1. Big 40 hits soon

    Big 40 hits soon

    Turning 40 is starting to get to me.  In my last post, my perspective was very positive and I was getting on fine, but as the day gets closer, I’ve started to unravel.

    At work there are a few ‘events’ to celebrate my birthday, and I have a party as I mentioned so I guess it just becomes a bit more real.

    A trigger may also have been my parent’s 45th wedding anniversary as I thought “hmm… I’m unlikely to get that”.  We went on holiday and time to think which is usually welcomed became a bit of a crazy time for me.

    I wasn’t sleeping that well.  We were keeping busy going out and about doing things to maximise our time there.  I then saw an article in the Daily Mail which said that “lack of sleep turns us into ‘social lepers'” and that made me feel slightly better.  My Dad reminded me that I’m not unique, but it’s quite easy to get lost in thoughts in your own head.  A good night’s sleep can right many wrongs.

    It’s funny how what is essentially a number can play so much on your mind.  I think it’s natural though to take time to reflect on where you are in life.  A milestone like 40 is bound to do that.

    Grease recently turned 40 so there are lots of good things the same age as me (including Garfield – see previous post).  Kylie turned 50 this year and Madonna turned 60, so there’s a lot of milestones around.

    Life Stage

    Jennifer Aniston recently did an interview with InStyle magazine where she talked about her life stage and about society’s view on women without children.  This again made me feel better.  There are lots of people in the same position and life isn’t always a fairytale, or probably never is really (though I’m still a big Disney fan).

    I can get into a panic about things and worry ahead of time, but actually if you just take each day as it comes then you can actually achieve a lot.  Yesterday I spent much of the day on party organisation which made things feel a bit more in control.

    Fearne Cotton writes in her Happy journal about how the summer holidays always felt like forever when you were a kid.  This rang true with me.  She said it’s because you are enjoying the moment rather than worrying about the future.  It comes back to the whole mindfulness thing and to enjoy today.  It is all that we have.

    Beautiful Lake District

    FairySteps

    FairySteps

    I recently spent two (separate) weeks in the Lake District.  What a beautiful part of the country.

    We visited lots of National Trust places especially those related to Beatrix Potter such as Hill Top.  We also re-watched Miss Potter – it had to be done.  Film and music definitely help to get you into the spirit of things.

    We visited Allan Bank which is where one of the co-founders of the National Trust lived for a time, along with William Wordsworth.

    AllanBank

    AllanBank

    The Fairy Steps in Beetham were tricky to find, but I pushed myself to climb them as I started over-thinking it and nearly bottled out.  Next we went to Arnside on someone’s recommendations for fish and chips.  The shop was closed and as we arrived rain was thudding down.  We noticed people were sheltering themselves by the shops but assumed this was because of the rain, not knowing that there is a tidal bore so going into a pub for a meal (which was lovely – The Albion) we went from seeing loads of sand, to the water covering it.  I imagine it would have been amazing to see.  Apparently Helen Skelton sat in a canoe for CountryFile and travelled on the water coming in.

    In Grasmere, which is a lovely village, I visited a local bookshop as my Mum was after a book in their window.  This reminded me actually of Notting Hill (the film).  Around the same time, JK Rowling put out a tweet about a second-hand bookshop she had visited on holiday.  They hadn’t recognised her… I’m currently really enjoying re-reading Harry Potter.  There are lots of good quotes in there that will appear in my Twitter in due course.

    Next door was a little takeaway food vendor (Lucia’s) which we went to twice as we enjoyed it so much.

    Returning to work

    I went back to work and felt really welcomed by the team, so that made me feel good.

    You can always draw positives and write gratitude lists if you do have a wobble in life. Of course there will be times that was going to be very sad, but for now enjoy today.

  2. 40 is the new 30

    40 is the new 30 (or is it 20?)

    So it’s coming.  40 is about to hit me in a few months.  How did it happen? Where has the time gone? It’s hit Garfield already.

    Growing up I loved Garfield and now my niece does.  I think that’s funny.  I’ve just bought both of us the new 40th anniversary book.  When I ordered mine, I also purchased another book, Tribe of Mentors, which had been recommended in a CIMA magazine I had read.

    As I post daily inspirational quotes on Twitter, I thought that this book might give me some useful insight (not that Garfield won’t).  I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter books, but I had a quick skim of the first few pages and noticed that Timothy Ferriss mentioned turning 40 three times in as many paragraphs.  He said that he “had no plan for after 40”.  So it struck me how 40 was everywhere.  It’s a bit like when you are looking to buy a car, you suddenly notice all the cars around you.  You are meant to become more contemplative in your forties and that’s certainly happening within my friendship group.  I look forward to seeing what I learn from the book.  I will share any useful insights.

    To mark the occasion, I’m having a party with people able to drop in for as long as they wish.  I’m seeing it as an opportunity to catch up with people that I’ve not seen for a while, and spend more time with those that I do.  And enjoy some dancing hopefully.

    Party organisation

    I do love to organise.  It’s a key Virgo trait.  I’ve been pulling together a playlist for the party.  I also love music, so it’s nice to be able to find a reason to do something like that.

    I hope that the weather will be good since I’ve invited a lot of people.  This led me to thinking about the impact of weather on our happiness.  In the UK at the moment we are having a heatwave, or numerous heatwaves.  Am I happier? I think so yes.  I mean, sometimes it’s too hot, but I can work with it.

    Summer holidays

    I can’t believe the school summer holidays are rolling around already.  This year has flown by.  Though of course starting the new job had a definite impact on my concept of time.

    Hopefully you have some vacation plans ahead over the next few weeks.

    My company had a summer party yesterday, on another glorious day.  I took along some family and friends and we all had a fantastic day out.  The weather being good had a definite impact.  But the whole organisation and thought behind the party was second to none.

    Deckchair

    Deckchair

    Live life and don’t grow up

    In my mind, I want to enjoy life as much as I can.  ‘Enjoy today’ being the mantra.  I also think it’s important to stay ‘child-like’.  I don’t want to be old and boring that’s for sure, though at the same time I am definitely sometimes too serious and worry too much (as I’m sure I’ve mentioned).

    In the spirit of ‘play’, here’s a picture of some ‘art’ that we had done at the party yesterday.

    Face paint

    Face paint

    Here are some further thoughts on age.

    Like Garfield (and lots of other people), I hate Mondays, but mainly because there are lots of fun things that you could be doing rather than working.  The continuing good weather is definitely improving my mood, along with having things to look forward to (which of course are funded by monies earned through work).

    Today is a good day for sports fans, with the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final along with the World Cup Final.  Neither have a British contingent, despite my belief that England would make it to the Final.  It feels an optimistic time for me anyway.

    Enjoy today whatever you are doing.

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