Life changes when you turn 40. The back-aches start in earnest, you have to really start watching what you eat, and you’re more interested in watching the weather forecast than the actual news. But what do I know? I’m not even 30 yet and I think that life’s going to be as awesome in the future as it is now! No aches or secret maladies for me, no siree!
However, internet users that are 40+ have been sharing memes about what it’s like in the fifth decade of life on Earth, and it all seems funny and scary at the same time. Bored Panda has collected the funniest memes for you to nod off to (or laugh at and upvote if you’re still young and free like me!). Don’t worry, it’s all done with good intentions and it’s a bit of harmless fun. After all, in just a few short years, we’ll all be intimately familiar with these memes firsthand.
Bored Panda spoke about how much truth there is in these memes with comedy writer, musical stand-up comedian, and pop star in waiting, Ariane Sherine, who turned 40 last summer. Be sure to read on for my full hilarious and candid interview with her. [Spoiler Warning: yup, it’s just like we feared!]
As someone who’s rapidly approaching their 30th birthday, writing about being a 40-year-old sounds a bit like poking fun at people while hiding my own head in the sand. But, honestly, it’s all done for the sake of humor (and, well, getting ready for those backaches)! We could all use a laugh or two after the eternal emotional hangover that was last year.
London-based comedian Ariane, who is turning 41 this July and has already started the exciting journey into the vast wilds of her 40s, openly spoke to Bored Panda about what it’s like compared to life earlier.
“I'm sorry to tell you that it's all over after 40! Enjoy your next ten years before you suddenly notice that your back hurts, you're slightly obsessed with the Weather app on your phone, you feel very grateful for your garden shed, get super-interested in plants, and 9 pm seems like a late bedtime. The worrying thing is, I'm not even joking.” Ariane shared that moving into your 40s is exactly like the memes tell us. There’s very little hyperbole there!
I was curious to find out how we can all age with dignity and grace, as we move through life, even if we seemingly haven’t yet accomplished all the goals we’ve set for ourselves and still aren’t living our dream lives.
“Dignity and grace are overrated,” comedian Ariane said. “I'm still planning to be famous around the world—you can cite this quote next year when I become a pop superstar!” And I fully believe that this will happen.
In the comedian’s opinion, age absolutely should not be a barrier to success, whatever line of activity you pursue. However, one thing that you should bring along into your 40s and beyond is the ability to laugh and laugh hard. “A sense of humor also helps with everything in life. Learn to laugh at yourself and the world—it makes everything a lot easier and more fun.” So keep on laughing. During the easy times and especially the hard ones.
Finally, I asked Ariane for advice for those of us who might be a long way away from 40, but absolutely trembling in our boots at the thought of hitting the Big 3-0. However, the comedian pointed out that there’s nothing to be afraid of and, in fact, life gets way better than in your 20s.
“You're terrified about turning 30? 30 is the best bit! Your 30s are the decade when you have more experience and knowledge, but you still have the energy to get out of bed. Your body doesn't ache and the pillows and duvet don't beckon you in the early evening. Embrace the next ten years before everything goes south!”
Turning 40 is a big deal, however much we might talk about 40 being the new 30 (and 30 being the new 20, as well as 67 being the new 53). Family medicine specialist Deb Schilling puts it bluntly that it’s the period where we’re not feeling quite old yet, but we aren’t quite young anymore, either.
“While she may still feel young, her body is beginning to reject what was once considered normal which is due primarily to hormonal fluctuations. Women begin to experience unintentional weight gain despite no dramatic change in eating habits or exercise. Clothes don’t quite fit the same as they used to even though the scale reads the same. They may feel testy and short, tired and annoyed. They find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Their periods may become irregular and different,” Schilling explains some of the changes that some experience in their 40s as their bodies change.
Meanwhile, BestLife points out that our bodies start feeling the wear and tear with age: our hair thins, our sight deteriorates, our eardrums weaken, and even our voice boxes undergo change. And the jokes about back problems aren’t actually jokes: doctor Erin Nance points out that there’s a higher risk of developing a “herniated lumbar disc.” However, rest, physical therapy, and even anti-inflammatory medication (with the right prescription, of course) can all help.
Note: this post originally had 52 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.
So, dear Pandas, which of these memes did you like the most? If you’re 40 or over, we’d love to hear from you and learn which ones you related to. Meanwhile, if you’re younger, let us know how you feel about getting older and if there’s an upcoming birthday that’s scaring the wits out of you.