Get over it! Forty is Not the New Thirty

Get over it! Forty is Not the New Thirty

Blog Forward Forty | Judette Coward-Puglisi

February 25, 2015


It’s been years since I was in front of a studio camera working alongside a talented production crew. But last week’s taping of our new digital series, Forward Forty, forced me to think about dreams, the big ones and the tiny ones.

For the past few months, ever since a friend in Boston sent me a New York Times article on content marketing, I have been wondering about the kind of stories I could tell that would matter. Yes, I knew I wanted to do something about and for women but I wasn’t clear about what shape it’d take, or even what I wanted to say, that is, until my morning run last September with my friend, Sheena.

Sheena, who is past her forties, started running her gift store out of a shopping mall at the end of her fourth decade. My friend is beautiful. She’s determined. She’s authentic. But it was during our September run last year when we were sharing thoughts about what we wanted for ourselves that she mentioned that maybe she might be past the age to achieve one particular goal that she wanted. And as I tried to convince her that she was not, it was in that second that the idea for Forward Forty was born.


1Forward Forty is a lifestyle series-tailored for a social media age-celebrating the lives of women over forty everywhere. These women, myself included, have incredible beliefs. Visions. Ideas. Dreams of what we want to see around the corner of our lives. And though some of us may be mothers, wives, divorcees, single, poor in money and sometimes even poorer in confidence, the idea behind Forward Forty is to show that dreams and their fulfillment are not just for the young. Forward Forty documents my own story and that of women I admire.

My whole life has been one of risk and pursuit of the things that seemed out of reach and I’ve realised that at every step it was easy to be consumed with more fear than faith.

It happened in my twenties before WTF became a hashtag, when I quit a perfectly fine job and started my own business, without much of anything except drive. It happened in my thirties when I met and married a man who spoke no English and from whom I am now divorced but enjoy the most rich and rewarding friendship. It happened last year  when I took out my entire savings and bought an apartment in New York City and later turned it into an investment property. And it is happening again, as I get set to launch a student newspaper with a business partner, Abby, bring out my own product for Afro textured hair, launch a women’s conference, travel, and of course produce Forward Forty. All this while leading a successful Public Relations practice.

As we taped the pilot and I recognised that I had inside me all these stories, I retreated to a place inside and cried. I thought about dreams those fulfilled and those that never might be. I thought about the passage of time and how beautiful the morning sunrise is at 5:00 am and that everyday we get up, we get an opportunity to make a choice. That at 40 plus,  it is never too late to choose optimism, to decide to do something that your heart longs for, to choose excellence and take a risk.

The best thing, I’ve realised is that it only takes a moment, (maybe after months of thinking) just one second — to say yes.


42 thoughts on “Get over it! Forty is Not the New Thirty

  1. Thank you for this piece. I’d love to get involved if I can in any way in Forward Forty. I too am a forty plus divorcee and boy do I have all these burning desires within me of where I would like to be and how do I get there. My fear cripples me at times but the drive is there.
    If you think you can use me in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Keep these inspirational pieces coming Judette.


    • Thank you so much for your offer and your encouraging words. Our first video in the Forward Forty Series will be released on Friday. Please stick around for it.

  2. Excellent endeavor!! I myself am not yet 40, but getting there, and if you remember me and Aimee and Duane, you already know that one of my goals was accomplished….Aimee of course. Still, I have so many more and fear that I will not get the opportunity to see them fulfilled. This world is tough…especially on the people who want to do so much and try so hard. Sometimes its nice to hear words of encouragement because it is so easy to feel exhausted by all these brick walls that we meet when trying to move forward. I’m glad that you became the success you are and all your hard scary work is paying off. Well done. I hope that I am able to make my dreams come through one day soon too.

  3. Much needed, in my 40’s and craving input from women of my era…so looking forward to this….forty is the new forty…lol

  4. Reading this I can relate to most, if not all that was stated. I turned 41 just January past and feel at times that my best years may be behind me. However, I do have sober moments where I snap out of the melancholic attitude and promote an attitude of gratitude with a desire to achieve. It is wonderful to know there are others like me out there.

  5. An excellent introduction to your Forward Forty series. I am Looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing your creative process/muse information as well. I have been operating out of a position with a plan for a zealous sixties-plus life and think that Forward Forty is a beautiful place to encourage many of my friends to work within.
    I wish you and your team every success.

