12 Creative Ways to Celebrate and Honor Your 40th Birthday


Your fortieth birthday is when you really start to Blossom! This isn’t your typical list of 40th birthday celebration ideas; here, you’ll discover ways to explore, love, and be yourself in exciting and meaningful ways.

These ideas will show you how to celebrate your fortieth birthday in meaningful ways and create memories that will last the rest of your life. I gathered these tips to help you remember that turning 40 isn’t just about finding the best 40th birthday gift and celebration ideas – those gifts are good 🙂 But, just like a marriage isn’t just about the wedding ceremony and celebration, turning forty isn’t just about having a great party. In this article, you’ll find a variety of tips and suggestions for celebrating a fortieth birthday in meaningful, joyful, and beautiful ways. 

This list of 40th birthday celebration ideas isn’t about partying it up or trying to forget that you’re turning forty. Rather, I encourage you to live from your heart and soul, and BLOSSOM into the woman you were meant to be!





For example, here’s an interesting way to celebrate your 40th birthday from the bestselling author Alice Walker: 

“Begin a circle of women. Meet regularly. Don’t have an agenda. Get together simply to Be together. Eat, drink, be merry. Dance if you feel like it. Lie about on cushions. Tell stories. Share secrets. Teach each other how to garden, how to build fires. But definitely do not ‘plan’ what you are going to discuss or do. Whatever work needs to be done will be done without your trying to make it happen.”

40th birthday celebration ideas

Me in Jamaica….Blossoming!

One of the best 40th birthday ideas is to relax into your female friendships. I have two close friends – not counting my husband – and I’d feel lost in this world without them.

If you don’t have friends to celebrate your 40th birthday with, make meaningful friendships your goal this year. If you’re too busy trying to juggle your social calendar because you have too many friends, give yourself the gift of freedom and peace. Start spending time with people you love, respect, and admire.

This is the most important gift you can give yourself: notice who fills you up with life and energy, and who drains your spirit and soul. Spend time with women who uplift you and help you be your best self.

Know that you can choose your own adventure in real life.

12 Creative 40th Birthday Celebration Ideas

These ideas for celebrating your fortieth birthday are more emotional than practical. They involve experiences, not just parties and gifts — though I included gifts because part of turning 40 is knowing when and how to treat yourself well. I didn’t celebrate my 40th birthday by throwing a big birthday bash, taking an exotic vacation (though I just got back from a two week trip to Jamaica!), or buying myself a new digital masterpiece such as a Kindle e-reader (though everyone seems to love them! If you want to celebrate your fortieth birthday by giving yourself a birthday Kindle, I am all for it. I hear they’re amazing).

These 40th birthday ideas are about being kind and gentle to yourself, and making your life more meaningful and beautiful. I turned 40 several years ago, I look forward to turning 47 soon, and I am ready to enjoy my life fully and completely 🙂

1. Treat yourself to a luxurious 40th birthday gift

My 47th birthday was last week; I’m treating myself to a two-week road trip to California, for a Christian Writer’s Conference. That’s my luxurious gift this year; in the past, I bought myself an iPad, a MacBook Pro, and a treadmill. Those are gifts I never would’ve considered giving myself when I was in my 20s or 30s…but now that I’m halfway there, it’s time to celebrate my 40s by pampering myself with beautiful, quality items that make life easier.

40th birthday celebration ideasAnuschka’s Genuine Leather Hand Painted Bags are one of my favorite 40th birthday gift ideas. Of all the ways to celebrate such a huge milestone, something beautiful and artistic is the only thing that will do! Anuschka’s bags and wallets are colorful, hand-painted, durable, and gorgeous.

While I’m not a believer in the idea that possessions and stuff make us happy (they don’t), I do believe God created us to enjoy art, creativity, and beauty. So, I encourage you to celebrate your 40th birthday by getting rid of old things that don’t lift your spirits, and surround yourself with beauty, joy, and light!

By the way – I also included this gift in 17 Gifts to Help Her Heal After a Mastectomy because while it’s not practical, it is uplifting and beautiful.

