The 40/40 on This Is Forty

A few months ago we had a 20-something guest post from Heather Sundall reflecting on the movie This is 40 from Judd Apatow. She related the 40-life crisis the couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann had as they struggled with turning forty and facing a hormonal daughter, business failure and expanding waistlines. Heather found it strangely reassuring that the struggles this couple was having at forty were somewhat similar to the swagger and stagger of navigating the twenties. Now for the other side.

The 40/40 on This is 40

I found it less a movie about turning 40, as it was a movie about being married for 15 years and the peaks and valleys you experience. There are cycles where everything your partner does annoys you to collisions where you remember just why you fell in love to chasms where you feel alone. Sounds so serious I know. But not to worry, Apatow pulls it off with both laugh out loud moments bordering grossness and subtle humor capturing the more intimate moments in marriage.

Some lessons on life and love:

– Don’t think in absolutes — that one fight (or 100th) doesn’t mean that you never loved each other.

– It’s never a good idea to lie to your spouse about money.

– When you’re business is missing $10,ooo don’t treat it like you lost a cheap earring.

– If you have a family to support don’t put all your eggs in the basket of that niche business that indulges your teenage dream.

– You may love your big old fancy house but if you love your husband…you will love him sans the house. He has to know that (or he will feel the need to lie about that money thing).

So what does it say to me about turning 40 — not much! 

The biggest reason Leslie Mann’s character Debbie hates about turning forty is that she doesn’t want to dress in Chico’s and Ann Taylor Loft. So don’t.  I’m not a fan of the rules of what to wear in your 20s, 30s, 40s and on. Don’t dress young to pretend you are younger but do dress to make you feel awesome at whatever age.

The other day I did had to say no to a sales person trying to sell me jeans with the whole ripped knee thing. It was less that I thought them not “age-appropriate” than it made my knees look like the mouth of that weird talking orange in the You Tube videos.

Which brings us to the second point . . .Debbie fears the softening of her butt and breasts. So many 40-something women I talk to feel stronger sexier and more powerful in their body than they did in their twenties, even with loss of perkiness. This one Debbie does right. She works out hard and enjoys doing it, as does her husband Pete. You can stay in shape in your forties and it’s a lot easier if you find “your thing”.

The 3rd point about turning 40 …don’t think a list is going to change your life. When Debbie and Paul decide to make a do better list — it was all about don’ts!  Just go ahead and enjoy that cupcake every now and then.

Net net

Yes you do keep facing periods of change and reaffirming some decisions and opening up a space to make new decisions. But it does get easier in some ways because you know that there is another side.

It’s hard to fit life into our life plans. But how much more interesting not to know exactly what is going to happen next!   We are constantly comparing where we are with where we thought we would be. That is the quarter or mid-life crisis tension.  But what happens is that you re-align your dreams with your decisions and it opens up the opportunity for new dreams. Consider every 10 years a chance to reinvent yourself.


For more 40:20 Vision today — find out how 40:20 Vision started and check out my interview on BlackBookMag! 




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