Why I Love Being 40

Next to marrying my husband, turning 40 was the best thing I ever did.  Unlike many women I know, I am not shy to share that eight months ago I arrived at what I consider a huge milestone in my life.

Maybe I cherish this age because I wasn’t always sure I would get this far in life.  You see by the time I was 16 I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease and informed I could not live without medication, which I proceeded to eliminate from my life by the time I was 22, just after narrowly escaping death in a serious car accident.  I didn’t escape injury (I suffered a head injury, spinal cord injury, partial paralysis that was less than a millimeter of nerve damage away from being paraplegia and more).  But I lived.  That seemed to be a shock to everyone who witnessed the accident and the paramedics that attended to me as well.  It was a shock to me too.  But this is not the story of illness and injury.

Mine is a story of triumph.  While I’d love to say it is a story of grace under pressure, it was more like triumph with a whole lot of kicking and screaming madness along the way.  What I wanted more than anything else was to be normal:  not bedridden when I was 19 and not suffering endless and excruciating pain at 21.  Those things that most people wanted out of—school and work—I desperately sought.

I realized that if I wanted normalcy in the form of an education or job I would have to find abnormal routes to it.  I found no relief from either pain or illness through the Western medical route so I sought health through the traditional medicines of indigenous people, through Eastern methods, and discovering a closer connection with the land and Nature.  I loved these approaches and, more than that, I loved the results.  Somewhere along the search for self-healing I discovered a passion for natural medicine.

I wish I could tell you that I cured the genetic disease and never suffer a single pain in my body, but that isn’t the case.  What I can tell you is that countless medical doctors told me I shouldn’t be alive.  I can tell you that I have recovered almost all of the function that was previously lost to partial paralysis.  I can also share that I have only a fraction of the pain I once had thanks to natural medicine.

I can also tell you that I love being 40.  I laughingly tell people that I love how much better it feels to have health that IMPROVES with age, instead of the other way around.  But the health improvements I have are not the only reason I love midlife.  I love having so much more confidence than I did when I was in my twenties and even thirties.  I feel stronger, wiser, and more confident of who I am.  I love not caring so much whether people like me.  I love not having the worst problem in my life being whether my body measures up to some ridiculous number, measurement or standard.


I love having arrived at many of the career aspirations I had since childhood.  Suddenly I awoke one day after years of effort to the realization that all those things I wanted to do I’m actually doing.

Along my journey, I saw an interview on television of a man who was also injured in a car accident.  He said something like:  “before the accident I could do 10,000 things. Now I can do 3,000 things.  I could waste my time worrying about the 7,000 things I can’t do or I can really enjoy the 3,000 things I still can do.”  That was an “a-ha” moment for me.

I still can’t do some of the physical activities I once could but I can prepare a delicious meal and savor every bite knowing it has tremendous healing properties for my body.

I can sit at my computer, tell stories or share knowledge that I acquired along the path to my four decades.  I receive feedback on a regular basis that the snippets I share have helped someone somewhere along his or her journey through life.  And that means the world to me.

I can go for walks with the love of my life, who I know didn’t choose me as his life partner for a “hot bod” I may never possess or some equally shallow reason but who stood by me, and sometimes carried me, through the most difficult times in my life because I seemed to have the combination of personality traits that he loved and that he wanted to be with me.

And I can appreciate the miracle of life, of learning and of just being.  When I discover some new information about the healing power of a plant or a food and I experience the symptom relief or deeper healing it shares, I can truly appreciate the miracle of the Universe that has just been imparted with me.  And I can stand in awe at the miracles, small or large that I am witness to, or a part of, every day.  And I know that I am only 40 so I likely have many more years left to enjoy all these things that make my heart sing and many more.


Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.



Rustam Jekson
Rustam Jekson5 years ago

Very positive

Ostromir Bessalov

Thanks for posting.

Sonya Armenia Redfield

Thank you !

Jennah F.
Jennah F6 years ago

I enjoyed reading this inspirational article and also the comments!

Luisa Barr
Luisa B6 years ago

Being 40 its ok no big deal about that. And if ur lucky u ll turn 50 and if u have more luck ull turn 70. That is life nobody comes to this world to "grow young" except for Benjamin Button lol

Dawn E.
Dawn E6 years ago

Such an inspiring story! I can relate to this in so many ways. I just turned 40 as well, and like Michelle, I almost didn't make it. I've worked hard to make each day better than the day before, and can enjoy 40 with the knowledge that I'm the healthiest and happiest I've ever been. Congratulations on your success, Michelle! Happy Birthday!

Ram Reddy
Care member6 years ago


Pandute A P
Pandute AP6 years ago

what about 40 ?

Tanya W.
Tanya W6 years ago

Embrace your age and try to be your best every day and be grateful for life and the lessons it has to offer!!! No excuses - just live!!!

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M6 years ago

I loved being 40 and I loved being 30 but 40 was even better. as every decade presents to you, you just grow, change and evolve.