2. Declutter and surround yourself with simple beauty

Look around your home and work environment. How do you feel about what you see? Are you surrounded with color, beauty, simplicity, and things that make you feel good? If you’re a practical woman like me, a creative 40th birthday celebration idea might be to declutter and organize your home. If you’re more dreamy than practical, then decluttering and organizing aren’t creative things to do on your 40th birthday – they can wait until the day after you turn forty 🙂 .

Getting organized will help you feel better about your life and home. Think of this 40th birthday celebration idea as spring cleaning for your life.

3. Accept what you can’t change in your life

My husband and I can’t have kids, and I don’t want to try fertility treatments. Neither of us are keen on adoption. Now that I’m 47, I’ve accepted that it’ll just be the two of us. We’re our family. I did pray for a miracle and I did want children, but I learned how to let go and surrender to God’s wise and loving will for my life. It’s sort of bittersweet, to accept and even embrace this part of my life.

Surrender to your life as it is. Change what you can. This may not be the most exciting 40th birthday celebration or idea, but it will change your life in deep and fulfilling ways! Learn how to love yourself. Read How to Feel Better About Yourself if you struggle with abandonment, rejection, or even self-hatred. This is the best 40th birthday gift you could ever give yourself.

Also – one of the most meaningful things to do on your 40th birthday is to accept your present moment as if you’d chosen it. That’s one of Eckhart Tolle’s words of wisdom, from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Are you unhappy or scared to turn forty? Acceptance brings peace.

4. Help yourself heal from old emotional wounds – by journaling

40th birthday celebration ideasWriting in my journal is one of the healthiest things I’ve ever done for myself. I’m more centred spiritually and emotionally, more grounded, and more in touch with God. I really did start to Blossom after I turned 40 – and that’s one of the best 40th birthday celebrations I could ever ask for!

Where are you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely spiritually and emotionally healthy? If you’re struggling with depression or existential angst, start journaling. Learn more about yourself, your life, and your relationship with God. Learn who Jesus is, and why He died on a cross. Let the Holy Spirit change you in healthy ways.

Get yourself a Classic Retro Vintage Leather Diary & Journal – or some other type of journal – and start writing your thoughts, emotions, experiences. Heal from old wounds. Reconnect with God.

5. Refuse to be your own biggest critic

I’m tired of beating myself up for saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, and making mistakes. I’m tired of criticizing myself! What happened yesterday – and 10 years ago, 20 years ago – is done. It’s over. Instead of flagellating myself for my mistakes, I will focus on freedom and forgiveness. Instead of wishing certain people were in my life, I’m willing to let go of the past. I’ve done a lot of things right, and made a lot of people feel good about themselves. I’ve helped people, and cheered people up.

This is one of the best 40th birthday celebrations and gifts you could give yourself: focus on what you do right and what you do well. Learning how to accept yourself is one of the best ways to celebrate turning forty – even if you’ve been dreading this birthday.

6. Take good care of your 40 year old body

What does your body need? Is your neck sore, your body tired, your muscles flabby? Now is the time to make changes in your physical health. Don’t keep putting it off — yoga is a fantastic, healthy way to get your body long and lean.

I go for an hour-long walk/run most mornings and listen to sermons about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on various podcasts. My treadmill is for checking email and setting myself up for my workday (I’m a full-time writer, and I walk for 30 or 60 minutes at the beginning of every workday).

And I do yoga three times a week, at home, with various yoga DVDs. Every part of my exercise routine is vital to my mood and physical health. If you don’t have an exercise routine, start with DVDs. They’re easy to pop in, and they only take 20 minutes or so — if you pick the right ones 🙂

creative 40th birthday celebrationsNamaste Yoga: The Complete First Season is a fantastic DVD that will help you stick with a yoga program. I know “exercise” doesn’t seem like an exciting 40th birthday celebration idea, but trust me…your body, mind, and emotions will thank you.

The gift of health and fitness is so important. I know that working out isn’t often fun in the moment, but your body mind and soul feels so awesome afterward.

Find healthy, fun ways to move your body. You’re turning forty – maybe your goal should be to be fitter than you’ve ever been before!

