Turning 40 was a turning point in my life. I’m a mother to three amazing children, a wife to my loving husband of 14 years and my biggest goal and dream to have my first play staged already accomplished. Now that I am middle aged with four decades behind me it’s a time for reflection and acceptance.
Reflecting on all the wonderful things I’ve seen and done in my life thus far and accepting I am no longer a ‘Spring Chicken’ as they say. I now have limits not only on a physical level but a realisation of limits that this new found maturity brings. For example the knowledge that maybe my go to L.B.D. (little black dress) should now be at least 2 inches below the knee, opposed to above as would have been a prerequisite post 40. The relief of finally being able to ‘let myself go’ to a degree welcomed. The pressure of preening and maintaining my now ageing body easing. Those stubborn wiry pube like grey hairs on my previous raven crown and glory finally being granted the freedom to stand loud and proud from the root. I am now a woman of a certain age and with this new title comes responsibility. A responsibility to set and preserve an example to those in my wake and my predecessors to grow old gracefully.
I finally understand all those quotes and sayings that are associated with turning 40. Quotes such as:- Turning 40 is a spiritual, mental and physical awakening! Life begins at 40! Age is only a number! 40 is the new 30!...And if you believe that load of bo#l*x you’re either reading this while hugging a tree in Jesus sandals and a toga or completely and utterly deluded.
There was ner a glimmer of acceptance or elation present when I turned 40 and six months on it is still nowhere to be found. To say I was ‘resentful’ about being forced to leave my 30’s is an understatement. A blanket of bitterness embraced me for up to three months leading up to the dreaded day and still rests snugly around my shoulders as I am writing this today.
|A subtle outfit to celebrate|
There was no other way for me, I would leave my 30’s kicking and screaming and enter my 40’s disgracefully. If I was going to be forced to do this, I was going to do it my way. Since having my 3rd child and with the excuse ‘I’ve just had a baby’ no longer relevant 5 years on, I decided my first goal in preparation of D day would be to lose weight. Over the last 5 years and without any warning...which personally I found rather rude, I had managed to eat and slob my way into a size 16. Not a loose comfortable fitting size 16 but more of a...at any minute you are about to burst your way into a size 18 fitting 16. With only three months to achieve this mammoth task I had to go hard or go home. I cut out any foods that looked like, acted like or pretended to be a carb and Zumba’d my way into my goal dress. The dress was my favourite L.B.D. that hung hopefully but doubtfully in my wardrobe for more years then I care to admit. There was absolutely nothing demur or age appropriate about this dress, to say you could see my breakfast in it when I bent over is putting it mildly.
With my ‘gathering’ and not ‘party’ looming, there wasn’t a single part of me that hadn’t been coloured, plucked, sucked or tucked in preparation. All friends and family attending the ‘gathering’ had been notified of very specific and strict instructions for the night’s proceedings. There was to be no balloons or banners...especially ones with banned number displayed, no cake...emphasis on candles amounting to said number and most importantly no singing of any songs containing the words birthday or jolly good fellow. And did they conform? Did they balls! All the cliché traditions that should or could be associated with turning 40 were honoured that night. Feeling understandably defeated there was in my opinion only one way to deal with it. Yes I got myself totally, completely and utterly shit faced incoherently drunk.
|you wouldn't even know what they were celebrating|
Although the majority of that night is a blur, judging by photographic evidence - which incidentally was another of my requested no no’s for the night that was ignored – I did succeed in doing what I set out to do and triumphantly entered my 40’s disgracefully.
Having learned a lot from this milestone unwelcome birthday I am already in the process of putting plans and procedures in place to avoid any future mishaps and I suggest anyone facing my situation do the same. So in conclusion, weather you are an up and coming or newly crowned reluctant middle aged person like me, join me in this plight. The plight to fight the 40’s.
Together we can fight them on the beaches.
At first they may ignore you
Then they may laugh at you
Eventually they will fight you
But finally you will win
We will win!