Spring is trying to take hold here on the South Coast of England. The weather is like my mood – often sunny and bright but with the tendency to fluctuate back to the occasional short lived, chilly spell. The blossom is coming out and the sea looks blue again and next month I will be forty. When I was a teenager and thought of myself at forty I imagined a tweed wearing, grey haired lady with boobs down to her knees. So the hair might have a bit of help but it certainly is not allowed to be grey and I am writing this wearing jeans, wearing make up and certainly not planning on shopping for tweed any time soon. I can still see my boobs and they are definitely above the waist.
I always find spring an ideal time for new starts, resolutions and plans as I feel much more optimistic than in the depths of winter. This year however, I am probably analysing my life more than usual due to the approaching milestone.
Do I need a new start? Am I doing ok?
In the main the answer to this would be no I do not need a new start and I feel generally happy so I must be doing ok. This has not always been the case in the past but I am now able to say that while all my decisions were not always good ones, I find myself in a place of happiness. I have a loving husband whom I just love spending time with. He makes me feel loved, supported and sexy and most of all secure in who I am. The great relationship I have with my parents also makes me happy as do my best friends, two of which are my age, one in her twenties, one in their fifties and one is mid seventies. My job pays fairly well and is rewarding although I do not know how much longer I can go on doing night shifts. I read, play the piano, go running and love walking outdoors. I have a few nights out with hubby and friends but I am equally happy cuddled up on the couch in my pajamas. No children but the older I get I only feel more relieved in this increasingly scary and driven world we live in. No I won’t have anyone to come and visit me in the retirement home in another forty years but that would be a selfish reason to have children.
Having thought about all of this I have come to the conclusion that all is well. At that moment, Jennifer Aniston comes on the TV advertising skin moisturiser. She is sitting in a garden doing yoga looking about 28, squealing when she spills fruit juice from her blender. Meanwhile I am wearing a onesie and am halfway through a box of malteser chocolates. Good effort Jen, your yoga and healthy diet has obviously paid off. At the age of 48 you look amazing. I will be happy if people say I look good. The best compliment is not that I look young for my age, or indeed any age at all but that I look nice.
Now, I feel more confident than ever before. More able to say no and more able to say yes when people really need my help. The age of my friends sum it up for me. I have common ground and things to learn from all my friends. At 26 I was fun loving and slightly bonkers. I am still first in line for a roller coaster and like watching Disney movies. At 40 I enjoy going out for dinner, weekends away and seeing the world when we can afford a good holiday. I enjoy my work and my time off. At 50 I see my friend being more caring than ever towards her family. She has the strength and maturity to support her husband though cancer and still enjoys a night out and looks good. My friend in her seventies adores her crafts, still goes to theme parks and takes care of her family. At 40 I can take things from any age and relate to most people.
Embrace the spring folks and embrace being whatever age you are. Yes I could always be richer, fitter, nicer, better looking, better traveled and any plans to improve are greatly accepted. But the pressure is off. I am forty and I love it.