7. Try something wild and wonderful on your 40th birthday

Here’s one of the most interesting 40th birthday celebration ideas from a reader:

“I’m going to spend my 40th birthday racing exotic cars in Vegas, then flying to Mexico for a week, lying on the beach, golfing on perfect turf, going to see Mayan ruins, racing dune buggies in the sand, scuba diving, and chasing around my 26 year old wife. Forty is not old….you’re as young as you feel. IF you wanna go get all responsible for your 40th birthday….go ahead…..or you can embrace the fact that you’ve only lived 1/3 of your adult life and have plenty more to go!”

8. Get out of town – my favorite way to celebrate any birthday!

40th birthday celebration gift ideas

We celebrated my 46th birthday with a weekend getaway. This year, as I said, we’re driving to California for two weeks!

I always try to leave home on my birthday because I love exploring and traveling. If you’re a homebody, don’t push yourself to try this “40th birthday celebration idea” because you need to do what you love to do. But if you haven’t gone on vacation for awhile and you love to travel…treat yourself this year. Forty is a milestone birthday, and it must be honored.

Packing Organizer Value Set for Travel is an adventurous idea for celebrating a 40th birthday – especially if it includes a trip out of town! This set of packing luggage “cubes” helps organize your clothes and toiletries, and keeps everything neat and wrinkle-free. The set pictured includes a toiletries kit, a shoes bag to protect clothes from dirty shoes, and an electronics organizer bag so you can keep all your electronic devices chargers, cords, and even batteries in one bag.

9. Think about how you want to spend your next 40 birthdays

Now that I’m in my late forties, I’m finally starting to put money away for my retirement. Better late than never! Every time I put $500 or $1,000 into my RRSPs, I visualize my future vacations. I used to think putting money away for retirement was a meaningless chore, but now I see it as taking care of my future self. Same with decluttering and spending my time the way I want. I feel good when I’m surrounded by space and simplicity, when I choose to do things I love, and when I take care of my present and future self.

So, for me the thing to do throughout my forties (birthday or not) is to take good care of my future, my environment, the people I love, and my emotional and physical health. Now that I’m 47, I’m finally learning how to set myself up for success and happiness. Those are my little birthday gifts and tips to myself.

How will you take care of your future and present self now that you’re turning forty? If you want to celebrate your fortieth birthday in an even more exciting way, start thinking about what to do with your life. Maybe you want to start over?

10. Take music lessons – or join a band or orchestra

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar – or any musical instrument – now’s the time to pursue your dreams.

I played the flute in high school, and have always wanted to re-learn it. I loved the rehearsals, concerts, and feeling of being part of an orchestra! So I bought myself a flute a few weeks ago, and am working my way through a self-instruction beginners flute book. It feels so good to play, to learn and practice, to hear my musical skills improving. It’s also very healthy to learn to play a musical instrument! For me, joining a band is one of the most meaningful things to do when I turned 40.

What about you? What have you wanted to do since high school, but haven’t gotten around to it? Do it now. Celebrate your 40th birthday by pursuing those old dreams and goals. If you don’t think you can play an instrument, read How to Play the Flute on Stage When You’re Nervous and Scared.

11. March to your own drum for your 40th birthday

A few years ago I worked at a social service organization, and I was the oldest counselor there. The rest of my coworkers were in their 20s. They were nice, but I was old enough to be their mother! Some of our work activities and events highlighted how my age.

40th birthday celebration gifts ideasFor example, we had a birthday celebration bowling event, and we were all asked to dress up in Fiesta costumes. I couldn’t think of anything I’d dislike more! I’m a quiet, introverted, introspective writer. The thought of bowling in a Mexican or Fiesta costume with in a loud bowling alley with lots of young people makes me want to crawl under my bed with my dog.

So, my gift to myself was not to go. I was one of the only employees who didn’t attend the birthday celebration, and a wee part of me felt bad. But I just couldn’t do it…and so I allowed myself to march to my own drum. This is my ongoing 40th birthday celebration gift to myself! The idea is that if I can’t show up wholeheartedly, I won’t show up at all. I feel like I’ve earned the right to give myself permission not to attend events that make me feel tired and unhappy.

