Saturday, January 21, 2012

Turning 40.....Well, almost!

As some of you may know already, it was my birthday earlier on this month and I turned 39. Yes, I'm not afraid to tell you my age and I have no idea why other people seem to have a problem with it. Maybe I'm just not old enough for it to be an issue.....yet!



so I'm nearly 40..............................

40 has always seemed such a long way away to me, like it was never really ever going to happen. I have always been rather an immature type, so the idea of reaching an age where I really couldn't get away from the fact that I was a fully fledged WOMAN, was not conceivable to me.

when I turned 30............................

When I turned 30, I remember feeling rather sad, down and would go as far as to say, depressed about the whole thing. At the time I could never understand why. It's only now, looking back, that I realise why.

At that point in my life, I didn't feel like I had achieved anything of significance. I know I set very myself rather high personal standards, but I couldn't put my finger on anything that I could be really proud of.

My late 20's were a very frustrating period in my life as I had floated around from job to job for so many years, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I had tried numerous types of jobs, but nothing seemed to fit right. I know this really frustrated my hubby at the time. He had always just gone to work and not had to, or had the choice to, think about his job or contemplate doing something different. He had just got on with it. Whereas I had this massive passion, burning inside me, but had no idea where I should have been channelling it.

I also think I was a bit glum when I turned 30 because all of a sudden that maternal clock starts to get rather loud. I have always passionately wanted to have children, but at that point in my life, I wanted to scream "no, not yet. I'm not ready. I still don't know what I want to do with my life!!!"

don't look back in anger..........................

I do look back sometimes and wonder what if? I think we all do it and it's only natural. But I look back at the 23year old me, fresh out of University with a Textile Design Degree and a massive amount of passion and drive. (But also with a few childhood issues wrapped around her neck and weighing her down, probably more than she thought) And I want to shake her and say "You have your whole life ahead of you and it starts here, right now! Wake up and smell the coffee"

I would then most probably introduce her to a financial advisor and careers counsellor ;)

But seriously, I do wonder where I would be today if I had used that passion and drive and put it to some good use. If I would have started a business back then, I would not only have done something I loved, but also not wasted 15 years of my life just drifting around from job to job and being miserable.



Not that I ponder this on a daily basis. Not at all! I look back now and see that that was my path, because of choices that I had made, and it has led me to where I am today.

I have travelled extensively, worked in some great places, met some fabulous people and had a fair amount of fun along the way. I've been happy, sad and sometimes just downright depressed. But I'm now using all of my experiences to carry me forward and on to the next path of my exciting journey.

confident women...............................

So why do all these women I meet around this magical age of 40 seem to ooze with confidence? Well to put it bluntly, I don't think they "give a shit!" They have spent the majority of their life caring what others think about how they look, dress, work, bring up their children....So when they reach the magical age, they finally have the confidence to say..........

"This is me. This is the way I look, this is the way I bring up my children and this is the way I live my life. Like it or lump it!"



the downsides...................................

Yes, there are downsides to reaching 40, of course there are! I have always been very fit and there are not many days of the week when I'm not at the gym or running up and down hills. But as soon as I reached 35, literally the day, honestly. It all seemed to get a LOT harder to do the things I've always done. I think that's the shocker. The aches, stiffness and pains. In fact both me and my hubby seem to make more noises trying to get out of bed these days than we ever did in our youth, jumping around "in bed!!" Mmmmm...... I can see you all fiercely nodding in agreement :)



Also there is that reflection you see in the mirror. Who is that woman with the gaunt face, tired eyes, crows feet and greying hair? I don't often look in the mirror these days, mainly because I don't have the time to. I mean trying to get two kids out of the house every morning by 8.30am is a challenge, right? But when I do catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I really don't recognise myself anymore. And I think that's because I'm still, in my mind, really still only 23!



it feels good.............................

But putting aside the wrinkles and aches and pains, I am also more relaxed and mellow now. I used to be extremely hot headed and jump into things with both feet at 100mph. I do still have those tendencies (Thank God. I would hate to lose all of my youthfulness) But now I sit back and have a good think about things first.

I'm more confident than I have ever been in my life and I'm happier with myself, the decisions I make, my body and my life. I'm becoming wiser and have much more patience with every day that passes.

And that feels good, that feels VERY good!

Bring on 40, that's what I say!

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11 comments:

  1. Great post Ali! LOVE the last photo. And yes, you may care a little bit more about revealing your age as the numbers get a lot bigger. Enjoy the last year of your 30s!

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    1. Thanks Thea, yes you are probably right!

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  2. Love it Alison... you seem to still be 23 to me - just with the added bonus of the wisdom & life experience of a 39 year old! Thanks for sharing xx

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  4. I just love that last photo. It reminds me of my Nan. Both my grandmothers lived into their 90's !! That was such a beautifully written insightful read Ali.

    I hated turning 40, in my head I still feel like I'm in my twenties but with the self doubt and insecurities of a 15 year old. What a bloody mess!
    I have been happy with my choices in life, except I wish I'd had my children earlier on. Even though up until I was 35 the idea of being pregnant made me feel sick.
    I've been lucky enough to have spent most of my life doing what I love with someone who while he has his faults (who doesn't) I've spent more of my life with him than not.
    Of course my life isn't perfect. I have a whole load of issues which I've been dealing with for the last 35 years but we can't have everything can we. xx

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    1. Oh you can always think that Nicola. But then you wouldn't have been ready would you? Then again when is anyone ever ready to have kids?!!

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  5. I am forever 25 in my head (and am really 36 - had to think about that lol). When someone asks how old I am I really do have to do the maths to work it out :-) I get you with the aching though - I pull muscles for no apparent reason now and make a grunt noise when I try and get up from a chair :-)

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    1. LOL...I know exactly what you mean!

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  6. You? almost 40?
    I don't believe you.
    I demand a recount.

    Clive.
    xx

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  7. Great blog, as always Ali. I grew up with no self confidence and low self esteem which stopped me from doing so many things, and I do look back and wish I'd been more bold at times. I'm now 45 with 4 young children and I finally really like who I am, and have the confidence to do the things I want to do. I do look in the mirror and notice how much older I look, but on the whole I like what I see. I feel 20-something and certainly don't behave how I always imagined a 40+ woman would behave - in fact my my 11 year old daughter said I'm immature......I like to think she meant youthful! Helen

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