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5 Things Every Woman Should Know By 40

No, you don't need to apologize to your OB/GYN for not shaving your legs. Seriously.

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Jade Schulz
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By 40, every woman should know how to:

Tell a Lie With a Straight Face

“Thanks, I’ve always wanted one." “That looks great on you!” “I won’t tell anyone, I promise.” “Yes, that was so good, I totally came.”

By now you should be able to deliver Oscar-worthy untruths. You know that protecting feelings is sometimes more important, that your truth does not need to be heard by all, and that what you do and how you think are your business. Sometimes your lie needs to become your truth so you can put your intentions into the world. Tell the truth when you can, but own your lie when you need to.

Stop Apologizing!

For God’s sake, you do not need to apologize to your OB/GYN for not shaving your legs. That’s the least embarrassing part of you he/she is going to see. If you’re too busy to volunteer — or if you just don’t want to! — say you can’t and ditch the “I’m sorry.” It’s become a polite way of turning someone down, but you can do that without belittling your reasoning. You can do it without looking like a bitch. “I won’t be able to make your ___ this weekend but I hope you have a wonderful time and thanks for including me” isn’t rude. Save apologies for when you’ve really done something wrong, like “I’m sorry I backed your car into the garage wall.”

Suck It Up

Criticism is not a fatal blow. Nor is an extra 10 pounds. Not being invited to lunch or negative feedback at work doesn’t feel great. But you know better—life’s small injuries need to be kept in their proper perspective and not bleed into the rest of your life. Boss hate your report? That sucks. But you’re crushing it at home with the kids. "Don’t sweat the small stuff" is a horrible cliché, but it’s true.

Make the Most of Me Time

Hours, or a whole day, of kid-free time isn’t so rare anymore. A natural inclination is to focus on smaller, immediate tasks you’ve been putting off. After you’ve swapped out summer and winter clothing, what then? Start working in a hobby or a passion or a side project. Something that is all you. A friend of mine, who has been to Disney a million times, is starting a website to help families plan their trip. Use your free time wisely, but selfishly.

Have a Real Orgasm

Yes, we said you should be able to lie about things. But, stop lying about this. More women fake orgasms than they let on. It’s exhausting. If you haven’t already, start telling your partner what it is you need to have the big “O.” Don’t feel bad if it takes time. Or, if he can’t do it at all for you then introduce him to your vibrator. Don’t have one? Visit Everything you buy comes in a very discreet brown box and the return label is ambiguous enough to get lost among the boxes.

Illustration by Jade Schulz