Turning forty

The Ordinary Lovely: Turning 40

It's no secret that I have a big birthday looming. In little under four months, I turn forty. While age and birthdays have never bothered me in the past, forty kind of feels like a big deal. More so as it creeps closer and closer, and with it comes the increasing realisation that we don't actually live forever. Forty is almost the summit, isn't it? The peak? The hump? Oh my goodness, I'm entering in to mid-life crisis territory, aren't I? Is this where I throw caution to the wind and make a last ditch attempt to fit in to Top Shop jeans and run off with Zayn? If you don't know who Zayn is, I'm guessing you're even older than me, and yes, that does make me feel ever so slightly better, I'm not going to lie.

At such a pivotal time in my life, it seemed right to sit down and make some sort of list ... forty things to achieve before forty, forty lessons learnt in forty years on this earth, or a little more morbid, forty things to do before I die ... but all that I came up with was forty different ways to say that I really don't have much of a clue what I'm doing or want to do in the future (running off with Zayn, aside).

Partly to blame is the fact that my years between thirty and forty were a bit of a whirlwind. Just before my 30th birthday, I was offered a job in Switzerland and so a couple of months later, Paul and I moved to Zürich. Shortly after that, I wasn't feeling too well and some tests revealed a small tumour below my brain (a prolactinoma) and I was told that my chances of having children were slim. Two years down the line, my eldest was born, and two years and three months later, the littlest dude arrived, and promptly fell asleep (he lured us in to a false sense of security, that one!).

I stopped working full-time in favour of a three day a week, and then gave up completely when it proved to be too difficult for Paul and I to juggle two demanding careers and two beautiful boys. I loved working, and it was a brilliant company, but it was a really easy decision in the end.

Two years ago, we moved back to the UK, settled the boys in to a new routine, reacquainted ourselves with the area we grew up in and with the people we grew up with, and tried to turn the house which we'd bought to rent out, in to a home.

And here we are. Tired but happy.

And here I am. Tired but happy, and on the cusp on turning forty.

I have no pressing goals to accomplish. Overcoming my littlest's separation anxiety took up a lot of my time and headspace over the past couple of years and I think I'm still a little worn out because of it. For probably the first time ever, I find myself without much of a plan or any long-term goals, and I'm really okay with that.

I have no life lessons to share other than be kind, work hard, smile, and take chances ... on people and places.

I have no bucket list. I'm not sure whether that makes me completely boring or simply content? Obviously, I'd like a bit more sleep and a touch more sun, but while I can turn my hands to most things, those two seem to be somewhat unattainable. Even more so than the Top Shop jeans and Zayn scenario, I imagine.

So, I'm curious. To those of you who have already turned forty ... did you have a list of things to accomplish beforehand or did you approach your birthday with relaxed grace? And to those of you who have yet to turn forty ... have you set yourself goals or do you have a notepad filled with things you'd like to achieve before your big day?

Four months and counting!