Mid-Life Crisis – Is Forty The New Twenty?

My eldest son was waiting in car pool line with me one day, when he asked me a very delicate question for any older mother.

“Mom, are you the oldest woman in America?”


Such a statement could trigger a mid-life crisis.  I forgot to teach him never to ask a lady her age.

Image courtesy of www.vintagerio.comImage Credit

I paused for a moment to catch my quivering breath, and to quickly glance in the mirror to examine the fine wrinkles beginning to appear around my eyes.

“No, love!” I replied.  “I think there are some ladies over 110, which makes me just a few years younger than the oldest woman in America and Ireland.”

Since I turned 40 a few years ago, and my son thinks I am the oldest woman in America, I suppose I should have a mid-life crisis.

Mid-life crisis - blue motorcycleImage Credit

Buying fast cars and motorcycles is the stereotypical display of male mid-life anxiety.  New sports are tried by many middle-aged men in a vain attempt to regain their lost, youthful, physical prowess, usually resulting in crazy injuries.

What do mother’s do to cope with mid-life, self-doubt, and the stress of realizing how fleeting mortality truly is?

Truth be told, I don’t have time to plan my crisis.  I think keeping up with four children, aged seven and under, is proof enough I am still young.

FireworksImage Credit

I remember when I was a kid, thinking how old I would be in the year 2000. The end of the millennium seemed like a monumental milestone when I was in my teens. The ripe old age of 35 seemed distinctly ancient. Never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I would be in Dallas, Texas at the time of the big event.  Now the epic occasion is nearly twelve years past and my vintage forties do not feel so old after all.

My grandmother announced she felt like a recycled teenager on the occasion of her 80th birthday. She is my hero. She never acted her age.

40th birthday - over the hillImage Credit

When my best friend turned forty I took great care deciding what to write on her card. Eventually I settled on the words of wisdom:

“Forty is the new twenty.”


I was ever so proud of myself. When she opened her carefully chosen card, she burst out laughing. In my haste, I had coined a new phrase:

“Forty is the new forty.”


My poor brain has never been the same since it drowned in a triple dose of pregnancy hormones.

Welcome to the fabulous fortiesImage Credit

Truth be told, age is just a number.  So what, if forty is still forty and fifty is still fifty. Who cares?

I may be facing my mid-life years, but I am happy. Right now, I am at a great place in my life. I have a great family, love my life, and every year gets better and better.

Mid-life crisis ? ?


Who’s got time for that ? ? ?


Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom



  1. Such a funny and priceless question from your son. You’ll definitely never forget that! :) Loved hearing your grandma’s thoughts on how she felt on her 80th. Go, Grandma! :)

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