In just over a week, I’m going to be forty and I’m excited. I feel like it’s a good birthday, meaningful, bold. I’ve made it half way through my life (hopefully) and when I look back at what I’ve achieved so far, I’m excited by what the future could hold. There’s hopefully a lot of time. I’m going to be in a state of reinventing myself, a bit like Madonna, but in the reassuring comfyness of knowing exactly who I am, and what’s important. I’ve learned the big life lessons, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I’m equipped with knowledge, practice and intent – in short, I’ve got pretty good at this life thing, that has to make the next forty years much easier.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some of the life lessons I’ve learned so far, and what I wished someone would have told me earlier. The list is not exhaustive:
- Read the political and economic columns in the newspapers regularly, and start doing it when you’re young. Trust me, it really is easier to understand what’s happened to the euro, or what the Middle East is all about if you’ve been following it for a while.
- Learn the basic rules to the main sports, or at least some terminology. I’m thinking football, rugby, tennis, are good places to start. Whether you like sports or not, people will insist on talking to you about them. You’ll make your life easier if you don’t have to keep asking what are “obvious” questions to them, and even better you can cut them off at the knees with your with your knowledge of the offside rule.
- You are not Jennifer Aniston ! This is what all hairdressers should tell you but don’t.
- You are not Jennifer Aniston! This is what you should remember before spending a fortune on magic face creams. She looks great in her forties as she has sufficient funds to eat great food, have personal trainers and a great stylist. I suspect there’s also beauticians, skin therapists and some surgical/medical assistance when needed. Stick to your budget and accept your own beauty.. we are all different and this is a good thing.
- FitFlops are the best sandals ever… FACT
- Saying anything with conviction and/ or declaring it as a fact has the automatic result of making people believe it is true, which is essentially the same thing. FACT
- Returning to footwear : I was a child of the eighties, spending my youth in Dr Martens. I’m part of a generation of Kangaroo-Kicker-DM wearing women without bunions and with great feet. Never wear heels unless you absolutely have to (if there ever is such an occassion)
- Don’t judge women who have kids at a young age. Trust me, when your eggs are limping along you fellopian tubes in your forties, you’ll realise you can’t beat biology.
- On that note, you don’t HAVE to have kids. I don’t have kids, many women I know don’t. For some, this is out of choice. For others, its biology (see point 8). Kids don’t make your life – they’re part of it, one option. Don’t judge other women for their choices.
- Take risks… calculated risks. It’s okay to be single, move towns, change jobs, learn a new hobby, do something out of the ordinary. Just be you ! Equip yourself with knowledge and go for it. Take risks, but calculated ones, ensure you have a chance of success.
There are many more lessons, of course. But if you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you’ll pick those up along the way.