Getting closer to 40

Getting Closer to 40
The best kind of cake is always birthday cake

Today is my birthday and I’m 36. It’s been a relatively simple day and to be honest that’s exactly what I wanted. A day of having nothing in particular to do is the kind of day I dream about now that I’m getting closer to 40.

When I think back to past birthdays, I can remember nights out where I spent weeks planning my outfit, a whole day getting ready and then stayed out until the small hours of the next morning to savour every second surrounded by friends and random people I had just met.

“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked”

Getting Closer to 40
Another birthday in my twenties – the heart shaped sunglasses went everywhere with me for years!

This evening I am tucked up in bed already and enjoying the peace and quiet. My days started early with the school run, and I actually popped in to school for a parents craft and activity session with a “seaside” theme. My birthday is usually peak sunny summer weather and so it could have been fabulous but this week has been the worst for rain in a long time.

Getting Closer to 40
Our rainbow fish collage

In fact after I left the school mid morning I drove along to the nearest retail park and sat in my car on a mom holiday for a little while – I was wearing my crocs (another getting closer to 40 discovery is that comfort trumps style these days). I didn’t fancy stepping out in the deluge and getting wet feet so I went to a drive through for lunch, set my car seat back, read some emails and caught up on social media. When the rain eventually paused, I went in to TKMaxx to look at cushion covers, I thought I might treat myself.

With so much choice on offer I didn’t make any decisions, but I did pop next door to Poundland before heading back to my car to start a new Pinterest board as I have decided I want to spend the summer decorating the house, I want to finish Arlo’s room and give my bedroom a bit of a colour change.

Getting Closer to 40
Minehead – the day I turned 19.

Again ironic as most of my summers pre turning 30 have been spent getting as far away from home as possible – exploring and adventuring. I managed to spend one of my birthdays dancing along the beach in Minehead whilst working at Butlins, and then in my twenties several of my birthdays were spent at Benicassim, a Spanish music festival. In fact I can distinctly recall dancing along to New Order one evening where they dedicated “love will tear us apart” to Ian Curtis, former lead singer of Joy Division who’s birthday is the day after mine.

Getting Closer to 40
Me in Benicassim at some point in my twenties

I remember feeling emotional because I was turning 25 and thought I was getting old then….. If only I knew then what I know now. I don’t really know what advice I would have given my younger self. If anything it would be really irresponsible. I would tell myself to be even more carefree and hedonistic. To take the risks. trust yourself to make the choices which scare you.

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry, but know that worrying
Is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum
The real troubles in your life
Are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind

Now that I am getting closer to 40 I don’t actually feel old, at least not mentally anyway. I feel more free and satisfied with life than ever because I think getting older means that you really do start to put yourself first. There’s a famous quote which goes something along the lines of “time stands still for no man” – it basically means that there’s no point delaying doing the things you want to do.

Getting Closer to 40
Still rocking weird sunglasses

I’ve always tried to live my life by this mantra, along with the Baz Luhrman song – “don’t forget to wear sunscreen” – this year it almost feels more poignant to me for many reasons. It helps me to feel free.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know
Didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t

I’ve got lots of ideas and plans for the future. It’s exciting because when I turned 30 I could never have imagined that I would be living back in my home city and have changed my career so drastically but here I am. I’m in exactly the right job and love going in to work every day, but there’s no way I could have done this a decade ago. I wouldn’t have even imagined it so who knows where we’ll be by the time the big four O gets me?

a woman is cutting a cake in front of a table.-Getting Closer to 40
Happy birthday to meeeee!

I’m sure it will be fun getting there.

Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

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Last Updated on 12 months by Lavania Oluban

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