April 20, 2010 |  Category:   life me

Among the craziness that was the week the blog went down, I turned 40 on Saturday.

It wasn’t quite the big birthday weekend I imagined.
Aside from a dinner out that evening (of which I will save for a separate post) and a lovely dinner with the ladies the night before, the weekend was stressful. I’m not really sure how I envisioned spending my 40th – maybe lounging on a tropical beach, maybe taking a stroll in Paris or at the very least having a relaxing picnic in the park – but certainly not like the tightly wound, overworked, sleep deprived stressball that I was.

But that’s ok.
I am not really one for large celebrations or the focus of attention. Mark and the girls were sweet. That’s all that matters.

So now that I’m 40, now that it’s finally here, 40…
doesn’t mean I’m going to suddenly cut my hair and wear pleated trouser pants.
doesn’t mean that I can’t wear the same item of clothing as a 25 year old, as long as it’s not grossly inappropriate, blatantly ridiculous or fair game for mockery.
doesn’t mean I’m going to stay up all night at a club to see if I still have it in me (or go to a club, for that matter).
doesn’t mean that I’ll start obsessively checking in on my retirement funds every week (we’ll leave that for 50).
doesn’t mean that I have everything figured out (quite the contrary).

But 40…
does mean that I don’t have to impress anyone anymore.
does mean that I’ve earned the right to not have to deal with a certain level of bullshit in my life.
does mean that I’ve accepted who I am and am comfortable with all my neurosis, idiosyncrasies, quirks and annoying habits.
does mean that if some people can’t accept that, they can suck it.

feels the same as it did yesterday.

This is what 40 looks like.

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  • Wiebke with Pauli and Liv April 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    … a big smile and hug from us. We wish you a wonderful year full of love, happiness and health and that the sun always shines for you. Wiebke

  • kristine April 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Amen, sister! Love it. All the goodness with turning 40! Wishing you a terrific year ahead…

  • Renita April 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Happy Belated … you look fabulous !!!

  • monica of hola!design April 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Happy birthday! great post!

  • Anna @ D16 April 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Happy birthday, Jenna. You look gorgeous, and I love this post. 🙂

  • Renee Alam April 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Well,I am so glad the blog is back up….I was having blog withdrawals always checking like I would miss out on something so spectacular. I agree with all that you said,except that I learned a long time ago that I don’t need to impress anyone…why bother trying to make people happy that are never going to be happy so it’s no use trying.anyways,40 is looking good on you…must be good genes. 🙂 I love your b-day cake…looks so good, but since I’m not a kid anymore I know that that cake would cost me hours of exercise so then I would no longer enjoy it as I could years ago. 🙂 But I hope you enjoyed it….you could gain 20 pounds and still look good.

  • brandi April 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    happy birthday. what a perfect post.

  • hammocks April 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    that is one gorgeous 40! Something to aspire to.

  • Brie April 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Missed your blog a ton! Happy Birthday, great post-very honest and forthright, I really like those qualities in a person!

  • nole April 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Happy Birthday Jenna!! You look amazing!

  • Lois April 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Lots of love, happiness and health to you, Jenna. You sure don’t look like how I pictured forty to look! Happy Birthday 🙂

  • lauren April 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! You look and sound beautiful, love your attitude towards the matter. 🙂

  • myturtleneck April 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Awesome post! 🙂

  • eliz April 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    happy birthday jenna!
    i love reading your blog, especially your new new york stories 🙂

  • Kaho April 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! It looks like you had a yummy cake to celebrate your b-day with! I think 40’s is just like 30’s, but you are more refined and wiser. Viva 40’s!

  • sooki April 20, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    happy 40th! i hope i look as good as you when i turn 40 in 4 yrs. you look half your age.

  • nichole April 20, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    You’re rockin at 40. And this rockin post is proof.

  • brett April 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    40 looks gorgeous! I love your blog & will be joining club 40 in August!

  • lori April 20, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    that cake looks heavenly! happy birthday beautiful jenna! 🙂

  • Kitty April 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Well said, Jenna!
    Happy Birthday!

  • Kim April 21, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Amazing. I want to look as good as you do at 40 🙂

  • ranee April 21, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Happy belated birthday Jenna……^_^
    you’re rock!!!!
    i can’t wait for 40 😉

  • Linda April 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Happy belated birthday, Jenna! Glad the blog is back. 🙂

  • carolyn April 21, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Wish I could have been there for the dinner out with the girls to help you celebrate. I was the same as you (not stressed, but not a big celebration). I spent my 40th birthday last year on a quiet contemplative hike up in the Blue Mtns with Owen. Cake with the kids when I came home. Done. Now that I’m 41, I’m totally over it all 🙂

  • Luann April 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Yay for 40! I love this post as I’ll be 40 in the next year or so too. I do wish you could have had a more laid back kind of birthday but I guess being 40 is also being at a place where you can accept what happens. Happy belated birthday!

  • courtney April 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Happy Birthday!

  • Tamara April 21, 2010 at 10:53 am


  • Kathy April 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hapyp Birthday, Jenna! Can I ask what happened to your giveaway? I was looking forward to seeing who won!

  • ChantaleP April 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    40 looks great on you! I love what you wrote. Girl, you are so right!

  • Dinah April 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Happy belated, Jenna! 40 is obviously fabulous.

  • ellen April 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Happy Birthday!! you’re so inspiring!!

  • mau April 22, 2010 at 12:06 am

    happy birthday jenna! you don’t look a day older than 30. x

  • Stefanie April 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Fabulous at 40! I just turned 40 in November–and everything you said was spot-on! Now if I could just find a way of feeling more rested, ha (I, too, have two kiddos–a 5 year old and 2 year old.) I enjoy your blog–just found it via MWF seeking BFF’s site. Now on to 41!

  • Sandy April 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Happy 40! Love the cake and sushi!

  • annabel April 22, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    happy belated birthday!!

  • lisa April 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    i’m sorry i’m late on this, but happy birthday jenna!! you look amazing!

  • kathleen April 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

    happy (a wee bit late) birthday, jenna! 🙂

  • Araceli April 24, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Jenna!
    35, 40…you look great. Glad you had a great day with your family.

  • Lecia April 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Perfectly said; I feel the same way (I turned 40 a few months ago). Happy birthday.

  • Allison April 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I love it. Beautiful! Happy Birthday.

  • cate April 28, 2010 at 8:20 am

    happy birthday, jenna! clearly, you ARE going to age with style. so glad to hear that pleated trousers don’t make the cut.

  • Sharon montrose April 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    You make 40 look pretty damn good. Happy belated birthday!

  • parisa mahmoudi April 30, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Happy Birthday Dear Jenna!You look Amazing and if you didn’t say about your number of age,I never could guess it!
    You look fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    p.s.sorry about delay

  • erica May 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    happy (very belated) birthday! btw, i absolutely love your blog 🙂

  • lesley May 3, 2010 at 2:04 am

    happy [late!] birthday. i love this post, the lists are fantastic. isn’t it lovely to be past all those things [impressing people, bullshit, all that stuff!] i am so thankful not to be in my early 20s anymore, such a nice feeling. you look fantastic, happy 40th!

  • jj February 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    i just came across your blog and really enjoy reading it. you are so honest. I was wondering about your age, after reading your portland/seattle / nirvana posts, and it turns out we’re the same age. No wonder I can relate!