12. Say “Meeeoowww” and Blossom like a CAT

I recently spent 5 or 6 days wandering around Los Angeles, meowing like a cat. It wasn’t a 40th birthday celebration idea; it was an experiment in acceptance and non-judgment.)

“Meeeoww!” said I out loud every time I caught myself judging a person, place, or thing. For example, some areas of some Hollywood streets are smellier than others. When I found myself wrinkling my nose and wondering how the glamorous men and women of LA could stand the disgusting smell of old urine baked into the sidewalk, I would let a big loud “meeeeoww!” leap from my lips. Even if people were nearby.

Why meow? Because that’s what cats do. And I am becoming more catlike, like a pussy willow Blossoming into a flexible reed that may bend but won’t be broken by the winds of time or happenstance.

And because fighting stuff takes energy. More specifically: trying to fight the past, or stuff I can’t change, or my regrets and mistakes, is draining the positive energy, joy, peace, and freedom from my life.

CAT is Curious Accepting Trusting

When I find myself judging myself or others, I say “meeeeoww” and remind myself that my energy and time is best spent being Curious, Accepting, and Trusting. This isn’t just a 40th birthday celebration idea; it’s how we should live our lives.

Curious

Instead of assuming I know everything, I ask myself questions.

“Why are some streets so smelly? Maybe because people and dogs pee outside, and there’s been a drought in LA for 5 years, and they’re not wasting water washing the streets.”

When you find yourself judging yourself or others, ask yourself a few gentle questions. Who is this person you’re criticizing, what do you know about her, where has she been, what has she experienced, and why are you assuming you know better? Are you sure your way is better?

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back.

Accepting

how to celebrate 40th birthdayBe gentle with yourself and the person, place or thing. Let go of your expectations, your “shoulds”, and your assumptions that you know better. Adopt an open mind and heart.

When you find yourself criticizing yourself or others, remind yourself how much time and energy you’re wasting on your own unrealistic and ignorant expectations. Instead of fighting reality (yes, some streets and people and situations are super stinky), just allow the thing to be. It has as much right to exist as you do. Who are you to say something should not be what it is? You may be forty, but you don’t know everything.

Trusting

Everything Belongs, even if you can’t see why or how. Everything Belongs, even if you didn’t put it there.

There is a reason your life is unfolding this way. There is a reason you chose to take that action, say those words, or go down that street. Trust God that even if you don’t know why something happened, it is there because it is supposed to be.

My 40 year old birthday girl, you don’t have all the answers. Worse – your unmet, unfulfilled expectations are tripping you up and bringing you down. Your expectations are wasting your time and energy. Your “shoulds” are distracting you from the peace, joy, and freedom that being catlike offers.

So, say “meeeoowww” out loud when you beat yourself up for this or judge her for that. Memorize and recite CAT to yourself – and I guarantee you will be surprised at how quickly your judgements and criticisms fade away! Peace and joy will be yours, you precious little kitty cat.

Meeeooowwww and Blossom. Out loud. Boldly.

Bonus 40th birthday celebration idea: Live for today

40th Birthday Ideas for Women Are you ready to live for today? The Sterling Silver “Live The Life You Love” Pendant Necklace is one of the best 40th birthday gifts you can give yourself, because it’s a visual reminder or symbol to “learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.” What better gift could you give yourself, than to live in the moment and cherish every second you have?

I love being forty. The best way to celebrate any birthday in your 40s is to be kind to yourself, surround yourself with beauty and creativity, and stay connected to your heart and soul. What about you – how will you celebrate turning forty? I hope this post has given you a few 40th birthday celebration ideas.

May your 40th birthday bring joyful memories, countless blessings, and peaceful thoughts. And may you reach upwards to God, and hear His still small voice telling you who He created you to be. May you accept the love and salvation of Jesus, and may your life be filled with the joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Happy Birthday!



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xo


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46 thoughts on “12 Creative Ways to Celebrate and Honor Your 40th Birthday

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for your awesome and wonderful comments! If any woman is looking for creative ways to celebrate her 40th birthday, she need only read through your comments. She’ll be inspired and encouraged live life fully before she even turns 40.

