My birth certificate shows that I turn 40 this year which makes me giggle. Here’s why….
1. I’m quite sure I haven’t been alive that long yet. I was 25 just a couple of years ago – wasn’t I?
2. I don’t feel particularly “grown up”, sorted, settled, sensible – all the adjectives you’d associate with a 40 year old woman. I do have a job I love, 3 amazing kids, a husband I adore, a mortgage. I do “grown up” when required – meetings, emergencies, paying bills, checking the fire alarms, changing my undies every day. But I’m more comfortable sitting on the rug playing Lego with the kids or watching re-runs of 1980’s “coming of age” movies.
3. I haven’t done some of the things I had planned to do before I turned 30 let alone 40 so I can’t possibly be 40 yet. The idea that I’m here already is once just silly.
Reading that, I see that some may see this as denial. I’ll consider that more some other time.
Either way, I want to celebrate the fact that I’m turning 40 this year. I want to embrace it, to own it, to see it for the wonderful thing it really is. It’s a huge achievement to get this far and not to have f****d it all up. I’m really quite proud of myself. So, I’ve made a decision to spend this year doing forty things I’ve never done before – to have a 12 month celebration of my 40th year. Why the hell not?
I put it to a friend of mine who turns 40 a few weeks after me. She’s in. So we excitedly, nervously, enthusiastically, tentatively embarked upon a list of Forty Firsts. Forty things we’d both like to do before the end of December 2015. Forty things we’ve never done before.
As soon as I sat down to write it I realised this was going to be more difficult than we thought – 40 new things is a lot of new things. We’ve both lived life pretty hard the past 39 years. We’ve travelled to weird and wonderful places, had tattoos, belly danced, taken drugs with pop stars, climbed mountains, sailed yachts, swam with sharks, ridden motorcycles….. I could go on. So this list of firsts can’t all be huge midlife crisis stuff. It’s got to be a mix. A balance of the big stuff; the stuff that scares us and the smaller, more personal things, like wearing red lipstick for the first time or making a baked alaska (I’m a little anxious about both if I’m honest). There will be things I want to achieve that my friend may have done a bunch of times before, or things she doesn’t want to do so we won’t do everything together. But we will be sharing this experience together. We can chivvy each other along when life gets in the way, get together for the ones we both want to achieve and she can stand back and cheer me on when I do my naked bike ride. I’m quite sure we’ll have a blast. Hello 40, I’m ready when you are!
p.s. suggestions are welcome, those who want to join in are welcome, those who wang on about doing a parachute jump are not 😉