Remember how old it sounded, when you were a kid; Forty.
Middle aged, grown up, mature, adult. And yet, here I am, here we are. On the outside, all boxes checked; house, husband, two kids and a career.
But scratch the surface and there is still a wide eyed, silly, unsure girl, figuring it all out as she goes along.
Of course you don’t make it to four decades in without learning some pretty vital lessons. What you like, what you don’t, who you are and who you want to be.
Life will have thrown you curve balls, pulled the rug from under you, and taught you things do not always go to plan. But, for most of us, these times pass and reveal what we are made of and just how resilient we can be.
By forty it’s clear time flies, it waits for no man, and that the time to do the thing, is now.
It’s that approach which has encouraged me to push myself a step further, go for the impossible, take risks and not put off until tomorrow, what I can do today. With exception…
Because I’ve learnt the hard way there is a time to stop, to say no and to carve a space for me. It’s not selfish, or rude or narcisstic – it’s an essential part of surving modern motherhood. With honesty and compassion, there is a place to say when you’re finding things tough or that you just don’t have more to give right now.
With experience, brings knowledge, and with knowledge there is power. Power to understand your true self, find a sense of inner confidence and calm and to know who you are – where you are, where you have been and where you want to go next.
The reckless days of youth behind, replaced with an awe and wonder of the human form and how it has carried me through, created new life and healed all manner of wounds gives rise to a need to care for your health in a way you could never have done in the naive stages of early adulthood.
It’s that sense of self which this era of feminity brings courage – courage to say yes, yet also to say no. A fiercely loyal mother and one who can give herself the respect and care she deserves – that we all deserve.
It is no longer a consideration to dress in, say or be the things I feel others want me to be, because the need to conform with the crowd flittered away into the sky in a million pieces along with my thirties, my free time and my tolerance to alcohol.
Friends have come and gone, as have fashions, trends, hobbies and jobs. The people who mean the most, who may have drifted in periods of time, have found their way back, as I know others may, if it is right.
So yeah, I have a few more wrinkles because I did not listen to the advice on sun and ageing, and there are plenty more lessons to come, probably around the next corner, but this time I feel ready to face them. There is a reason forty is a significant milestone for more than just an excuse to party; perhaps this truly is where life begins.
A decade ago, forty petrified me. But the reality is very different.
Empowered by time, strengthened by love, aware of my shortcomings and with the tools to manage them, forty never felt better.