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Dreading Turning 40

"I'm Terrified About Turning 40"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Some of you might read my post and think that I am a shallow person. But I just cant help not be terrified about turning 40 soon while I am still single and have no children. This age is scaring me, I am missing out on living the moment everyday. It has been two months now that every day I wake up with that fear inside me. It feels like I have failed my life. I look around me and see people in their 40s well established and having built families, might have found love or not but have achieved something on their personal lives. I don't know how to get over that anxiety! I need a solution 'cause I am missing out on living the "now."

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously in Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Join The Conversation
missmaryb missmaryb 4 years
I'm 41 so I can give you a little perspective "from the other side." I graduated from college and rushed right into finding a guy. I was so sure I needed to have a husband and kids and a career RIGHT NOW that I did not choose wisely. I definitely picked Mr. Wrong. We divorced when I was in my mid 30's. I spent a lot of time soul searching and really thinking about what makes me happy and what defines success. I learned that having a man doesn't necessarily make you successful. Most of my girlfriends are not overly happy with their marriages, to be honest. That's not to say there aren't great marriages out there, but don't look at married couples and assume anything about them. The best relationship you can build is the one with yourself. Take some time really thinking about what makes you happy. Your career? Your friendships? Your family? Your hobbies? Celebrate all of those great things. If you really want children there are options, such as fostering, donors, adoption (which I see have already been mentioned). When I was facing forty, I decided to do a couple of things I'd never done before. I learned how to play an instrument, took up running, and took a big vacation. I had a blast and met new people. I would encourage you to try some new things...volunteer, get a dramatic makeover, really start working out if you don't already, plan a great trip, reconnect with old friends, etc. There are lots of great things about being 40 and I am totally loving my 40's. I have found great inner peace and strength. You will be fine, just remember all the wonderful things there are about you. Good luck.
Annie-Gabillet Annie-Gabillet 4 years
@jadenirvana I love the advice! I think making plans for a trip is great advice for anyone feeling like they're in a rut. It gives you something to look forward to, and when you're traveling you're getting out of your comfort zone and seeing life through a different perspective. And then of course, there are the memories and pictures to enjoy when you get back!!
jadenirvana jadenirvana 4 years
Sounds like you are already giving yourself a pretty good pep talk, but I'll chime in. My advice is: make some big, fun plans for the upcoming year: a trip, starting your own business, getting on match if you DO want to meet some. Find something that you can be excited about. Next thing, maybe seek out some friends who also aren't married and don't have kids-you really aren't the only person in this situation. Follow your own path, and don't worry if you aren't following the "white picket fence" dream. A lot of people who have followed that dream might not be as happy as you think. Happy Birthday!
Donna-Freundt Donna-Freundt 4 years
If you think adopting or fostering a child that is in much need for a loving home would suit you then that is great. But if you know deep down that not having of had a child of your own is something you'd regret, then you do need to think a bit about it and what your options with that are.That is just an opinion but *only you* can tell what will make *you* the most happy. Living child free may be it even. 40 is still really young! and you still have plenty of years left to think about new goals and make new achievements in your life. This is your life, no one else's and you don't have to compare yourself to anyone else. Just do it your way. Still loads of opportunities out there and a lot of time to do the things you really want!.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
Don't let the "if you don't do it by now or soon you're done" thoughts nest in your mind. There are always children around who need another able adult to help them out through fostering. And I had two great aunts who married for the first time in their 60s/70s (a couple of world wars ravaged the amount of single men in their generation). There is no deadline for adding family members, except for the medically obvious issue of fertility, and maximum adoption ages in many countries do stop anywhere from 40-50, but of course there are exceptions. Open your heart and mind to the possibilities and see what happens! Lots of somebodies need what you have to offer in every way for sure.
