40 is the new 30, or so we're told. Yes, age can bring advantages such as experience, confidence and security, but for me it also brought some surprises. Here are a few things I've learnt since turning 40, (which was a while ago now).
I am invisible
Almost as soon as the clock struck midnight on my 40th birthday, I became invisible to the general public. I'm not saying I used to attract lots of attention, but I really think I could walk the streets naked in broad daylight without causing a stir. Several of my friends feel this way too. Is it just women?
There is an exception to the above of course: since having kids my body is public property to anyone in the healthcare profession. "Hey Doctor, Nurse, Receptionist - come and have a look at THIS!"
I'm a child trapped in a woman's body
My husband and I often muse that we still feel like children. We believe there are milestones to overcome before we become adults; one obvious one being having children of our own - which we've done.
The next one was 'knocking through' (ie knocking a wall down between rooms). We did that in 2006.
So we have moved the goalposts again and now we will be proper adults when we build an extension. We've just received planning permission but we haven't laid any bricks yet - so, we're still children.
Please don't tell the kids. Or the authorities.
I still feel like a fraud
I started my first job over 20 years ago and remember feeling like a fraud awaiting discovery; that moment when a superior would storm into the office and shout "we have an imposter in our midst claiming to be a PR professional, when in fact she can barely walk and chew gum simultaneously". I still feel like I'm winging it.
Does that feeling ever go away?
Everyone is running
EVERYONE is fitter than me. I can count on one hand the people I know who are not running, cycling or competing in triathlons or Tough Mudder. I'm in my little office, with the curtains closed. Eating chocolate.
While we're on the subject, my insides are heading south. Put it this way: since having two kids, I've only attempted trampolining once.
Fashion is for other people
Some styles of clothes suit me, some don't. I have come to terms with this and it has set me free! I can just turn away from rails and rails of sleeve-free items, knowing that they are for someone else. Someone without strange dimples in their upper arms.
I am easily distracted
I recently read a book called Mindfulness by Gill Hasson about living in the moment: learning to experience the 'now' to increase our enjoyment of life. It was recommended to me by a fabulous friend who could see that my brain was going off in too many different directions, making me, well direction-less. It was a good call. Except I just couldn't concentrate on the book!
I am so easily distracted by social media, the beep of a text message, or chime of a new Twitter follower that I could not be mindful about mindfulness.
Now, what was I saying?
I need (self) help
Talking of which, I've turned to self-development books in a big way. This, I'm assured, is what happens when you strike out on your own. Moving away from the corporate pack as I did earlier this year has made me re-evaluate my purpose and my personality.
Books about taking action and positive thinking have become my bedtime reading of choice. Gone are the shelves stacked with fiction, replaced with tomes about being a 'free range human' and 'the law of attraction'. I have found there is much to be learned from such books.
I'd love to hear your book recommendations.
No longer just for my parents, and strangely soporific playing quietly on the iPhone next to my pillow at night (but not too late obviously).
What have you discovered in your 40s?
This post comes from the Lifestyle Maven blog at www.LifestyleMaven.co.uk
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