    Nina Simone, is that your real name?

    Happy 40th birthday, and may the gift and joy of the Holy Spirit strong and clear in your life. And may you Blossom into the woman God created you to be!

    Blessings,

    Laurie

  • Rahgie Leland

    This was very needed article and relevant to what my goals are for my 40th. To begin my next 40 years more joyful, relaxed and at peace

  • Nina Simone

    I’ve been looking for ideas, trying to plan a small chic cocktail for my 40th and wanting to celebrate, yet I didn’t feel deeply convicted about any of the ideas my sisters and friends suggested. Not until I came across your article was I reminder of what I needed to do. Thank you for being that audible voice through which the Lord Himself has made known to me. I will give celebrate my 40th giving all praise and glory to God and in doing so, bringing others to know Him.

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you so much for your comments! It’s awesome to hear from such vibrant, interesting, creative women who are embracing their 40th birthdays. Awesome, Blossom. 🙂
    Soon I’ll have to write an article for my next milestone birthday…50! Yikes.

  • Elisa Bell

    I just googled “what should I do on my 40th bday?” and yours was the first link. It is a blessing from our wonderful Lord & Savior because it affirmed what I’m already doing/thinking: reflecting, being intentional about my relationships (the cheerleaders, the challengers & God) and being intentional about the dreams and desires of my heart. So, thank you! 40 brings me the wisdom, courage and grace that I sometimes overlooked in my 30’s. Happy bday 40 yr olds!

  • Debra

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I turn 40 later this week & I have no idea what I want to do. I struggle with so much you have shared here.. specifically #3 which brought on a flood of tears as it really connected with me! I also was going to organize/declutter my office & workout room today with intentions exactly as you shared here. Your post has REALLY helped me to re-center myself – Most importantly focus on my relationship with Jesus & tune in to my Holy Spirit (more church, podcast sermons, be more open to His love & take action); Journal more, even when it’s hard.. This one is difficult for me because I either forget to do it & other times it’s like I’m writing a book. I need to also focus on dropping my walls which has over the years gotten much worse, keeping me from having close relationships (w/ the exception of my amazing husband). I have tons of acquaintances but I need to learn how to create a sustainable friendship. Lastly, focus on my health with more exercise & incorporating healthy foods; for my birthday getting a healthy cookbook for my nuwave & a new workout outfit. I cant thank you enough for this article & look forward to subscribing to read more about what you have to say! * Ideas I also had for my 40th was: to give at least 40 hugs/ high fives documented with “Selfies” for fun; take my husband to my favorite places around town & somehow make like a scavenger hunt style out of it (having a meal, buying a book, getting a plant/flower) with pictures; and my last idea was to sit down & write letters to family, acquaintances, old friends, sharing there positive impact on me & how much I appreciate them & try to MAIL them the letters (who doesn’t love getting mail). Thank you again.. I had a lot of feedback so if you read this much then Thank You & God Bless! ❤

  • Laurie Post author

    I’ll be celebrating my 50th birthday in three years! I’ll have to write another article, and find even more creative ways to celebrate and honor a milestone birthday. Turning 40 wasn’t a big deal to me… But I have a feeling that turning 50 will be something special. Happy birthday to all the 40-year-old women reading this! May you Blossom into the woman God created you to be, and may you be free to be authentic, joyful, and secure in your place in this world.

  • Laure

    May all women who are turning forty find a renewed peace, joy, hope, and inspiration in their lives. May the 40th birthday be about more than a celebration…may it be the turning over of a new leaf, a fresh start, and a fresh hope for life!

    Happy Birthday to all women who are celebrating their 40th birthdays. May you find creative ways to celebrate your day, and your life 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Margaret

    Finding meaningful ways to celebrate your 40th birthday makes it much easier to turn 40. Thank you! Also it helps to surround yourself with women friends who are over forty, who are happy and successful and healthy. I’m 49 now, and need tips for making a 50th birthday meaningful 🙂

  • Laurie

    Aloha Luana,

    Thank you for being here – and happy birthday! Turning 40 is awesome. I’m 44 now, and I am 100% sure life gets better as I get older, because I feel wiser, more centred, and more focused.

