“Life really does begin at 40. Up until then, you are just doing research.” – Carl Jung
As the “generations” evolve, so does the experience of “growing up.” For example, the “Greatest Generation” had it different than the “Baby Boomers”, who (certainly) have experienced life differently than millennials. No offense, young ones. Generational differences aside, the accumulation of “life knowledge”– at least to an extent – depends on involuntary factors (e.g. sex and type of upbringing). In creating this list, we’ve taken these things into account.
Are there things that everyone “should know” by age 40?
This question is very subjective. 40 years is a long time (at least in human years), and many of us have very likely gained life experiences and knowledge that are applicable to other 40-somethings.
In other words, it is highly probable that many in this demographic have a shared understanding – at least at a basic level – of “how the world works.” So, we’re going to list 40 things everyone ‘should’ know by age 40? Why 40 things? We’ll let you try and figure that one out.
It is important to understand that this article, as with many we publish, are intended to be fun, humorous…and, maybe, a bit insightful. Some of these may apply to you, some (most likely) will not.
We just want you to have fun, laugh a bit, and maybe (maybe) take away something else.
Anyways…here are those 40 things/experiences/lessons:
1. Weekend benders are ALWAYS a bad idea
2. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep
3. One’s “career path” can include multiple forks in the road
4. Having your own den/mancave/hideout is irreplaceable
5. Your social circle has become smaller and smaller – and for the better
6. A night alone or with a significant other beats “hitting the town” almost every time
7. You’ve had at least one great love that took some time to get over
8. To have kids or to not have kids? Odds are, you know the answer by now
9. To have a pet or not have a pet? Same thing…it’s either your “thing” or not
10. You’ve experienced at least one tragedy, unfortunately
11. You’ve ate something completely strange…and now love it
12. You’ve fought for something bigger than yourself…by donating money, giving time, etc.
13. Singing karaoke is enough to induce a panic attack if sober
14. Singing karaoke can be a blast (or at least tolerable) when you’ve “had a few”
15. Fashion sense matters as much as the color of your toilet’s lid
16. You’ve (hopefully) realized the inevitability of death – and seek to live to the fullest
17. If you’re not a “people person,” you’ll (probably) never be one
18. Fatty foods seem to have an immediate bloating effect
19. Exercise is a wonderful antidote to just about anything
20. A good read is a wonderful antidote to just about anything
21. The word “success” takes on much, much less meaning
22. Intimacy (i.e. “sex life”) is wonderful in moderation…and when you’re in love
23. The youngsters look to you for advice more often – for better or worse
24. Dancing is either (a) completely acceptable (you can dance), or (b) completely off limits (just, no)
25. 99 percent of the stuff learned in college is not – and never will be – an important part of your life
26. Slippers, a robe, a cardigan – you either own one of these…and/or you enjoy crossword puzzles
27. Marijuana (aka, “pot”)…you either enjoy the occasional hit, or you absolutely refuse
28. Your internal bull**** meter has been finely-tuned, or at least received a tune-up
29. Talking to people on the phone is limited to (a) co-workers or (b) family – about 99 percent of the time
30. Being “uninvited” to something can feel really, really good
31. Formal work events almost always suck
32. Playing videogames, computer games, and/or other games are still really fun…or not
33. Not having “a plan” has been totally worth it…or the “plan” has yielded a good life
34. Incoming phone calls, e-mails, and other communications are looked upon with disdain
35. Taking the time to learn something new is almost always stoked by passion, not persuasion
36. Arguing with someone is: (a) pointless, (b) a waste of energy, and (c) “isn’t my favorite show on right now?”
37. You’ve either wished to travel the world, don’t care, or have obtained a passport
38. Come to realize that hangovers are both miserable and completely avoidable
39. The “Snooze” button looks really, really good from Monday through Friday…maybe even Saturday and Sunday…
40. Realized that 40 is still young…and you’ve got plenty left in the tank – and you’re grateful for that.
How about you, dear reader, can you identify with any of these 40 “things you should know by age 40?”
We’d love to hear your feedback!