Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'm 40 years old today. Happy Birthday to me!

But before we start freaking out about how high that number actually is, I want to say I'm okay with it.

Turning 40 had me wondering why this number is so hard for some people to reach with all the midlife crises and what not. Personally, I am happy that I've come this far, because quite frankly, the alternative sucks.

There's been those fickle moments too. Giving the mirror more time than it deserves, studying the extra lines accumulated over the years. Wrinkles I'm proud of. Part of all the 40 thoughts has been, what does 40 look like these days? Because when I was 20, 40 sure looked old. Women acted mature, had grey hair, wrinkles, wore plaid suits and stockings. (And perms, but that might have just been an 80s thing.)

I don't think I look like that type of 40 year old, I definitely don't think I act 40 (definitely less mature than what I think I should be). But then on other days, I feel every bit my age. Recently, I discovered my health age (28 years old), and I did a little happy dance because it sounds more like how I feel.

And then I got thinking about that question: how old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?I think I'd agree with my health age. Mostly. (But loved being 26 - the age of the photo above.)

Sipping drinks from the fountain of youth was such a trivial thing in my younger days, but now I see how serious this beauty business is. No-one living in Hollywood or in the Good Looks Business look older than 30, and it turns out squillions* of dollars are spent attempting to turn back the clock. Plus, when you realise how young 40 is, you realised you want to have another 40. And then some more.

So I want to share some tips for living to 100. Nothing magical, just common sense really. But something I read a while back**, that has stuck in my head (and in my blog draft posts). Lucky you, because it's the best gift I can give you too!
  1. DON'T RETIRE. Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic desease skyrockets after retirement. The alternative? Stay active, grow a vegetable farm, volunteer in your local museum, church or retirement village.
  2. FLOSS. EVERY DAY. This keeps your arteries healthy apparently. All stemming from  the reduction of gum disease causing bacteria thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflamation of the arteries (the major risk for heart disease). Who knew? Plus, you get to look after your teeth which will need to be extra healthy for all those extra years you plan to live.
  3. MOVE. Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists. Like the oil change in your car - you don't have to do it, but your car runs better with it. Plus we all know that exercise improves your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones. All this with your very first session!
  4. EAT A FIBRE RICH BREAKFAST. Not only eating breakfast, but a good one helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day. It also reduces diabetes which is an age accelerator.
  5. GET SIX HOURS OF SLEEP. Instead of skimping on less sleep to add more hours to your day, sleep more to get more years out of your life. Those who reach 100 made sleep a top priority in their lives!
  6. CONSUME WHOLE FOODS, NOT SUPPLEMENTS. Strong evidence suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest that of this happens through supplements!
  7. BE LESS NEUROTIC. Rolling with the punches is going to make you live longer. Less internalising and more focusing on the good stuff! Hanging around positive people sure helps too.
  8. BE A CREATURE OF HABIT. Strict routines are good for us - yay! Same activities, waking and getting up at the same time... it all helps. As we get older we bounce back less from a late night which weakens the immune system leaving you more susceptible to flu viruses or bacterial infections.
  9. LIVE LIKE A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST. Members of this denomination live on average ten years longer than the average [American] person. One of the basic tenants of the religion is that it's important to cherish the body that's on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol, or overindulging in sweet treats. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They stop work one day a week, and they're also very focused on family and community.
  10. STAY CONNECTED. Having regular contact with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death. Some psychologists even think that one of the benefits elderly folks get from exercise is the strong social interactions that come from walking with a buddy or taking an group exercise class.
There you have it: the not-so-secret ways to live longer.

Have you hit a big number recently? Has it scared you, or have you taken it in your stride? How do you live your life? A minute at a time, or carefully so as to make the moments count for the long haul?

* this isn't an exact amount. More like a guestimation.
** This article was found in the U.S. News & World Report, October 2009. And I've worded it the way I'd say it. (Plus it's a much shorter!) But if you want the whole article, you can google it, or if you request it, I have a scanned copy to email you.


  1. Happy Birthday! I do most things on that list, so I assume I will live to a nice old age :).

    Also, I too do not feel my age {which is 30}. I have always felt younger than I am....not sure if this is a good thing or not...

  2. Happy Birthday Kymmie! 40 is a fabulous number. I embraced turning 40 and I have to say I think these years in my 40s has been a time of reflection, accepting and loving who I am and loving life! I honestly think that age is a nebulous concept really. Who was it who decided that after 365 days we would click over to a higher number? I feel younger at 44 than I did at 34 quite frankly. Enjoy and savor every moment! I hope you have a fabulous day! (in spite of this constant rain!)

  3. Happy Birthday Gorgeous have aged so gracefully and I for one think that 40 agrees with you!

    I am going to embrace turning 40 next year just as you have :)

    Hope you have the most wonderful day.


