2 February 2010

Look out!

In less than three weeks I'll be forty years old. Forty. The big 4 0. Oh dear!

All my life I've formed opinions and theories as to how you're supposed to look or act at a certain age.

For instance, when I was eighteen my Mum celebrated her fortieth birthday. She had a ladies' night party for her and her friends. There was a stripper-gram. They all loved him. I shudder at the memory of this. I felt that at their age they should have some modicum of decorum. I still feel like this. One day I'll tell you about the worst night of my life, when a friend persuaded me to go to a hen night with her. Oh dear. I think I'm easily shocked!

When I was in my twenties I thought forty was really old. People were middle aged at forty. They were ancient. I couldn't see that far into the future.

Back then I had decided that women over thirty with long hair looked scruffy and unkempt. I got my hair cropped when I was thirty and immediately grew it again. What a silly notion that was!

In my thirties I didn't think much about how I would look or feel at forty. I decided not to look that far ahead. Now it has crept up on me. I can no longer avoid the note on the kitchen calendar. 'S-40', written mainly for Andy's benefit, is getting closer and closer.

I've enjoyed getting older because I feel that I'm maturing. I'm not necessarily wiser, but I'm definitely more comfortable in my own skin. Does life begin at forty? Not for me. My life began the day I met Andy. Before that I was stumbling around, making mistakes, looking for something.

Andy was forty last year. How I laughed, safe in the knowledge that he would always be older than me.

I've delayed planning anything for my Big Day, for three reasons:
1) I've never liked a fuss on my birthday,
2) I keep changing my mind,
3) I've been burying my head in the sand.

So what will it be like the day I turn forty?  Much the same as being thirty nine I expect - only with presents and, of course, cake!

This post was written for the Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose prompt no.1 - What's made you feel a little old lately?


To read more writing.... The Best of the British Mummy (and Daddy) Bloggers Carnival is up at Insomniac Mummy. A feast awaits!



  1. Tis just a number as they say and anyway I think have two littleones to run around after will keep you younger, well that is my theory and I am sticking to it.

  2. I completely understand all that you are saying....I think maybe strippergrams are out of fashion now? I hope so....I've never liked that sort of thing either.
    I think if turning 40 involves huge celebrations it only enhances the enormity of it....maybe? Especially if you are a bit 'nervous' of it- just my opinion on how I will feel. xx

  3. Celebrate and make it memorable, Sandy! You deserve it; it'll be a nice memory, for you and for everyone one else involved; and take lots of photographs because to you'll love looking back at the images when you can't believe you were ever so amazingly young (but, of course, you will still be amazingly beautiful!)
    kim x

  4. Totally empathise - I am a year off!! My advice would be to enjoy the milestone and look forward to the next 40 years. Yikes! :)

  5. I just had my 40th in November and blogged about it here: http://michelloui.blogspot.com/2009/11/birthday.html

    When I turned 30 I felt like I was finally a grown up and could do what I wanted to do. When I turned 40 I felt like I could finally relax and be who I wanted to be!

    We like having dinner parties and drinks parties but they're a lot of work so for my 40th we had a big dinner party themed 'bring a curry' or ('curry pot luck' to an American!). We just supplied home made pilau rice and naan breads, I decorated the table with flowers floating in shallow bowls and we played a mix of bangra and sitar music. It was totally fab! Less work for me, but a great gathering of friends!!

    Hope you have a great day whatever you do! xM

  6. The Mad House, I'll go along with that one :-)

    Nova, I certainly hope they're out of fashion! Yes, I'd be overwhelmed by a big party, but I do want to mark the occasion. Hoping to go for a very nice meal at least. x

    Kim, you have no idea how much that has cheered me up. You are wonderful. There are very few photographs of me, we'll have to rectify that. We will be celebrating, I promise! x

    Hot Cross Mum, I will enjoy it. My goodness, another 40 glorious years. Let's hope so :-)

    Michelloui, ooh, well said, that's how I feel, I think I am relaxing into who I am. Love the curry idea, will definitely do that sometime soon. x

  7. Hi Sandy - when I hit forty I was pregnant with my fourth and I was trying to calm down my hysterical husband. My fortieth passed me by. When the current year dawned I realised with a shock I'll be forty seven this year. I think 'forty panic' hit me then. I talked it over with a good friend and calmed myself down. I'm okay now. And I know I will be okay. And so will you!

  8. I think you should celebrate, whichever way makes you feel special. A birthday is a birthday, but a special birthday should be remembered, for whatever reason!

    Here's to 40 & loving life as it is!

  9. I'll let you know how 40 feels on Sunday!! I have a feeling our forties will be our most fabulous decade so far!!

  10. for my 40th I got the tattoo I'd always 'put off getting' designed by my brother and paid for by my mum as a gift. Then I went for a meal and cocktails with friends who treated me toa naked man! Nice! Enjoy your birthday, I'm half way to the next big one now!! Yikes!

  11. I truly felt it was the end of my world on my 30th!! Being 40 was a great excuse to have a party and celebrate the fact that my world hadn't ended, and my 30's had proved to be just fantastic. I cried on my bed as 65 guests were arriving at my 40th party however, realising I was probably in theory middle aged, but after a couple of minutes of self indulgent sorrow I put on a smile and had the party of a lifetime. My 40's were amazing - I became pregnant at 44 and had little E when I was just 45. At 50 we went to Disneyland Paris and I celebrated my half century flying high on Aladin's magic carpet with my gorgeous husband and children. My 50's have been even better than life before - I feel so confident and love my world and the people who make it so good. Believe me, being 40 is the beginning of the beginning! x

  12. As long as there are presents, all is well :)

    I loved this line:

    'My life began the day I met Andy. Before that I was stumbling around, making mistakes, looking for something.'

    I understand that very well.

  13. Just a number! Hope you have a blast...

  14. "My life began the day I met Andy. Before that I was stumbling around, making mistakes, looking for something."

    Aww, can so relate!
    Have a fantatsic time whatever you get up to - and definitely lots of cake :)

  15. I loathe strippergrams as well - I just find them embarrassing for all concerned!

    As for turning 40, you should absolutely celebrate it: as my dad is fond of saying, there are a lot of people in the graveyard who'd love to be in your shoes!

  16. I turn 40 this year as well so I definitely feel your pain! LOL I've decided to embrace it, love it and cross a few things off my bucket list before I do indeed hit the big one!!

  17. I passed the infamous 40 a few years back and ...bring it on...I'm having a ball and wouldn't go back for all the tea in China.
    Happy 40th, embrace it

  18. Gaelikaa, so it seems like it's better just to get this forty panic over and done with! x

    Kate, thanks for the excellent advice. We have now booked something that will hopefully be memorable! x

    Sam, definitely! :-) x

    Tattooed Mummy, I got a tattoo when I was 30, but hadn't considered getting another - until now! :-) x

    Diney, wow, that's just wonderful to hear. Thank you. I suspected that life gets better as you get older and you have confirmed it for me :-) x

  19. Heather, there had better be presents!! You too? It's good to get past the stumbling :-) x

    Muummmeeeee, you're so right. I'll try :-)

    Leslieanne, thank you. There had better be cake!! :-) x

    Bronagh, that is so true. I will be having a fab time :-) x

    Karen, I'll definitely be celebrating! Perhaps I should start my bucket list of things to do before I'm 50 :-) x

    Marianne, that's great to hear, thank you :-) x



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