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Reaching 40 - not sure how to deal with it?

Community Member

I am reaching 39 in a couple of months, and not a day goes by without obsessively thinking about reaching the big "4". I feel like I'm wholly unprepared and not mentally ready to be reaching what I consider to be nearing my sunset years.

I spent the good part of my 30s navigating a very stressful and difficult life. At 39, I feel the last 4-5 years have flashed by without me noticing it, and I'm feeling very unprepared about the other aspects of my life. I have no kids and my wife doesn't seem keen, but I'm worried about loneliness and isolation at old age. But at the same time I'm not sure I have the emotional maturity nor the tenacity to raise a good kid. I still spend 1-2 hours playing mobile games everyday at 39 years old. I consider myself to be a fairly sensible person - i live a frugal life, I save and invest most of my income regularly, and I always put my work above playing video games, and my work performance has been excellent.

Hoping to hear experiences of others who have transitioned through this stage or am also dealing with the same anxieties now. How did you cope with it? If you're already in your forties - looking back, what would you have done differently?

5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hey I'm 38 turning 39 in a few months myself...can I just say I am going through exact same thing. All I want to do here is give you two things that get me through my day...


Firstly plan ahead. Project yourself and picture the perfect place you want to be in, where you want to be at in life. The things you want. Then like anything else from there the steps are easy. There is dating over 40. You can get fit excerise, meet new people make new friends. There is work to do we both know those bills will never going away. Point is the productivity will show you are working towards towards your goals that you deserve them and it's never ever too late to achieve them. There is life over 40 my friend the best is yet to come and you have plenty. Repeat plenty of time left. Just understand each day is a gift and from here don't waste them. Remember hard work will bring you good luck.

Secondly that old line is so true the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. A lot of people when they are older why did I waste my time worrying about the little things. It didn't make a difference in the end. Spending all those late nights and time worrying about the little things that didn't even matter in the end.

Just be the best version of you there can be and leave the rest to fate. Earn your sleep everyday and make sure there's no regrets at the end of each day when you close your eyes.

Community Member

Hi Daniel,

I have recently turned 39 and often think about turning 40. I have not been dreading it so much lately which has been good. I have been doing a couple of new things for the last couple of months. I have been keeping a journal of what I have gratitude for that I have achieved that day, it can be a small list that could include: helping someone or exercising, completing a task, etc (with the specifics included). This helps me to feel like I am accounting for time more, time doesn't seem to be rushing by as much and it helps me feel more mentally prepared for the future as I recognise more what I have achieved in the past which makes me feel I am more capable of dealing with what comes up in the future. Maybe you could try it.

I'm sorry to hear that you want kids but your wife isn't keen. That is a difficult situation to be in. If you are particularly worried about isolation or loneliness regarding this, I wonder if you have any neices or nephews living locally that you could develop a stronger connection with perhaps even through chatting and video/mobile games?

I won't suggest joining a group as it isn't really my thing and when I have tried it, it hasn't worked in the past, but maybe you are different.

Do you have close friends that you could catch up with more often to strengthen your friendship and make it so they are more likely to be there in your golden years?

Also I hope you aren't being hard on yourself for playing games 1-2 hours a day, everyone needs their down time. I used to be someone who didn't let themselves have any down time and it certainly wasn't good for me.

You have said that you aren't sure you have emotionally maturity or tenacity however your work performance, frugality and asking for help on this forum, shows that you do have these characteristics.

Hope the above might help.

That Other Guy
Community Member

I went through this at 29. I had two kids by then, you mention kids, does that mean deep down you want kids? It's perfectly fine for some people to decide not to have kids, but I noticed you highlighted it.

So yeah, I was super depressed going in to 30. I changed my career completely and was just very morose about it all. Now that I am 53, I look back on it all and figure it was just a moment of growth. I do the same things at 53 that I did at 29, I go to concerts, and push my way to the front, I go out with my friends, I live the same life. Society tells us age is a big deal. You have a certain number of years on this earth and you are alive for ALL of them. 40 doesn't mean anything, you've just been told it does. You clearly have a wife that loves you, you make enough money to save some of it, you have things you enjoy in your life. You're allowed to play video games if it makes you happy. Ignore the nonsense society pushes on to you, and live your life the way you want to.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Daniel_83,

I have long past turning 40 by over 20 years...

To me age is only a number...Please believe me, that when you do turn 40/50/60 or whatever age...The day of your birthday should be a special day....a day to celebrate your life and then to enjoy every day that we are privileged to be alive...

As I said earlier I’m a lot older then you...and I play internet games through the day...there is nothing wrong with doing something that you enjoy....I used to feel guilt about playing them....not any more though...it doesn’t hurt anyone...it gives our mind a break from everyday hassles...and it makes us feel happy....Their is no age limit to playing internet games...

I’m sorry, that your wife doesn’t seem keen to have any children....is that something that you can have a talk about?..

I have children, they live around 6/7 hours drive away...and I still feel lonely...as they now have their own family....I think that having a passion you like to do...and when you have retired..then go forward into your passion and enjoy it..

I wish you all the happiness I can for you...to enjoy each day..

My kindest thoughts with my care dear Daniel..


Hi Grandy. This is also true, your kids grow up and leave, the same is happening to me right now, one lives apart but we see each other, the other lives with me but barely talks to me. They have their own lives to live. It's not like they are doing anything wrong.