Okay that headline is total clickbait. But it’s also how I’m feeling right now about my impending birthday. I’ve had this blog post on my mind for months and it’s no coincidence I waited until the last second to write it. I’ve been dreading it. But I can’t wait any longer so here goes.

On November 15th, I’m going to be 40.

heather brooker 40

My current face, as I’m about to turn 40.

That’s right. Your vivacious redheaded friend will be older than Methuselah, thereabouts.  My close friends have suspected it for a while. The frequent trips to the bathroom. The constant need to be home by 9 to go to bed. The suspicious way I skirt the question when asked how old I am. They’re all signs that I’m sliding towards death’s door.

I hate it. I hate that I feel this way about a birthday. I’m usually up for throwing a huge party, or something with lots of cake. But the past few years I’ve found myself becoming more and more low-key with the celebrations. I can’t quite put my finger on why I’ve been dreading this day. I think it’s a combination of things.

I’ve always thought those people who say “Age is just a number!” are full of shit because they’re old. It isn’t just a number. At least not on this side of it. Check back with me tomorrow and I’ll be wearing a shirt and carrying a mug with that phrase on it. It’s more than a number. It’s a state of mind. And I’ve convinced myself that when I turn 40, I’m no longer young. That’s the threshold of old.

Here are some fears I have about turning 40:

  1. I assume my vagina will dry up
  2. No one will ever have sex with me again (my husband assures me this isn’t true)
  3. That I will start to lose my memory
  4. My hormones will go crazy and I’ll have one long period
  5. My hormones will eventually stop working and I’ll have no period
  6. That I will start to lose my memory
  7. I will start to gain EVEN MORE weight and it will be harder to lose. Ugh.
  8. People will stop inviting me to bar parties and only invite me to brunch parties
  9. I won’t be able to have any more kids. Or shouldn’t because, you know…old eggs.
  10. I’ll have to start “taking care of myself” and join a walking group
  11. If I actually do get healthy and lose weight, I’ll look like one of those fat people who lost a ton of weight and have a wrinkly, saggy formerly fat face and then REALLY look my age
  12. I’ll have to start taking a multivitamin like Centrum Silver
  13. I’ll need to start calling my mom more because, you know…we’re both dying. Soon.
  14. My friends under 40 won’t want to do fun young people things with me like the fair, or key parties
  15. My kid will have the “old mom” on the playground

Oof. That last one hits home. I’m going to be a 40-year-old mom to a 3-year-old. How did this happen? I waited too late to have kids. There. I said it. I could have had kids earlier but I was young and carefree and didn’t how much by body would hurt as an old mom.

Was she worth the wait? Abso-fucking-lutely. She is the main reason I get out of bed in the morning instead of sobbing uncontrolably about getting old. Her and Phillz Coffee. Honestly, there are so many fears and frustrations I have about this number that’s it’s literally kept me up at night over the past few months. But I’m trying not to let those thoughts consume me.

Motherhood in Hollywood is taking off and I’m so proud that it’s something I created in my late 30’s that will grow even stronger when I’m in my 40’s. I have to keep telling myself that my life and career aren’t over just because the calendar changes to another day.

So tonight, just before the clock strikes 12, I’m letting it go. I’m choosing to hold steady as confident 39-year-old a little longer. I know reality will eventually set in and most of my fears will be abated. But until then, if you see me, let’s not talk about this number. Or this confession. Let’s only talk about the good times we’ve had, and the many good times ahead. This lady may be old, but she’s still got some good years left in her. God now I sound like I’m referencing an old dog.  Are there any youthful old lady references? Putting that on my to-do lists while I’m in my forties.