Today is my birthday. I turned 45. I am genuinely shocked to have arrived here so swiftly. The last twenty years seem to have rocketed by but even more so since I turned forty. Honestly, I feel as though I blinked and the last five years were done.
When I turned 25 I was so happy and full of hopes for the future. I was newly engaged and had everything to look forward to. Each day seemed to bring something good and I felt very lucky to be where I was. Since that time I have been married and divorced. I’ve known the extraordinary joy of bringing two babies into the world and the devastating loss of stillbirth. I’ve travelled, bought and sold houses, met amazing people, let people go, been to funerals, been to university, obtained one degree then another and watched and marvelled at the lives of my children unfolding before me. Through that time I thought that time would be kind and move slowly enough that I would get an extra twenty years on top of the twenty I was already given between the ages of 25 and 45. Oh yes I did.
I love birthdays and I have never shied away from my age, being grateful each year to still be here. I still feel that way although I have noticed that sometime between 35 and 42 people stopped expressing surprise at my age. They now accept me for the age that I tell them I am. I quite vainly miss people thinking I’m a little bit younger. Maybe that’s why I never had a problem revealing my age!
The photo on the left is me taken 20 years ago today. I couldn’t believe I was 25! I felt like such a grown up! The photo on the right is me aged 45, make up free (with a little help from filters). You can see the years on my face I think, but not in a (very) bad way.
I am not in the place I thought I would be at my age but there are many good things about where I am right now. I am lucky to have all that I have but at the same time, I think I am going to strive for just a little bit more. That’s okay isn’t it?
My only fear is that the next 20 years will go by even more quickly than the last have gone. I have so much that I want to do, so much to see, so much to give, and so much to learn. I don’t want to waste a moment and yet sometimes there seems to be so much to get done that I can’t start anything at all.
What’s that old saying? How do you eat an elephant…? One bite at a time. So here goes. For my first “bite” for the next twenty years I am going to put my fancy clothes on and take my daughters out for a birthday dinner. Then I’m going to eat cake. Happy birthday to me!