    I know how you feel about starting a blog — I struggle with feeling like I have nothing to offer, as well. I wrote myself a note, and it’s right here new to my computer: “You just need to show up. It’s as simple as sharing what you experience. Trust that God will reach out to people through you. Be a bridge, a conduit. Your gift is writing, sharing, healing, inspiring, encouraging, and even healing.”

    I read that every time I get discouraged by blog traffic, income, or even getting older.

    If you start a blog, come back and share the link. I’ll come visit! 🙂

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  • Luana Lavatai

    Aloha Laurie,

    Luana from the Big Island of Hawai’i. Thank you for writing your thoughts and suggestions. I will be turning forty in five days and I can’t describe how blah I’ve been feeling about it. Not so much the aging but the celebration part. Many of my friends and family live across the ocean which makes it very unlikely for me to plan the type of event I would dream to have. So when I read your post about “accepting what I can’t change in my life” really hit home for me. What I can’t change is depressing me. Therefore, your other suggestions of giving myself meaningful gifts is perfect! I have always wanted to blog but keep putting it off thinking I have nothing valuable to offer. But reading your blog gives me hope and makes me believe that I may never know who I may impact or encourage or even enlighten…if I never take on the challenge!

    Once again thank you so much!
    Luana

  • Laurie

    Hello Sasha,

    I’m glad you liked these ideas! I’m definitely more of a introvert, so I prefer the quiet, meaningful, reflective celebrations. It’s nice to meet a kindred spirit 🙂

    One of the best parts of turning 40 is knowing ourselves well enough to know how best to celebrate our birthday.

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  • Sasha

    I can’t thank you enough for these creative things to do for your fortieth birthday. Everyone seems to be doing “party extravaganzas,” and that’s just not in my cards. I wanted to do something quiet, reflective and more meaningful (to me). I really love what you’ve written here! Thanks again. 🙂

  • Laurie

    Dear Angela,

    May 40 be the year that you don’t worry about pleasing everybody! That’s the best way to celebrate your fortieth birthday: connect with your true self, and figure out what you really want in your life.

    What would you plan for your 40th birthday if money, time, and people were no object? Let your imagination go crazy – because even if you can’t do that thing for your 40th, you might be able to work towards it for 41, or 45! Start dreaming big for your life, and then break those dreams down into little achievable goals. One of my dreams is to go on a cruise….you’ve just inspired me to start researching the cost of cruises, so I have something to save up for and look forward to 🙂

    May this 40th birthday be a blessing to you. May it be fun and interesting, and may you find the freedom to not worry about pleasing others. May you find peace in yourself, and allow yourself to fill your life with the things that mean most to you. May you be free of self-judgement, self-incrimination, and self-consciousness. May you be a free spirit!

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  • Angela

    I am 40 in 2 weeks and I am feeling very anxious. I am a mom of 4 beautiful daughter’s. They are planning to take me out to Solihull and I’m looking forward to it. So why am I dreading getting older? X there’s lots of things I still want to do, but don’t have the finances. I have moved away from family and friends so have nothing planned for my actual birthday. I wanted to go for a meal but that seems too much trouble to organise and please everyone. So I haven’t done it yet.what shall I do? Xxxxx

  • Sarah

    Hi everyone, thank you for your thoughts, ideas and support. My 40th is in less than 6 weeks and I have been dreading it for more than a year. I know that sounds like a waste of a year but honestly, that’s how I feel. I’ve asked friends in their 40s how they accepted it and they said it was no problem. That didn’t help me so I turned to support online. Your ideas, your reflections, your humor and your experiencing similar fears makes me feel less alone. I think once I reach 40 I will feel okayish, but the waiting part is hard. Thank Heavens for online tips about accepting these milestones!

  • Laurie

    Thanks for your comments! I love being 40, even though it is a huge milestone in a woman’s life. If you’re nervous or depressed about turning forty, find ways to celebrate with people you love.

