Thoughts on Forty

A close friend of mine emailed our little gang of girls and said she was feeling nervous about her upcoming fortieth birthday. Most of us ignored her (being forty we’re all too damn busy with work and family to reply!) but a few of us managed a brief response and it got me thinking. I loved turning 40 last October. It was probably the most spoilt I have ever felt; the house was filled with flowers and champagne – and through the haze of excessive fizz drinking and the scent of bouquets I just felt amazing – so special! My friends and family just made it for me! Since then as well, with my new found status at having reached four decades on the planet, I do also feel even more self-confident and self-assured than I used to be. I know what I like and what I don’t. I know what I am a good at and what I am not and I accept (most of the time anyway) my flaws. I also give even less of a flying f**k about what people think than I used to. ‘It’s so liberating,’ said one of the gang on this subject and it really is.

My response to this thirty nine year old pal was the one thing I always come back to when thinking about ageing, the alternative; not ageing, not growing older. And knowing those friends and acquaintances I have already lost from my peer group that were not granted the ageing privilege keeps me thinking positively about gradually getting older. Again, for the most part.

Anyway, this weekend I learned one more thing about being 40, one unexpected little thing. I learnt what the two little words, ‘bad back’ really mean. Ouchy. Ouchy. Up until Friday I had no idea what those two monosyllables that simply roll off the tongue in their punchy little alliterative catchphrase actually stood for. I do now.

Sort of reminds me of the FABULOUS song, ‘class of ’99’. Wonder if I can find a YouTube link? It’s Baz Luhrmann, the year that most of us graduated, and probably time to listen again. I don’t recall a bad back being mentioned but I do recall… ‘And look after your knees, you’ll miss those when they’re gone…’

So to my friends H and M who are the next two to turn 40 in spring – and then N come the summer too – 40 is FABULOUS. But let’s all re-listen to Baz now shall we? And take stock. And take care better care of our backs. 🙂

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