I was a really lucky girl. Can I still refer to myself as a girl now I am 40?! That gives you some indication of the thought processes that have been taking place in my head recently. I had pre-birthday celebrations consisting of a meal out with friends including a few surprise visitors Gray had sneakily organised. I then celebrated my actual birthday with my family with a meal out and lots of cake. Cake that for once was not made by me I should add! Finally I spent the weekend in a beautiful country house in the middle of nowhere with some of my favourite people and Gray also surprised me by sending along all the chocolate and some pink fizz. I got lots of wonderful pressies and cards including the most beautifully simple Orla Kiely bags and a wallet and this awesome Orla Kiely back pack. I know lots of good people with good taste it seems! I was well and truly spoilt and it felt wonderful. As a person who doesn't like being centre of attention it was a little over whelming how much trouble those close to me had gone to. Spending time with those dearest to me was the best part of my birthday, it was a big one so people made more effort than usual and it felt special.
The worst bit was actually turning 40. Before you tell me 40 is not that old or you don't look 40 anyway, save it! I know I am lucky not to look my age but that doesn't mean I don't feel my age or have any less sense of my inevitable demise!! I remember being a kid and my Dad turning 40, it just seemed so old to a then 13 year old me. Kids will be looking at me like that thinking I am really bloody old, hell I think I am really bloody old. If all goes to plan I have most likely lived over half of my life which brings everything into perspective and makes you question the choices you have made up to now. From about nine months prior to my 40th I became really self-aware. I wanted to stop the clock and make time stand still. I didn't want to be 40, I wasn't ready for it and wallowed in my misery by mourning my youth. I don't feel like an adult. I am not sure I even really know how to adult. I fought it for as long as I could and then decided that I needed to get on with it.
While I still couldn't accept it was happening I realised I couldn't stop it so took action and decided I could use it to spur on some positive changes. I lost weight and got fitter than I have been for most of my adult life. I managed to lose two and a half stone by the time I turned 40 and would like to lose another seven pounds or so. Believe me it is true that losing weight as you get older is so much harder, younger Sarah was a fool not to take action sooner. I eat much better food than I used to though given the choice I would probably still eat like a child. I spend more quality time with Gray which is awesome for my well-being, I don't like it when we don't make time to do the simple things like just go for a walk and chat without any distractions. I have spent time learning what makes me happy and content then making sure I spend my time wisely. I don't have enough time to spend with those I adore so I am damned if I am going to give up any time to those not worthy of it. I make sure I have enough time for my hobbies and regularly remind myself they are just that, my hobby. I am passed caring what people think about me sewing hundreds of the same dress pattern. I sew them for me, not you and it makes me happy.
The good thing about getting older is I am more comfortable in my own skin. I pretty much know all I need to know about myself and I'm happy with how I have turned out. I don't need validation from my peers and I mostly do not care what people think about me. That is truly liberating. Twenty year old me would be mega jealous of how sorted I am, she was a lost soul who just wanted to be accepted. While I was writing this post Lucky Man by The Verve was playing in my headphones and I can't think of a more apt song to have as a soundtrack. I've certainly found my inner peace and happiness and with that in mind I am ignoring the number that is hanging around in that dark cloud waiting to rain on my parade and am getting on with making this next decade my best yet.
This article is pretty wonderful, it's worth a read.