordeville says:

      Kimberly, thanks for stopping by. And, yes, I imagine Cher did not forget that she always has the back-up army of plastic surgeons in case her “age with natural confidence plan” backfires on her one day 🙂

  9. Hey Alexandra – nice to see you over here! Hey, Kim, Happy Birthday! And 40 ain’t bad – try FIFTY (cackle, cackle)

    How nice to see 2 of my friends playing together. And Kim I haven’t seen you in forever – maybe I better organize another NY area mom bloggers meet-up, Eh? I’ve been too busy with Listen to Your Mother. But now that that’s over (sob) I have more time. Soon, OK?

  10. HBD Kim! Your friends are excellent present-givers. You’ll have to let us know what you think about that trilogy. Besides the, er, obvious, I heard the writing quality was a bit sub-par. I can picture you twitching as you read and realize that.
    I loved reading the positive comments from the 40+ crowd here. I read them over and over. I wanted them to rub off on me. I’m turning 44 next month and I just can’t embrace aging as I should. I really want to be all “who the heck cares” but I actually freak out a little with each passing year. Sorry to be Debbie downer on your blog! Really sorry. Maybe I’m hoping the Empress will have a few more magical words to make me feel better…
    Coming down to help you drink all that wine. Garden State or NJ Turnpike?

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