There was an article published recently in The Telegraph called “The Secret Life of 40 year olds” which has been quite controversial.   In the piece, columnist Sali Hughes refers to a documentary called “The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds”, and lists a few key points about turning 40 that she believes should be included if they were to make the same documentary for middle aged women.

Here are some of the key points Hughes shares:

“We say no to all manner of things that we might previously have accepted.”

“This includes any social engagement that requires standing up for extended periods,” Hughes explains.

“We want fewer, but better, friends.”

“I simply don’t have the time to spend on crazies (a madness score of up to 7/10 is within normal range), untrustworthy gossips or joy-sappers,” she quips.


The Secret Life of 40 year olds

“We can say sorry.”

“I am able to say I made a mistake. I make hundreds. I know I’m often wrong about things and I’m happy to say so because the belligerent are completely unbearable company.”

“Fashion becomes complicated.”

Hughes admits that she has, “for the first time in my life, stopped to consider the concept of “mutton dressed as lamb”  I don’t yet act on it, but do occasionally catch myself in three clashing prints…  I carry ballet flats in my handbag, along with Swiss Army knife, safety pin and three packs of antibac wipes. I wash my tights in a hosiery bag and refuse to buy anything that needs dry cleaning or even ironing”.


The Secret Life of 40 year olds

“Aches and pains become A Thing.”

Hughes says, “every time I move my neck or wrist after a period of inactivity, I hear the sound of someone gently palpating a bag of nachos. Noisier still is the entirely needless grunt I expel as I hoist myself from a chair after dinner. I now need reading specs which I clean by leaning over an open dishwasher door and waiting for them to cloud up.”

“We won’t entertain any holiday accommodation that’s less nice than where we live.”

“I’m old enough to know and accept that Dubai is not for me, and am cheery in the knowledge that I will never go skiing anywhere. Otherwise, any week off in which I laugh, eat and watch films somewhere lovely with my partner, constitutes the holiday of a lifetime,” says Hughes.
The Secret Life of 40 year olds

“Looks still matter.”

“I am broadly disbelieving of those who claim not to give a damn about their changing face and body as they enter their forties. I’m not thrilled that my eyelids are hooding slightly and I definitely do care that I’m a whole dress size bigger. Just not enough to get surgery, take up yoga and pretend that shredded courgettes are any kind of substitute for spaghetti.”
The Secret Life of 40 year olds

Lissa & I in a couple of years!

The article is very funny, and it pains me to admit that I pretty much relate to every point mentioned.   A lot of women over 40 vehemently disagree with the points raised – what do you think?