I turned 40 last week. Something I wasn’t looking forward to, which took me by surprise in a way. I’ve never really worried about birthdays, getting older. This year however, I have been feeling rather jaded about it!
Charlie asked me if I wanted a surprise party (yes, I know, not much of a surprise if you are asked if you want one!), which I reacted to with revulsion – I didn’t want to be the centre of attention like that. I mean, if everyone was there, I’d actually have to admit I was 40 – wouldn’t I?! I just wanted to pretend it wasn’t actually happening.
Why? It seems totally ridiculous AND self indulgent to try to deny the fact that I am getting older, like everyone else on this planet. So what’s the deal? Well, I do think it’s wrapped up with what we have been through in the last couple of years. The fact that we have tried and failed to have another baby and that my window of opportunity is closing…not that I’m even sure that trying again is the right choice. But it also has to do with both my parents’ early deaths. My dad died at 49 and my mum at 51…each passing year brings me closer to the ages that they died at. Anyone who has lost a parent prematurely will understand where I’m coming from. You can’t help but think “well if they died young, so will I.”. It’s normal, if a bit morbid and negative sounding. So as I delved into the “why” of my grumpy reluctance to recognise and celebrate my 40th birthday, I started to come round. I began to remember why I need to be thankful for everyday I have and to make the most of the life I have. To focus my mind on what I want and need to do. To make sure that I live a fulfilled life, no matter how long it turns out to be.
So with that, I decided I wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been to before and really wanted to see, Venice. I would also make an effort to spend time with family and friends over the next few months to celebrate with them. Ok, it’s not a big party, but I don’t really like those anyway! This way, I can spend quality time with those I love and care about, and they can help remind me not to be grumpy!
Charlie and I had a great time in Venice. It was really special. My birthday night had clear, cold skies which meant we (well, I! Charlie was busy navigating the narrow, dark alleyways.) were able to catch a few falling stars in the night sky over the centuries old churches and buildings – it was magical…I definitely had a “moment”! I loved exploring Venice. There are so many other places I’d love to visit as well, so we’ve made a bit of pact try to get to as many as we can, bringing Benjamin along with us too.
And I am thinking of what I can and should do with myself for the next 10 years and some of those have something to do with this blog, that nobody knows about or can find…I may have to face those gremlins and give this blog a chance to reach others.