Donna-Freundt Donna-Freundt 4 years
On a serious note, (this may or not may not appeal to you, I don't know but it is worth telling you about I saw a lady on TV who had done it) did you ever think about just doing it?. I mean just having a child, if you really want a family then you don't have much time to do it. It may be the 'norm' to be 40 and be financially secure and have no kids nowadays, but maybe this is not personally something you want for yourself and you could end up really regretting it. You could find a donor and have a baby, it may not be how everyone pictures themselves starting a family but who knows how long you could be waiting around for someone to start it with. This is just an idea, another option you could take for starting a family..Like I said I don't know if it appeals to you but you should think seriously about what you want in life because eventually you may have no choice of having kids and a family.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
I can completely relate. When dawn broke on my 40th, I was not only single I had been dumped by a fiancee with a very fancy title a few months before for another woman. He was an ass, no doubt, but he also saved me from him. You know you could have done something similar, married to Mr. Wrong, facing 40 stuck with a man you don't really want to be with. A lot of women are living that life. But you didn't, so here is a toast to your integrity! Seriously, you have a great clean slate. I did meet my hubby when I was 40. We were married when we were 41. It was no settling down thing. He's a catch, my mother says he's the very best of all the guys I ever dated. We couldn't have kids, he had a fertility problem. It turned out his fertility problem saved my life. If I had become pregnant, I discovered later, it would have killed me. Trust in your life, your decisions. We don't get to know and see all the intelligence that is at work. My point is your story is still being written, and I'm a firm believer that often the 'reason' for our story becomes clear afterward. You want a man? I treated finding Mr. Right like a second job, it was a lot of work at that age so if you want that, double up. You want a child? How much? You can foster, adopt and/or get pregnant. Volunteer and work with children (this is what I do) too. I am completely happy. I had zero ambition as a kid for a career, in that era we all pretty much thought we'd become mothers and that's it. Yet I've now got a very wonderful career. None of the traditional stuff happened in my 20s, but then I also realize I wasn't super interested in that life either or else it would have been a bigger priority. If you are having trouble with coming up with a life that interests you enough to be generally happy and content, that's another thing all together. Post again if you want us to jump on that. Otherwise, congratulations for getting this far unencumbered with the wrong thing and best to you in inventing what's ahead. 40s are full of incredible ease and confidence and it just gets better after that.
henna-red henna-red 4 years
You get over that anxiety by taking stock. What are the things in in your life you value? What are you doing to fulfill your goals and desires? What are you not doing? How can you change what you're doing to better fulfill those goals? Success in life isn't something that just comes, that just happens, or falls from the sky. And different people have different standards of success. Is being married with kids your only standard for success? Look at the people in your life. The people you value and who value you. Who are those people. What values do they project? What do those people bring to your life? What do you bring to theirs? What do you bring to the world? We are, each of us, unique individuals, there is no one else in the world who fills that whole in time and space like we do. There is no one else who touches other lives in exactly the same way. You know, when you wake up, on your 40th birthday, you are going to be the same person you were the day before. Be happy with the person you are today, and you'll be happy with the person you will be at 40.....What are you doing to be happy with who you are now?
kurniakasih kurniakasih 4 years
I need to kick your ass now. Joking. But I don't think you have 'failed' as well. I think that you should try to look into yourself instead of what's around you for defining what success is. By the way, half of my family (on my generation--i.e. cousins and yes, most of us can be considered 'f.o.b.s' and brought up with the old tradition of that we should be married and saddled with children by 25--or younger) are choosing to be childless and they're closing in on 40. Yes, it may be that their parents or older generation relatives chided/criticized them, but they're doing just fine choosing to be childless and some unmarried. It's getting 'normal' aka not a 'failure' to not have children and be financially secured by 40. Sure, they admit (in private) that sometimes they get the same anxiety you have, but you know what, overall, they get to look into themselves and feel they're making the right choices, they're doing what they love, they're focused, they're healthy, productive, and good people. :) I'm not saying that you should not take care of finances (because let's face it, we want to retire well one day), but yes, the norms of society are changing. Give yourself a break, this type of anxiety is in every people, even people who seem to 'have it all' (financially set and perhaps even have a family). I'm anxious about my kids. I'm anxious about my job, I'm anxious too about my health at times. :) But by the end of the day, I calm myself down, I look on what blessings I've received and try to not take them for granted then wake up again tomorrow and try to do it better. Some other gals/boys here can definitely add to this and give you solid suggestions too, but from moi, that's all for now. Good luck.
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