I turned 40 at the end of last year and the whole year before hardly a day went by that I didn’t think about it or someone kindly “reminded” me.
It’s not that I was dreading it – it was the same when I turned 30 – my life wasn’t going to be over – but this time, the more I thought about it and I analysed my life, I came to realise that I wasn’t quite where I thought I would be. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone – we all have dreams of our ideal – in a high position/highly paid job, in a committed relationship, living in luxury….. blah, blah blah…. but by no means was I unhappy or depressed.
I was on holiday with my partner and a bunch of great friends and came to the decision that rather than whining about my job (having lost my role as a trainer due to cost savings), working hours upon hours of unpaid overtime without a so much as a thank-you, agreeing to various things because it was “expected” rather than actually wanting to, getting stressed making my Psoriasis and spots worse and always feeling tired – instead I should DO SOMETHING about it and vowed that I would make turning 40 the best thing that had ever happened to me.
Upon returning to the UK, I promptly told my boss that I disliked my job and wanted to do something else but was happy to continue in the role till I found something new. At first I thought they were ok with it and it didn’t affect my performance however a month later (a week before my birthday) I was rather suddenly removed from managing my team.
At the time I was outraged by the way they did it – however it meant I wasn’t in a role that was making me unhappy and by chance they needed some new guys to be trained so I managed to return to my favourite role training people for a couple of months – yay!
So that was the start of my 40th and since then I’ve tried to do as many new and fun things that I can. I spent my birthday in Amsterdam, spent 4 days over Christmas with my family (rather than my usual 2), spent New Year at home with friends, been to the theatre 8 times, visited Copenhagen and went to the Eurovision Song Contest, with many more holidays and events planned for the rest of the year.
Physically, I started going to a BodyCombat class (which I love) and actually joined the gym in April. I’ve had words with my GP and managed to get referred to a dermatologist about my Psoriasis and on new medication, and today marks 4 weeks since quitting smoking.
Things are most definitely on the up and long may it continue….. when I hear my friends and colleagues now complaining and worrying about turning 30…40 and even 20 (FFS) I like to point out that although they can’t change that fact – they might change how they feel about it if they actually do something about it.