Claire Goodall’s Guest List: What No One Told You About Turning 40


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I turned 35 in February and my sister text me saying “heading towards 40 now Clem!”, which I thought felt a bit harsh. I haven’t got a problem with turning 40. But I’m not keen to wish my life away. That said, I am intrigued to know what I might expect from the next chapter. Here Claire Goodall tells all:

  •  You ache, even if you work out regularly; attend boot camp; lift weights; run; do yoga – your body aches, and you bend down to pick things up in a really odd way.

  • Said exercise will open you up to a great gang of people, similarly minded, and all with pelvic floor issues – which will be discussed with abandon.

  • Your teeth become sticky.  You need a permanent hand mirror and your own set of toothpicks with you at all times. EVERY morsel sticks to your teeth.

  • You like subtitles, not just on your favourite Scandi drama, but on BBC, Netflix and Amazon Prime (no hearing problem here).

  • You love Zoflora and stock pile it, from Poundland and Savers, cleaning, air freshening and general splashing around the loo, or anyone in the way.

  • If you aren’t yet into gardening, this is the decade it will hit.  You will be able to name plants and flowers and will say things like “we need the rain”.

  • You will become invisible to those under 30. You will seem insignificant … little do they know that you are more of a power house than ever before.

  • 2 glasses of wine will have the same effects as a bottle used to and will stain those sticky teeth immediately.

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    Who doesn’t love a bit of @Mutha.Hood

  • You become a detective as your tv viewing is dominated by Vera, Broadchurch, Line of Duty, Hinterland and any Scandi crime which you also love because you have to stop and watch the subtitles and not scroll through social media.

  • If you are parenting children under 11, they will exhaust you with their need for fresh air: cycling, rugby, football, frisbee.

  • Once your children hit senior school you will be exhausted by having to drag them out into the fresh air so that they are not in front of screens all of the time.

  • Caroline Hiron becomes your all time favourite woman, ever as things happen to your skin that you have never suffered with – acne, cystic acne, rosacea etc.

  • You don’t pick at the children’s leftovers anymore, you save them in a bowl for lunch the next day – genuinely.

  • Your teen children will relentlessly take the mickey out of you about any slip of the tongue. They will also think they have created coolness until you say “we used to do that”.

  • Your children know that if they come to you with any ailment, you will say “have a glass of water”.

  • You will be a part of the ‘sandwich generation’ looking after children and parents (they don’t mix, their needs are too diverse and they can’t tolerate each other for more than an hour.)

  • The primary school playground holds no interest at all; however senior school seems very interesting if only they’d let you in.

  • Education will shock you. You will say to primary school pupils “I’m sure I didn’t learn what an adverbial phrase was until senior school”; to teens you will say “I didn’t learn that for my GCSE’s, it’s new” – truth being you never ever learnt it, even if you did A Level maths …. it’s all newly created and I don’t know by whom.

  • You will introduce your teens to Friends re-runs (also Gavin and Stacey, Friday Night Dinner and Fawlty Towers) they, in turn, will introduce you to Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad (genuinely).

  • You will tell everyone with worries about their babies (breastfeeding, dummies, potty training etc.) that no one will ever ask their precious bundle of joy about whether they were breastfed, had a dummy, when they stopped wearing nappies.  You will say “just do what is best and don’t take any notice of anyone who seems critical”.

  • Finally, once you have teenagers, you will realise that anything that went before was a bloody breeze. Gin helps (in moderation obviously, because you can’t show a teen that alcohol is good).

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    School Holidays with Teenagers…

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  • Reply Cara July 25, 2017 at 8:08 am

    So true! Especially have a glass of water… I thought that was just a Scottish solution to all ailments 😉

  • Reply Sean Mahan August 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    You will become invisible to those under 30 – that’s something I’d never really thought about and it makes sense now… it’s kinda mind-blowing. I guess it’s ok if you’re an introvert ;P

  • Reply Now That’s What I Call A List 2017 – Mother of all Lists December 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm


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