I am in no way feeling sad about leaving behind my thirties. This is a big birthday, but it's a good one!
Looking back, I feel like my first decade was a lot of fun. My second was pretty horrible for the most part and if we could inflict adolescence on evil-doers as a punishment I would think long and hard before going ahead. My 20s was rather crazy, but a lot of fun too. My 30s have been hugely fulfilling, but incredibly busy.
Now I'm going into my 40s, and I feel like I've properly grown up, left a lot of hangups behind, and am now getting a bit more time for me again. I'm looking forward to spending more fun time with my family and friends, and of spending my time working on things I am interested in, rather than doing jobs I feel I ought to be doing.
I do mainly think that people are people and age is just a number, but experience of life teaches you that some things just aren't worth worrying about, and you can let go of a lot of 'shoulds' and just increasingly be.
I love Jenny Joseph's poem, Warning - it shows us the path we should take, but I've got a decade or more to go before I'll be ready to buy my red hat.
Warning by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
My sunny and beautiful friend Cate said this about being 40:
I'll let you into a secret about being 40 though (at least a decision I made when I was 40) I suddenly finally felt grown up and if I didn't want to do anything, I didn't have to - and if someone didn't like me...it's their loss. Sad really that it took me 40 years to work that out!I think Cate is right. I feel grown up now too, and in charge of my own life. I am looking forward to sharing my forties with my friends, many of whom are in their forties already, and seem to be having a pretty good time.
How do you feel about turning 30/40/50/whatever your next big milestone is?
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