By Rachel Hoeing

Last year I turned 41. I thought that after 40, it would all be downhill. I figured 40 was the age where you would admit you were “Over the Hill” and you would come to grips with the fact that you were “old.”

But honestly, 40 wasn’t all that difficult for me. For some reason, hitting 41 is what has thrown a bunch of reminders in my face to let me know that I am indeed getting older, older, and older.

I will embrace it and remind myself that I am also getting wiser, making more memories, and living my life the way I want to live it. But I can’t help to poke fun at myself for many instances that have happened lately. I thought many of you may be able to relate to the differences I have quickly discovered between my life now and my life 20 years ago …

The Difference Between 21 and 41

At age 21 when you go shopping with someone for wedding dresses they assume you are a sister or a friend.
At age 41 when you go shopping with someone for wedding dresses they assume you are the mother. (Even if it is your sister you are shopping with, who is only three years younger than you! But I’m not bitter at all.)

Age 21: “The band starts at 10pm! That isn’t even going to give us any time to pre-party!”
Age 41: “The band starts at 10pm? What if we just go for the opening act instead?”

At age 21 the bouncer checks your ID and you are thrilled because you are finally legal!
At age 41 the bouncer waves you through the line without batting an eye.

When you are 21 you use your TV time to watch MTV.
When you are 41 you use your TV time to watch Lifetime, Bravo and TV Land.

At age 21 you take aspirin the morning after going out dancing to get rid of the hangover.
At age 41 you take aspirin before you go out dancing because you know your knees and legs will be throbbing the next morning.

When you were 21 you never needed to schedule time to exercise because it just happened naturally by being active and living life!
When you are 41 you put exercise on your calendar every day and you end up actually making it to the gym twice per week.

At 21 you ask the DJ to turn the music up.
At 41 you leave clothing stores because the music is too loud.

When I was 21 I was at the party when the cops were called because we were too loud.
At 41 I am the one calling the cops.

At 21 you are grossed out if guys drive by and honk at you…perverts!
At 41 you you think, “Hell yeah, I still got it!”

When I was 21 I could ride roller coasters and thrill rides all day long.
At 41 I am too busy going through the mental list of all the ways I might die on that ride.

At 21 if you had a new dress you are trying to squeeze into, you ate salads for a few days.
At 41, you eat salads for a few months!

When you are 21 you can swing on the playset with kids you were babysitting all day.
When you are 41 you get dizzy after a few pumps and have to get off before you pass out or puke.

At age 21 you thought 40 was old.
At age 40 you think 80 is old.

At 21 you still argue with your parents about everything.
At 41 you understand that they were almost always right.

When I was 21 I couldn’t even image what life would be like with children.
At 41, I can’t image life without them.

Embrace aging gracefully and share your “getting older differences” below!