  6. Finally! Someone is saying it as it is. Forty is Forty and its Fabulous. I would love to be part of all this. I am 42 and I too have lived and let lived and I am constantly reinventing my self and moving across and up not back. This is definitely a movement I would love to be part of. As a single Mom who works the 9-5 by day and at the same time runs her own event business while being a mom to a 15 year old and 5 year old, its so refreshing and comforting that some one is saying it as it is. Forty and Fabulous. God Bless

    • Mary Ann thanks for sharing snippets of your life. I am not a mom but I understand demands and the constant juggling act of finding balance. You sound happy, in the end that is what matters the most

  7. congratulations. Loved reading this and support the content. I am a decade behind your start and will not give up on my dreams as I move forward at 50 this year.

  8. I love this!!! I have had very similar experiences. I just lefty job and is now in the process of starting my own business ‘Georgia’s Flavas In A Bottle’ while starting up a Management & Marketing company.
    It’s all ‘bad mind’ and plenty faith girl. Keep going.

  9. I am not yet 40 but at every milestone there is always some social construct that tries to tell you “you can’t”. Dreams have no expiration date. I love your spirit and look forward to this series.

  10. Yay! Forty is fabulous indeed!I am a married mother of 2 and also quit a lucrative career to follow my dreams. I have never been happier. Would love to contribute and share in this venture it speaks to me

  11. This is wonderful and if I could assist in any way I would love too. Women who do not have the means but have the desire and goals to achieve should be appreciated too. I am also over 40 a single mother who has been through hard times and domestic violence but continue to live in this society called Trinidad and Tobago. Do you know it’s hard to get a job in Trinidad if you are female and over 40?

  12. I am very grateful to have this article to read and look forward to reading more. I am a divorced, single mom and I feel at times that I have sacrificed all my life and never had any time to achieve anything for me. That being said, I wish to contribute in any way possible to your venture, even writing an article or two. Please feel free to contact me and good luck in your new venture

  13. Congrats Judette, on your latest initiatives. I’m way past forty, but always found you to be such a forward thinking, intelligent, beautiful and energetic woman. You would definitely have a positive and awesome impact on women with your launch of Forward Forty. Wishing you all success.

  14. i would love to be a part of Forward Forty. What you are doing is fantastic, I am a forty six year old divorcee. My children are all grown and I’m proud of them. I’ve been through domestic abuse etc and now going through the economic crisis on this island where it’s difficult to find a proper paying job. I would like to help wherever I can I have so much free time and I am inspired by your work and accomplishments. God bless and I look forward to more.

  15. So true, all that you have shared, it’s always inspiring to know other women experience these feelings and emotions, i really enjoyed your article, your words connects with me on point.
    Looking forward to reading more in this series.

    Congratulations on your way forward.

  16. I just read about forward forty and I’m so excited. I’m 42 and going through a very rough time. I have two kids and at the moment I feel like a single parent. I have that drive and desire to accomplish more but I get put down by my spouse. I believe all women have it in them to excel given the chance regardless of age, race or religion. I am from Trinidad and Tobago…so I know how difficult it is to leave a job to try to pursue another…

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! Finally, a forum for local women over 40. It was a surprise to me how invisible I began to feel when I turned 40 [I’ll be 49 this year] especially since I made the decision to go grey. Like you though, I’ve taken a few unorthodox and courageous leaps since then and am not nearly done making my contributions to this society. Matter of fact, I’m just beginning!!! Forward forty indeed!

    • Thanks for sharing Charmion. I believe you are only invisible as you feel. I would love to hear more about your leaps.

  18. Hi I’m a Forty plus married Mom of 2 and yes “Forty is Fabulous”. I’m excited to be on this journey with you (Congrats) and after reading your “Bio” Thank You for sharing……………… I’m looking forward to my journey of “Fantastic Fifty” and yes I see myself looking “Sexy @ Sixty” <3 <3

  19. judith you are such an inspiration to me, I would be turning 40 in a couple days definitely looking forward to your new series

  20. I just entered my forty’s and it is so encouraging to read this article and feel a sense of support, just being able to identify. I will definitely be tuned in to this site.

  21. Thank You. Very wonderful article. I am 44 and once again went into my own business at 43. Very encouraging article.

  22. Judette, Always happy to hear great things are happening. The energy is always a positive one. Forty was just a wink away, now time moves on even faster. I look back with gratitude for all opportunities, challenges and experiences that continue to propel me to do much more. You bring back years of memories. God’s richest blessings to you in this endeavor.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Joan. One of the main reasons I called it Forward Forty is because I wanted the site to reflect not only women in their 40s but also those in their 50 and 60s. It’s the reason why I used the word Froward in the title. We have so much to learn from each other’s stories. Thank you for your lovely words

Comments are closed.