Rearview soon filled with 40s

By Tammy Keith Originally Published August 25, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated August 24, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.
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I have five more days to enjoy my 40s.

Yes, I’m turning the big 5-0 on Friday. (Why do I hear the theme from Jaws every time I think about it?)

I’ve clung to 49 as long as possible. The difference between being “in your 40s” and turning 50 is huge, in my mind.

Yes, I’ve read that 50 is the new 30. I also saw a card that said, “Whatever age you are is the new 30.”

We spin the age 50 in several ways. One T-shirt I saw read: “I’m 18 with 32 years of experience.”

A neighbor turned 50, and I gave her a card that said: “Don’t think of it as being 50; think of yourself as two hot 25-year-olds.”

I don’t want to be 18 or 25 again; I really don’t.

Would I love to have my 25-year-old neck? Yes.

As I’m reaching this milestone, I’m at once more concerned and less concerned about how I look.

I’ve always been the kind of woman who won’t go to the mailbox without her makeup on. Recently, I not only went outside sans makeup — I was wearing my robe and pajamas.

My mom took me on a trip, and two different groups of women asked if we were sisters. I was happy about that until it dawned on me: Is it because I look closer to my mother’s age, or her to mine?

(One waitress told me I looked 35, and yes, she got a good tip.)

I walk regularly and work out (some) at the gym so that I can keep my body healthy enough to make it into my later years without too much pain.

My knees hurt, my fingers are crooked with arthritis, and gravity is working on me every day, but I’m thankful for my health.

It’s nice to have my kids raised and be in the next stage of life.

I’m not middle-aged, because that would mean I’ll live to be 100, and I highly doubt it.

I’ve lived my life under deadline pressure, and that’s the feeling I’m getting now. That “bucket list” that people talk about keeps coming to mind.

What do I want to do before I, you know, go to that big shopping center in the sky?

I interviewed a 43-year-old who said, “I don’t know where the time went.”

They’re so cute at that age.

Not too long ago I saw a hot firefighter. (He was not fighting a fire; he was in the fire station.) He called me ma’am and treated me as he would his mother.

The same day, I talked to some gentlemen in their 70s and 80s who flirted with me. Ah, well, I’ll take it.

After all, I’m not getting any younger.

Considering the alternative, I’m thrilled to be turning 50.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or

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