40 Things I Learned When I Turned 40

Reality check…I’m old but it’s okay.

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It’s been two months and three weeks since I turned 40. Unlike the years past that I was away and celebrated it at the beach, I did absolutely nothing and just stayed home and lie in bed while my dog and I watched whatever we can watch on Netflix. It was okay though; I didn’t mind at all. That’s one thing that I realized while I was getting older, that when things don’t go as planned, I don’t get too upset anymore. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself; here are my realizations in life as I land in this milestone of a number and see which ones you can relate to.

This was how I spent my 40th birthday

40 is just a number but your body sure does feel it. That backache can be such a killer. Standing too long, sitting or lying down in a wrong position, or over using it in your workout would cause it. It’s there, it really makes its presence known.

You only need a handful of true, accepting friends who know you inside and out. It’s easier to weed out people in your life as you get older. It’s the quality not the quantity. These friends you keep, even though you don’t see each other that often, when you do, you always pick up from where you left off.

Comfort is very important; it’s not to be compromised.

It’s going to be difficult to think of what to cook at a daily basis. Lately, I’ll always have this feeling that I’ve eaten the same food over and over. Feeling ko parang nakailang kain na ako ng Tinola sa isang buwan pero ang totoo isang beses lang. Alam mo yun?


You try to be healthier but find it difficult to be consistent with your workout and proper diet. Your relationship with your body will always be erratic.

Love and hate relationship with working out

Sex is good especially when your partner also thinks about satisfying you rather than just being a selfish prick who thinks only with his dick. If he’s being selfish, ladies, go treat yourself and buy a Satisfyer Pro 2. You’re welcome!

You can’t be pressured to get married or have a baby. 

You’re never too old to seek help especially if it concerns your mental health. Having a healthy body is one thing but having a stable mental health is another. I decided to go to a psychologist when I turned 40 and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.


Learn to let go of people who have hurt you and made you feel difficult to love even though you still care for them. Making them stay will not do you any good in the long run. Their time in your life is done, let them leave if they want to.

Being your own boss is scary but it’s a challenge that I enjoy taking on. I should have done this earlier because it would have saved me a lot from physical stress. Commuting now sucks!


You don’t need to be everywhere that people are. It’s okay not to go to that gathering; it’s fine not to be invited to that party. Enjoy that valuable “me time“ at home.

As you get older, so does your parents, relatives, and friends. So many have died and you’ll hear about more funerals now than weddings. Spend time with those who matter and less time with those who don’t.

Most important woman in my life is my nanay. Wishing for more time spent with her next year and the coming years

As much as you want to meet up with your friends, it would take some time to make that happen because of so many reasons. You’ll learn how to be understanding of this situation because you also have your own priorities in life now, plus, there’s always a good TV series that you can watch when lunches or dinners don’t pan out.


How to have huge savings in your bank account? I’m still trying to figure that one out because I know that it’s really important to be financially stable and to have money saved up for your future. If there’s anything that I regret is not working on this at an earlier age. I need a time machine specifically for this.

Glasses will be your friend. I’ve had poor eyesight since high school but was still able to manage not using my glasses regularly until I turned 40. Now, I have invested on progressive lenses and using them is integral.

I can see clearly now

You won’t be a fan of crowded places especially in the mall with noisy kids. Nakaka-tita sha, I swear!

You’ll have a newly found love with your house. It’s the best place in the world. There’s nothing compares to lying on your own bed and using your own bathroom. If there’s one place that can beat this kind of comfort it would have to be in a 5-star hotel room that’s been paid for by someone else.


While doing my annual room cleaning

The saying “choose your battles because sometimes peace is better than being right” you’ll find yourself practicing often because some people and instances are not worth the hassle, energy, and your time.

When you travel, adventure would be secondary to relaxation. You won’t find it a waste if you don’t leave your room to wander off. Sometimes, the aircon, comfy bed, cable TV, and room service are friends.


Relax, you don’t need to be out all the time

You’ll be extra forgetful. You’ll forget names, dates (that’s been really tricky from the start), and even what you need to get from the fridge. I’m not sure if there’s anything that you can do about that though…extra focus, I guess?

You’ll have less tolerance with a lot of things— horrible music, toxic friends, fucked up government, long lines, horrendous traffic, and bad movies and TV series.


Sleep is a blessing. It becomes very important. It’s good enough reason to leave a party early and your friends will immediately understand where you’re coming from.

This might not be experienced by a lot of people my age but I find it easier and more apt to dress simpler now; more neutrals than colorful pieces. Hence my fondness of brands like Uniqlo, Cotton On, H&M, etc. because their pieces are easy to mix and match.

I love Uniqlo

Moisturizers and sunscreen are godsend. Even though having a skin routine gets a bit tedious, you make a conscious effort to go about it anyway.


Your faith in God gets erratic but for sure He is your constant. Just like in a father-daughter relationship, you sometimes don’t listen to Him but seeks His guidance. He’ll continuously loves you though.

Hangovers are more difficult to deal with now as compared to years ago. It’s so difficult that it made me stop drinking. It’s like punishing yourself for days. I never liked the taste of beer anyway. Wine though, that’s a game changer right there.


You’d be okay not to be liked. I had been guilty of feeling bad whenever I’d feel like I’ve been unfriended but as you get older, you don’t get affected by this as much. You’ll learn to accept that it might be better off that way because either your beliefs don’t match theirs or it’s as simple as you’ve outgrown each other. Just wish them well and go on with your life.

You’d get used to being called “tita”, “ate”, “ma’am”, or sometimes “mommy” by strangers. It’s a difficult thing to take in at first but it’ll ease in eventually.

It gets easier to forgive yourself from the mistakes you’ve made. It’s part of your healing process.


You will never be to old to learn new things that you’re intellectually and physically capable of absorbing.

Smoking is bad. Quit while your young.

You’d learn how to wake up grateful and fight another day. Strive to always be productive but don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get to finish everything on your checklist.

I’m happy that I have traveled and still would like to travel. Even though I get more impatient now inside a bus, I’d still love to go to the beach or a place that I know that I’d have a relaxing time. I still haven’t lost that mindset of looking forward to my destination when traveling.

Surfing on my birthday in La Union
Downing a milk tea at Chatuchak
The beach is my happy place

A good stretch is always nice.

That double chin and muffin top are so difficult to eradicate. They’re like you…very stubborn.


Checklists are necessary for the following—groceries and productivity.

It appears like you don’t have enough underwear and bras. The temptation to buy new ones monthly is always strong.

You always try to be organized but fail most of the time. The key word here is “try.”

You’ll realize that taking the time to think about all your “what ifs” is just a waste. It will just start a pity party and that’s eternally not a good look. Live and start doing what you think would benefit you without hurting anyone in the process.


You’ll learn that happiness can be found within yourself or by your own doing. You don’t need to rely on someone else to be happy. Being jealous of someone’s fortune and joy won’t give you any satisfaction either. Live your life without having to compare it with anyone, but if you have to, use it for motivation rather than feeling sorry for yourself.

Thank you, 2019. Hello, 2020

I’ve never been more unsure of my life but I’m in my happiest. I do worry about things from time to time but I do not dwell on them so much. This coming year, I still have a lot that I would want to accomplish like making sure that I’m healthy, that I have money in the bank, keep my creative juices flowing, travel, and take care of those who love me. I’m grateful and truly thankful for my 40 years of existence and praying to have a few more blessed years on Earth.

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