  • cheri

    I am so happy I stumbled across this page, tomorrow is my 40th birthday and I been really down in the dumps over it. As I looked back over my life all I could see my was what I have NOT done instead of what I have done and what still awaites me. I have no children but was blessed with raising my husbands granson for the first 6 years of his life till his mother sued us for cousidity this past summer. The loss was too much for my husband (who was not in good health) and he died 3 weeks later in his sleep. At that point I thought I had lost everything. I have slowely put some pieace of my life back together and have tried to start over but with my 40th approching I just felt like I was going nowhere fast. I found your page I must say it has made me look at things very differntly thank you so much for writing it!

  • Laurie

    Poppy,

    Your fortieth birthday sounds wonderful! Full of self-care, things you love, relaxation, and fulfillment. I love it, and think we should have a “40th birthday” every month. A day of pampering and self-love 🙂

  • Poppy

    I love the fact that 40 gives you a licence to truly be you and thus your celebration should be true to who you are! I find putting on parties quite stressful and not that enjoyable [except fairy parties, which I convene and perform] so I am going to have a private yoga lesson under the trees, followed by cake with my daughters and husband and a pedicure with my children [to allow some good reading and bonding time]. The day will conclude with a nice dinner with family and a few friends. Low key, introspective but encompasses who that I am!

  • Laurie

    Hi Faith,

    What’s your favorite thing in the world? That’s the way to spend your 40th birthday!

    My favorite things are travel, road trips, my dog, my husband, blogging, and living in other places for short periods. So….my ideal way of celebrating my fortieth (or ANY birthday) would be to pack up my dog, laptop, husband, and car. I’d go live in Whistler or somewhere beautiful for a month, and explore the area while blogging.

    The best way to celebrate your birthday is to do whatever makes you most happy. If you can’t afford it, then you need to cheat. For example, if your dream is to spend your 40th birthday in Venice, Italy but you can’t afford it, then maybe you could throw a party with an Italian theme??

  • faith

    i missed my 4oth birthday , couldn’t celebrate it.now 2 yrs. later wanted to know if anyone had any ideas what would be a really amazing idea to make up for this.my birthday is coming up in late dec.

  • Laurie

    I love being 42, and I don’t fear birthdays at all. I’d never hide my age, either.

    But I’ve only had one really good birthday in my life, in Africa. The rest have been ho-hum…I need to start reading my own articles and taking my own advice about how to celebrate birthdays better!

  • louise

    There has never been a better time in our entire history to turn your life around at the age of 40. Women need to spread their wings and fly; to do that we need to create our own independence and it all starts with a makeover as part of the 40th birthday celebrations. The new person will feel confident and inspired; the new you will be determined and debt free; by the time you are 45 you will be in flying.

  • Lori

    Hi all, I will be celebrating my 40th b’day in December.. Very much feels and look a lot younger. I have two boys,9 and 6. and this year means so much to me and my family.. I do not know that to do,should I throw a party inviting forty persons, or just best friends. I want it to be extra special, but not mess. will appreciate any one input. I do not want it to just be another day. Than you..

  • Fran

    I loved your article. I will be 40 in Feb 2013, we cannot have children either, the IVF route is also something we do not want to do, the procedure is complicated and the success rate low, so we have embraced it. Children are not meant for us in this life, may be they will be in the next. For this life, we shall enjoy being child free, and enjoy the things other people give up. I am also studying for my masters next year and loving this newfound life. Thank youfor your beautiful thoughts.

  • Danielle

    I will be turning 40 on Oct 2, I guess I feel as though I am more mature and I am ready to figure out who I am and start a new chapter my kids are grown now its time to start living for me again!!!

  • Laurie

    Hello Yoya1068,

    How about a trip to a destination you’ve always dreamed about? I’d go to Vietnam or Bora Bora 🙂

    Turning 40 is a big deal, and should be celebrated with something meaningful and exciting. Not necessarily a material possession (though who wouldn’t be excited about a new car or house or iPad??), but something that makes you feel good and happy to be alive.

    I hope you come back and tell us how you celebrated your fortieth birthday!

