Lordy lordy, look who’s (turning) 40. Where has all the time gone?
Four whole decades of a life you have made for yourself, and though it may feel like this age is a reason to completely freak out, it's a milestone in a story that, in many ways, is just getting started. It is the age when your life experiences finally pay off—most likely, you’re better at making wise decisions and feel more confident in your own skin. And it’s only going up from here…
40 is going to be your year.
Perhaps you feel like you’re reaching that awkward gap between your youth and your elder years. You are young enough to understand social media and may even be a tech wiz, but you are also old enough to remember what life was like without your cell phone. Some of your co-workers may be young enough to be your children and you probably have begun a sentence with “When I was your age…” at least once. But the truth is, this may just be the best decade of your life if you embrace it with open arms and an open mind.
Hear me out. I promise, there is a silver hair, I mean silver lining, to your 40th birthday and here it is:
Of course, this may not look the same for everyone, but maybe your 20s was the time you spent working hard (and partying hard. Your 30s? Perhaps that was when all of your goals were met and everything began to fall into place. And now, your 40s is your time to shine. These next few years are all about you doing what you want, accomplishing things you’ve had on your to-do list for quite some time, and enjoying everything you’ve worked to achieve.
What to Say to Someone Who is Turning 40?
If you are reading this, you are either turning 40 (and trying your best to embrace it) or someone you love is approaching this special birthday and you want to make sure that the 40th birthday message you share with her is perfect.
Whether she is your family, best friend, or the love of your love, you want to make sure she feels her best on her birthday. What you say in your 40th birthday wish to her will depend on your relationship. Maybe you can make her laugh, make her feel empowered, or help her forget how old she is turning. The bottom line is, you should make her feel special and loved. Take this opportunity to inspire her to celebrate this birthday wholeheartedly, and soak in the joy her forties will bring.
We have collected 104 of the best and most meaningful 40th birthday messages to share with the birthday girl to commemorate her milestone celebration...
Remind Her She Doesn't Have to Grow Up Yet
As each birthday rolls around, we can either try our best to run from aging or take advantage of a whole day to celebrate ourselves. We often spend too much time worrying about how old we are turning and where all the time has gone, rather than enjoying the present. After all, it is the greatest gift. There is so much happiness held in a new year, so many memories to be made, fun to be had, and life to be lived. Maybe she can’t party like she could 20 years ago, she probably would much rather have a quiet night in with a few good friends and a nice glass of wine. Maybe she isn't a spring chicken anymore, but she shouldn’t be acting like she has one foot in the door of the nursing home! She has to show her age on the outside if she wants to. There’s no ticking clock on her youth, as she can hold a youthful heart forever if she wants.
Be sure to remind the birthday girl that this is a day of celebration rather than consistent cringing, with these special 40th birthday wishes...
- “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” —Madeleine L’Engle
- “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” —George Burns
- “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” —Jackie Joyner-Kersee
- “Age is a funny thing. Some people let it affect their lives and others only see it as a new opportunity to live more.”
- “The significance of this day is a celebration of your life, not the funeral of your youth.”
- “Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older.” —Louise Hay
- “Age is but a number that you don’t have to reflect on the outside.”
- “Life’s milestones are not supposed to be counted, they’re supposed to be celebrated.”
- “Wrinkles are tally marks of our birthdays. Here’s to another one!”
- “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” —Betty Friedan
- Stay young at heart and make time to play, even if your age makes you think otherwise.
- “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” —Henry David Thoreau
- “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” — Voltaire
- “When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day.” —Marty Buccella
- “Turning 40 is a piece of cake and a few extra candles.”
- “Youth has no age.” —Pablo Picasso
- “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Take a deep breath and step on through. This is your new chapter.”
- A birth-date is a reminder to celebrate life as well as to update life.” —Amit Kalantri
- “Another birthday means your life journey is incomplete. May your path be paved with success and guided by love.”
- “Forget the past. Look forward to the future. For the best things are yet to come.”
- “Age is whatever you think it is, you are as old as you think you are.” —Muhammad Ali
- “Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.” —Jean Paul
- "Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here, so live today and enjoy the year."
Make Her Laugh
Maybe it’s just best that she laughs it off.
Are you that young friend she has that is constantly teasing her about her age? Or maybe you are that younger sibling that has been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make her feel even older than she is. Well, I had a feeling you would find this, so I took the liberty of helping you find the most meaningful 40th birthday messages to share. Of course, you don’t want to hurt her feelings or make her upset on her birthday, but a little teasing never hurt anyone. If you two have that type of ‘tough-love’ relationship, I’m sure she is expecting nothing less. Just remember, you’re going to be 40 one day, too.
Take a quick look at some of these playful 40th birthday wishes...
- “You’re just as good looking as two 20-year-olds.”
- “I hate to call you the F word, but… you’re forty! Happy Birthday!”
- “Welcome to 40, an age when you’re still young at heart, but other body parts are starting to falter.”
- “With age comes wisdom...and wrinkles.”
- “You can tell you're getting old when authority figures all start to look 12-years-old to you.” ―Stewart Stafford
- “They say 40 is the new 30. However, it should be noted that they often lie.”
- “Best wishes on your 40th birthday. I’m so proud to have you as a friend… even if you are old.”
- “The older you get, the older I feel. So please stop getting older.”
- “There were a lot of famous people born on your birthday. Too bad you're not one of them.”
- “No one holds a candle to you, especially on your birthday. You already have enough candles on your cake as it is.”
- “At least you’re not as old as you will be next year.”
- “Congratulations to your 21 years (with 19 years of experience). Happy 40th Birthday!”
- “If your candles cost more than your cake, then definitely you are getting older.”