  4. argggghhhh!!!! Happy birthday to you sweet girl!!! Look at you in all your serious pose up there! Love the midriff and gerbra's! I hope you have a smashing day, and whilst I turned 30 a little while ago, i agree that it is just a number, and i still feel 24-25 but love that there is less internalisation, self doubt and I have more wisdom and maturity that goes with hitting that next age bracket...and i love your my dear will surely hit 100 and i plan to be there and give you cheek that I'm only 90!


  5. Happy Birthday! You look amazing :) 40 here too and feeling every bit of it at the moment!

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kymmie! Forty is a good age to be, I think. I probably would have parked the body at 32 (pre-kids and pre-back ache!), but I'm happy with my age right now.

    I only do points 1 (!), 4, 5, 6, 10 and definitely 7. x

  7. I think you look fabulous - happy birthday hon!

    I am 45 in Nov and the mother of an 18 yo. Thinking back to when I was his age 45 did look old. There must be something in the water making us all age more graciously than those who went before us methinks ;]


  8. happy b'day ! Good advice.
    Definitely fabulous forty not over the hill forty!
    Have a great day

  9. Firstly.. Happy Birthday.

    Secondly 40, are you serious, I would never have guessed. You look fabulous at 40 and I'm tipping it's because you have such a great outlook on life. You've not changed a bit! I would have not even realised it was an old photo, well except for the backdrop,the gerbras and perhaps the top! lol.

    Hope you have a wonderful day.

  10. Well happy birthday, Lovely! Welcome to the big four-oh club. I joined a year ago and it's quite good fun ☺. I feel so much more complete and understanding of myself now - this will be a fabulous decade for us. J x

  11. Happy birthday, Kymmie. I love that photo of the 26-year-old Kymmie but I love just as much the photos of your 40-year-olf self. You are gorgeous at any age. May you get a shower of blessings this year and in the years to come. Love the tips-- just not sure about that part on the alcohol and indulging in sweet treats. Hahaha.

  12. Happiest of Birthdays to You! Enjoy your next journey around the sun. Those boys will keep you young. I celebrated my 30th with a 3 month old, and my 4oth with a 4 month old.
    Curious, how did you measure your health age?

  13. √Źsobel is actually me, didn't realise she was logged in....

  14. happy birthday to one of my fav bloggers to drop in on.


  15. Ah. 40. You did it in style my friend. Happy days to you. And your bring US gifts on your birthday - secrets to longevity. I don't think I am going to make the big 100! I will have to improve my seventh day adventist habits :-) x

  16. Happiest of happy days [well I hope it was] and sending you a great big, joyful birthday hug from afar.
    You are a true gift Kymmie and your wisdom and crackling enjoyment of life resonant through all that you share.

    Waving and smiling from afar,

    xx Felicity

  17. Happy Birthday Kimmie,

    it's wonderful to have found you via dear Kristel, and your thoughts on reaching a "milestone" birthday are very timely. Your 40th coincided with Julia Gillard's 50th...(which resonated rather sharply with me since I hit my half century next year....and I can't quite believe that is possible when in my head I'm still 29 (are'nt we all?!)
    Excitedly off to explore the rest of your blog now,


  18. Hopefully your day is a little bit more special then the others today :) You have (once again) raised some good, but simple and common sense points on how to live a healthier lifestyle. I think some people are quite extreme in how they live their lives at times, we really need to treat our bodies like they deserve to be treated. My religion (Mormon) also teaches us to eat well (don't drink alcohol, do drugs, stay away from addictive substances like caffeine) and live balanced lives. It's amazing how good you can feel when you take care of the body you have been blessed with!

  19. Oh BIG Happy Birthday wishes to you gorgeous Kymmie! You are a beautiful 40 year old, inside and out. I love these tips, all so balanced and positive. You do make it sound so simple too, which I kinda like :o)
    Lovely photo of you as a twenty something, but dare I say, you look even better at 40... there I said it! Hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration lovely xo

  20. Happy birthday!!!

    Hope you had a wonderful time!

    Love the tips - laugh, eat well, exercise... all so important.

  21. great tips there! i turned 40 six yrs ago and loving it.

    btw happy birthday and have a great weekend.

  22. Happy (belated) birthday lovely! Your photo is priceless and so 80's/early 90's.
    I will be 40 in less than 2 years, and I can honestly say I feel like I am still in my 20's. I refuse to let a silly number stress me out - it is just a number. Then I spoke to my Granny today, who is 88 years old, and she is just over living as she is so uncomfortable - so if we are living to be 100, we need to look after ourselves now.

  23. Happy Birthday Kymmie! Welcome to the club :) I don't feel 42, and I'm liking my 40s so far - I'm much more self-assured and curvy after having four kids! I do feel as if the best of my life is yet to come and don't mind at all being a "late bloomer." You have such a good attitude, you will ROCK your 40s, I'm sure!


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Thank you for your thoughtful and positive words and taking the time to comment. Love Kymmie. xx