So This Is 40

So, I’m standing in the checkout line at Jewel and the cashier, the bagger in my lane and the bagger in the lane next to mine are ranking cereals. There conversation goes something like this:

High school Cashier Girl: Captain crunch should be illegal, it literally tears your mouth to pieces

High School Bagger Boy 1: Agreed but who is even talking about geriatric captain crunch, it’s all about cinnamon toast crunch, that cereal slaps

High school Bagger Boy 2: Okay brah I think we can all agree nothing is better than Frosted Flakes 

High school Cashier Girl: Actually, Frost Flakes is like so old, Krave is the best cereal and it isn’t from the 1900’s.

High School Bagger Boy 1: Right right Krave is awesome, but like I completely hate Raisin Bran, who even buys that cereal.

This is when I forget I am a 40 year old mother of teenagers and say:

40 year old mother of teenagers: Raisin Bran is a classic, you’re crazy. Don’t knock the sun shiny cereal until you try it, although I agree captain crunch is straight trash and cinnamon toast crunch definitely slaps.

(if this was a movie insert record scratch and confused looks here)

High school Cashier Girl: Uhm, Thank you ma’am. Do you need help out with your groceries?

My cheeks flamed red and it was a moment where you feel possessed and thought; how did I let those words escape from my mouth? Also this completely awkward moment was not me trying to fit in or trying to be the weirdo adult trying to hang out with teenagers, but was fully pulled into this conversation about cereal and forgot I was too old to comment. 

So, I push my groceries out to the car and just thought to myself, “so this is 40” I’m no longer allowed to use trendy words or speak with anyone under the age of 30 that isn’t my family.

I sat in my car and I pulled my review mirror down and looked at myself and gave myself a little pep talk. I said, “bitch, don’t let those kids make you feel bad. Who gives a fuck what they think, just be you and thats it.” That is the one thing I want to carry with me into this new chapter of my life. I feel like in my 20’s I was worried about what EVERYONE else thought of me, and I was trying to figure out who I was. In my 30’s I thought okay, I feel like I know who I am, but I still wanted to make everyone happy to make everyone like me, and that is exhausting. In my 40’s I just want to stop worrying about everyone else’s opinions and just be happy with who is looking back at me in my rear view mirror.

It doesn’t matter your age, you could be older than me or younger, but hopefully you feel that way too! Live crazy, beautiful, messy life for yourself – don’t live it for anyone else, and Fuck anyone, including dumbass high school grocery workers that make you feel less than the amazing person you are.


Colleen Lieberstein

Colleen Lieberstein, Executive Administrative Assistant, is the heartbeat at two award winning and fastest growing companies in the Chicagoland area. She lives in New Lenox with her two energetic kids, and her supportive husband. Colleen loves to read, play with her children, and go on adventures with her family. Exploring new places and eating new foods is the best.

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