40 – My 40th Birthday

Today is my 40th birthday and I feel weird. Lots of my friends have turned 40 this year, most have been dragged kicking and screaming into their fourth decade. I feel like it’s just crept up on me. I’ve been too busy dealing with everything which has happened to us this year that my 40th birthday has been the very furthest thing from my mind.

I woke up this morning and I was 40. In all honesty I feel no different to how I did yesterday. It’s just a number. I’ve got bigger things to worry about than numbers.

Right now I feel like I am overflowing with emotions. I miss my dad more than I have words to say, my boy is starting school today and I’m all emotional about that, he’s having an operation soon, I’m emotional about that too. I’m touched that I have great friends who spent some of their weekend with me partying the last days of my 30’s away.

I am conflicted and anxious about a million different things. But in the weeks since my dad’s death and through the summer holidays, I have been reminded of the two most important people in my life, Matthew and Ben. This weekend has shown me all the people who care about me, friends old and new, from near and far. I am very lucky.

I guess (and I know I’m rambling) that I’m struggling to give a meh about anything. I feel numb inside, I’m overwhelmed by life and the only way I can keep putting one foot in front of the other is to focus on Ben. I feel like in some situations I’m faking emotions and joyous reactions to pretend to the world that everything is fine and normal. I am faking it until I make it. I wonder how many people do that just to get through?

I’m fine and I will be fine. I’m just going through two things almost everyone in the world faces at some point or another, turning 40 and losing a parent. I would turn 40 a thousand times just to have an hour with my dad. 

Today I’m going to try and be in the here and now. I’m going to focus on Ben and Matthew and the special people in my life who love me and care for me. I’m going to smile for the camera, take a walk in the park, blow out the candles on my birthday cake and raise a glass to my dad, and to my Grandma who would have been 103 today.

I don’t fear 40, it’s just a number. I fear life and what it will challenge me with next.

40th Birthday

Just 365 Days until I’m 40

Today is my 39th birthday. When people ask me how old I am they do the head tilt and I’m sorry for your loss face, like my birthday is akin to a death in the family and that time is mercilessly marching on. That’s what time does, it inevitably drags you each second, each minute slightly closer to old age and infirmity.

Except I already feel reasonably infirm. I know pensioners who don’t groan with pain when they stand up half as much as I do, so I’m cool with the getting old thing, because my body is already like 75 or something.

I have 365 days left until I’m 40. I’m curious as to what the big deal is, when that magical day arrives does a fanfare sound and your boobs suddenly drop to your knees, your hair turns white and you start paying into your funeral plan? Well I’ve got news for you time, you’re too late on at least two of those things!

I’m pretty sure nothing actually happens and that 40 is nothing special any more. Thirty years ago 40 was properly old, with life expectancy considerably lower than it is now, turning 40 mean’t you probably had 25 years left, tops. These days barring serious illness or disaster, people are living well into the eighties or nineties. So chances are I’ll be creaking on for a little while yet. 

Last year on my 38th birthday I reflected on the previous 12 months and nothing had really changed. The year before that I did the same, and nothing had changed. And the year before that, and the year before that. Nothing really changed. Ok, so I’ve had to change my job because of my health, and I’ve changed my entire life when I became a mum, but time ticks on and nothing ever really changes.

I don’t fear 40, because it will be no different to 39 and 39 will pretty much be the same as 38. A friend asked me how old I’d be today, I told her I was 39, “howay pet (she’s from the extreme North), you donae look that old” and that is the hope I’m hanging on to. 

I’m not especially vain, I’ve never been a beauty so it’s not like I have looks to lose. I’ve always been the funny one who gets drunk and makes people laugh. I’ve always been the caring one who people tell their darkest secrets to, or come to for a shoulder to cry on. These things don’t tend to age, they don’t tend to droop or go grey or get wrinkles. Plus I’ve got my Nan’s “good skin” and my Dad’s don’t give a crap attitude.

So with 365 days left until I’m 40 I can honestly say I don’t give a crap. Happy birthday me; may 39 be a vintage year, full of gin and tonics, pedicures and curly wurlys. Chin chin x

nearly 40