I’ve just turned forty! Yikes!! It’s funny how a big birthday milestone can make you stop and reflect a bit. So please excuse me while I self indulge. Turning forty for me is definitely not the end, in fact it actually feels like the beginning. My life was a little slow in getting started and I’m only now finding my place in the world. I’ve only just started to feel confident in my skin, in what I know and who I am.
Thinking back to when I was sixteen, I have to laugh at how idealistic and naive I was about the world and what I thought my future would look like. Ahh the impudence of youth. As my grandmother used to say, “youth is wasted on the young”. To my sixteen year old self, turning forty would be one step away from death! I would be sooooo old and I would have done everything already! How silly she was.
I spent my twenties on self exploration; studying, travelling, dating (disastrously) and trying to find my niche. My thirties was all about working hard to get ahead – cementing relationships, a home and starting a family. Now that things have settled down a bit, I’ve finally got time to breathe a little. I’ve finally got time to look around and appreciate where I am and to look to where I want to go. I’m blessedly content, which lets be honest, is probably insufferably sickening to others.
I have no idea where the future will take me, but I’m not worried about it like I used to be. I used to stress over everything in life, but I’ve realised it’s not a competition. There are no prizes for finishing first, or richer, or in having more things. I want to be successful, but it’s not about earning more money or status. It’s about making meaningful connections with fellow human beings and trying to make the world a better place any way I can (like sharing cake recipes on this blog 😘).
I’m so thankful for the opportunities life has thrown my way. I’ve always had a strong work ethic, but I’ve also been encouraged and supported by a myriad of wonderful people that have championed me in my personal and professional life. I seriously don’t know where I would be, if my life had not crossed paths with these glorious people. My first serious champion was a music teacher when I was ten years old, Mrs Christmass (an awesome name – I always thought she was married to Santa Claus). She challenged me and gave me my life long love of music. She encouraged me to pursue my talent which led to winning a music scholarship to a prestigious school. My first champion set me on my life’s course and I’m forever grateful.
And while I’m being thankful…I’m thankful for finding a life partner who even though he can seriously drive me insane (who’s partner doesn’t), can also make me laugh out loud. He’s my best friend and a keeper! I’m so thankful for my two beautiful girls, who fill my heart with pure joy each and everyday. I love that I get to be a child again through them. Being forty and being able to dance and sing along to nursery rhymes, or colouring in is priceless. I’ve never laughed so much in my life. I’m thankful for my friends and family who just get me and my idiosyncrasies (though I’m sure there are times they would like to push me out of a fast moving car!). I’m thankful for my education, my lovely home, my passions and my interests.
Life has been a roller coaster so far. There have been some really down parts in my life, where I’ve questioned my very existence, but I can’t change the past. Bad things happen to good people every single day. I’m always reminded of Dory in the movie Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. I know that the bad will continue to happen in my life, but I don’t ever want to live my life constantly looking over my shoulder waiting for the next horror to unfold. That’s no way to live a life.
I’ve learnt that resilience is something to be treasured, that friends and family can make all the difference. That kindness, consideration and thoughtfulness make the world a better place. I’ve learnt that difference and variety in opinion and thought makes for a more interesting life (and I hate being bored). I’ve learnt a hell of a lot so far and I can’t wait to keep learning a whole lot more.
So here’s to another forty years (cross fingers)! I can’t wait to see what happens next. OK, I think that’s more than enough self indulgence for one birthday. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!