Right, I’ve been thinking all week that I should expand on the birthday theme and write something clever about turning forty.
Problem is, I’ve been digging deep and not coming up with much. In many ways, forty is just another number… although I did fool a friend of mine into thinking the whole pink hair thing was a midlife-crisis move. Believing as I do that big birthdays warrant big celebrations, coming to the end of a decade in many ways is actually something to look forward to.
So, fuelled with another slice of Lilly’s first birthday cake, I’m marking my last evening in my thirties with a glance backward. I might not come up with much either, but by tomorrow morning I will have embarked on a whole new decade, so it’s basically now or never!
I guess my twenties were mostly about finding my place in the world. Like many people, that meant finding what I wanted to ‘do’ and dabbling in that thing called ‘relationships’.
My thirties were much more about finding me, with all the ups and downs that entailed. And that of course is a journey that never ends! Although whilst finding ‘me’, I inevitable continued to dabble in that relationship thing, and ended up with a ring. For the second time, but this one counts. After all, I don’t think I should make it a habit to get married every decade.
In my thirties, I’ve both learned and unlearned loads. I learned what makes me tick in ways that serve me and ways that don’t. I’ve done my best to let the latter go and make peace with my past. I learned to look at the world in more empowering ways. Most importantly, I learned to be kinder to myself. I learned that the thoughts and behaviours you pick up from your parents and your environment as a child are the foundation of who you become as an adult. That includes the good as well as the bad stuff! And the longer you hold on to the things that aren’t working, the harder they become to shake off. Inevitably for many steps forward, there’ll also be some steps back. That’s ok. That’s normal. There’s no need to break out the baseball bat and beat yourself up. I learned about forgiveness, and that includes myself. Of course there’ll always be loads more to learn in future, and occasions to take old learnings deeper in new ways.
I’ve been lucky to learn a great many things from a great many people. So maybe my forties are about sharing what I learned. To stand in my power and be even more of who I am. To do what I am here to do, which is to help children feel good about themselves and stand in THEIR power long before they’re forty.
Now, I need something stronger than Lilly’s bottles to toast to that! Bubbles anyone?
(She writes heroically approaching midnight, matchsticks holding open her eyes, whilst praying that her seemingly wide awake daughter doesn’t launch herself off the parental bed!)