- “You know you are forty when you stop using Facebook to socialize and start using it to spy on your kids.”
- “You are definitely forty if you notice that all your sentences start from ‘When I was younger…’.”
- “Happy 39th birthday for the second year in a row.”
- “Middle school is for being like everyone else; middle age is for being like yourself.” — Victoria Moran
- “The first 40 years of childhood are always the hardest.”
- “You’re 14,600 days old, but who’s counting?”
- “You don’t look a day over 29!”
- “May your makeup conceal your wrinkles, and may your hair dye not fade.”
- “40 is when your body gives your brain a list of things it’s not going to do anymore.”
- “Just be grateful you’re not forty in dog years.”
- “It’s great to have a friend to grow old with… glad you’re first.”
- “No matter how hard it is to get out of bed, let 40 be the year you conquer it all.”
Inspire Her to do Great Things
No one is ever too old to try something new, explore new opportunities, or dream a different dream.
This new decade belongs to her. In the busyness of life, we often push back the dreams we once had. But now it’s time for her to start crossing those things off of her bucket list, and you should be encouraging that!
If not now, when? Maybe she has a special trip she’s always wanted to take, wants to find a new hobby, or maybe she is even looking to go back to school and change her career path. Whatever it may be, motivate her to chase after those dreams. As a part of her support system, you should inspire her to do so and share that her age doesn’t define her abilities. Like I mentioned before, your forties should be all about you. It is time for you to bask in the glory of your accomplishments, after decades of hard work.
Let her know that this is her decade to achieve all her goals, big and small, with these 40th birthday messages...
- “Life begins at 40.”—Walter Pitkin
- “You have accomplished so much these past 4 decades and so many more opportunities as headed your way.”
- “Count each birthday with a grateful mind.” —Alexander Pope
- “You’re like a fine wine, you keep getting better with age.”
- “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.” —Pearl S. Buck
- “And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
- “Never stop dreaming, even as the years come and go.”
- “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” — Theodore Roosevelt
- “Be the heroine of your life, not the victim. —Nora Ephron
- “The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me.” —Ayn Rand
- “Look forward to all that this next decade has to hold.”
- “There is still so much life to be lived at the ripe age of 40.”
- “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears. —John Lennon
- “It’s like you trade the virility of the body for the agility of the spirit.” —Elizabeth Lesser
- “Strive to be a 40 year old that makes people go, ‘I wanna be like that when I turn forty’.”
- “In life, the possibilities are endless. The only limitations are those that live inside your mind.
- “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” —Mae West
- “Time to start crossing things off that bucket list.”
- “Don’t imprison yourself in thoughts of how life has gone by. Free yourself in the hope of what lies ahead.”
- “Everyone grows older, but only a few make the most of it. Who are you going to be?”
- “Your age can only stop you from what your mind says it should.”
- “Nobody gets to tell you how big your dreams can be.” —Rachel Hollis
- “Who said you're done living life at 40? It’s merely just begun.”
- “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” —Henry David Thoreau
- “There are no rules.”
- “We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” —Max de Pree
- “Inhale the future, exhale the past.”
- “You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” —C.S. Lewis
- “Get out of your comfort zone to fulfill a dream you’ve always had.”
- “As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.” —Margaret Deland
Make Her Feel Extra Special
Woohoo! This is a celebration, so help her make it feel like one.
Through a 40th birthday wish like this, you not only want to share your excitement to celebrate her. you also want to express how much you appreciate having someone so wonderful in your life.
Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday. But on a milestone birthday like this, you should make her feel like the queen she is! Whether she is ready to take on her forties or is still a little upset about the impending act of aging, don’t be afraid to let her know how much you love her.
If you’re not sure how to put it in your own words and need some inspiration, look no further than this collection of 40th birthday quotes...
- “Happy Birthday to someone who’s Talented, Terrific, Tremendous, and Top-notch! Welcome to your four T’s!”
- “40 and Fabulous!”
- “Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.” —Clint Eastwood
- “Every year of life is a gift, even 40.”
- "Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age." —Booth Tarkington
- “May you live all the days of your life.” —Johnathan Swift
- “See age as the gift that it is and you will always be grateful on your birthday.”
- “Today, you’re a little more beautiful, smart, witty, and awesome. You happen to be a little older, too.”
- “FORTY – Flirty, Optimistic, Risky, Teasing and Youthful.”
- “One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age is that it’s such a nice change from being young.” — Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- "A birthday is a day to celebrate your achievements, your accomplishments, and your future."
- “Don’t worry, I’ll still tell people you’re 39.”
- “Let this birthday bring peace to your soul and happiness to your heart.”
- "The candles on your cake remind me of the encouraging light you shine on all those around you."
- “40 is fun, fabulous, and absolutely fantastic. It’s your time in the sun.”
- “Life is a book and your forties are the chapters when it all starts making sense.”
- “Your forties are just four you.”
- “Every year, on your birthday, you get a chance to start anew.” —Sammy Hagar
- “Aged to perfection.”
- “The formula of happiness and success is just being actually yourself in the most vivid way you possibly can.” —Meryl Streep
- “40 never looked so good!”
- “Everything you have worked for begins to fall into place when you turn 40.”
- “Sure, your 30s are over. Good riddance, I say. The 40s are going to be so much better...in every way.”
- “Turning 40 is not the end of your story. It's a fresh start."
A 40th birthday is a milestone in any woman's life that should be celebrated, so make sure that whatever type of 40th birthday wish you share with her is special.
If you are shopping for someone a decade younger, check out our guide to the best 30th birthday gift ideas. For more birthday inspiration read our article on birthday gifts for sisters or quotes to say happy birthday sister.
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