    All good things,
    Laurie

  • Yoya1068

    Well, I will be 40 on Oct. 8th and I am truly looking forward to celebrating it. I feel extremely young, have 1 adopted daughter who is 23 now and two boys of my own (14,12) and I feel as though I have grown up with them. Although, I am waiting anxiously for my birthday, I still don’t know what to do. I feel as though I shouldn’t let this birthday go by just lume that. I don’t know but it just feels different.
    I have accimplished a lot in my life so far. Married young, had my children, went to college, own a business, am in the Coast Guard of the United States, but I feel like I should celebrate my life.
    Hopefully something to comes to mind…
    Happy Birthday to all!

  • Laurie

    Cheers for the fun, exciting ways to celebrate your fortieth birthday, Rob!

    I’m test driving a Mini Cooper tonight. I test drove one earlier today and LOVED it. If you’re turning 40, I think you should buy yourself a fun, zippy, exciting little car. After all, you only live once….

    I want to put your tips for the 40th birthday in the article itself! They really are too good to get lost in the comments section 🙂

  • Rob

    LOFL….where is the “Buy a fast car” or “Live to excess” or “Spend a weekend in Bangcock”? I dont know about you hippies, but I’m going to spend my 40th racing exotic cars in vegas, then flying to mexico for a week, lying on the beach, golfing on perfect turf, going to see mayan ruins, racing dune buggies in the sand, scuba diving, and chasing around my 26 year old wife.

    40 is not old….you’re as young as you feel. IF you wanna go get all responsible for your 40th birthday….go ahead…..or you can embrace the fact that you’ve only lived 1/3 of your adult life to date and have plenty more to go around.

  • Laurie

    Kelly,

    Thank you for your comment, and for sharing my tips for turning 40 on your Facebook page! Very sweet of you 🙂

    Yes, life is like a book with chapters, isn’t it? Sometimes I even think my life is actually a series of books. For instance, I’m in the Book of Marriage right now – I didn’t get married until I was 35, and I feel like I lived so much before I got married! Maybe that’s why I was happy to celebrate my 40th birthday.

    And, when I was 27 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and didn’t think I’d see my 30th birthday. So turning 40 is a gift!

    I wish you all the best as you turn 40 and celebrate your anniversary in August. And I’m happy to hear you have a little ‘un who is turning 4 in July 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Kelly

    Oops. NOT my 21st wedding, I meant to say “wedding anniversary”. While turning 40 doesn’t make me feel old, I am quite certain that being married that many times would do the trick!

  • Kelly

    Love your blog and I shared the link on my fb page. I turn 40 on August 25 and celebrate my 21st wedding on the 3rd. (August is a big month for me.) We also have a son turning 4 in July so I feel very much like my life is a book and each chapter approx 18 years. First chapter childhood, 2nd chapter marriage, third chapter parenthood. When my son graduates and moves out we will be experiencing empty nest/husband’s retirement, and if the good Lord be willing….I can enjoy some golden years chapters RV’ing with the hubby and spoiling grandchildren after that!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    If you’re worried about turning 40 – or you hate the idea of aging – maybe you should think about why it’s so stressful for you. What associations do you have with your 40th birthday (or being in your forties) that are negative? What negative associations do you have with aging?

    Since you can’t fight age, you might as well learn to embrace it 🙂 I embrace it by focusing on the wisdom, strength, and courage I’ve gained over the years. I was a dumb 20 year old, and wouldn’t want to be that young again!

  • April

    I’m turning 40 in 2 weeks, and I’m dreading it. I’m one of those people who thinks forty is old, and I don’t want to celebrate that birthday. Got any tips for turning 40 for someone who hates aging???

  • Kristi

    I LOVE my 40’s! I’m just extremely frustrated with all my friends calling themselves old. What an insult to the truly elderly! Myself, I was hit in the mouth with a bungee cord on my 40th birthday and spent the day looking like pouty lip injections gone bad….But back to enjoying my 40’s- I’m having tons of fun and hopefully leaving an impression on my own children so that they will NOT be calling themselves old when they reach middle age.