Thursday, 17 July 2008

Sentiments on turning 40

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF MY THIRTIES

Tomorrow my body clock will be ticking its way to 40, yes FORTY, with full chimes belting out at around 6pm in the evening. If you listen carefully you may hear them, even if you are as far away as Japan.

40...eh!

It's arrived.

I knew it would.

But like Christmas every year, it's crept up behind me and taken me by surprise.

I wonder if this is when I graduate as a grown-up.

Once the champagne has been devoured, maybe it will be time to roll up my sleeves, don my hat of responsibility and venture into adulthood.

A destiny of practical gifts awaits. Socks here, shampoo there or gift vouchers to buy things you want as a strategy to avoid any unwanted gifts and waste.

I can see I've changed. Moi, goddess of consumer delights has somehow metamorphosed into a pared-down version of my old self, using big words inspired by Kafka whilst shedding material excesses of the 21st Century.

How the heck did that happen?

All I ever wanted was to slim my bin.

But something's happened to my make-up... and I don't just mean my favourite Dior lipstick?

During my twenties and thirties I was lavish, bought loads of clothes, accessories and indulged in lots of fine food. We had dinner parties, where I treated people like kings and queens, offering an abundance of culinary delights, which if not used would be thrown in the bin, without any further thought.

I surprised people with gifts that were often expensive. The more expensive the better right? It showed I cared and valued that special person.

When older family members asked for practical things that could slot into their everyday lives, I thought that was simply boring. "How unexciting" I'd say, desperately wanting to surprise them with a special gift that would bring extra sparkle.

I now wonder how many of my special gifts have ended up in charity shops, car boot sales or landfill.

It's amazing how people can change. It's even happened to my friends who are getting married this year, with very minimal wedding lists or suggesting donations to charity.

Since writing this blog, I have moved on in so many ways. Not completely away from my sense of adventure and fun, you understand, or indeed from my aspirations to improve my lot with the odd thing here and there...and trust me these days they are odd.

You see I am still hoping for some birthday gifts (but not swamped by them) and would dearly love a telescope.

I don't have one and probably don't need one, but I hold a yearning to see the galaxy, the constellations and the stars. I want to take a closer look at the moon and virtually feel the bumps on its surface.

But I don't want a new one. This time around a pre-loved one will do as I've lost all my old hang-ups over second-hand goods.

And it shows. One of my dear friends is giving me one of her old bags for my birthday. It's a beautiful bag, a Radley one in pristine condition. It's been sitting in the bottom of her wardrobe in the five years that I've known her. If she had pulled her finger out in the last few years, she would have got a fair whack by selling it on eBay.

Instead, I am getting it for my fortieth birthday and what a pleasure it will be.

So is it an age thing, or is it the indulgence of pouring out my thoughts through blogging?

Who knows?

But one thing's for certain, I've been inspired by many of my family, friends and strangers alike, and am glad to be surfing the sea of change.

So, as I spend the last day of my thirties enjoying myself with some close friends in London, I would like to raise a glass to mark the end of a handsome decade full of fun, frivolity and friendship.

But most importantly I would also like to raise half-a-glass to celebrate the beginning of my forties.

And by no means is the glass half-empty. Oh no! In good old Almost Mrs Average style, it is most definitely half-full!

So please join me in a toast to happy days and a future of more fun, measured frivolity and long-lasting friendships.

And with a slow sip of champagne, and a big deep breath...it's time to shout...

"Let the fortieth celebrations begin."

Hooray!

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(I would like to dedicate this post to both my mother Ellen and to my late mother-in-law Pauline, whose sense of "everything in moderation" I never fully appreciated until it was too late. We still miss you Pauline. But three years on I now get it and have every gratitude for the memories that live on.)
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7 comments:

Mrs Green said...

Have a wonderful day Mrs A!

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

May I echo Mrs. G's comment and pass on a comment a parishoner made to me recently...

"It doesn't matter how all you are, you are always in the prime of life!"

And he is in his 80s

Blessings,

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

For 'all' read 'old'... it's an age thing

just Gai said...

Cheers! Enjoy the last day of your thirties and don't let the thought of turning forty worry you in the least. It sounds to me as if you're all set to make the most of them.

As someone who turns 50 next year I look back on my forties with relative satisfaction. What they lack in the giddy heights and terrifying depths of the emotional roller coaster of youth, is more than made up for in an increased awareness of who I am and what is ultimately most important for happiness, not just my own but of those with whom I share my world.

Baba said...

What an uplifting blog! You deserve every happiness and I truly hope you enjoy some fabulous celebrations this weekend!! As ever, will be thinking of you XXXX

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh big hugs my lovely. I blumming well hope that glass is empty, then full, then empty then full again. Hope you have a wonderful day with your friends and enjoy being a fabulous forty. I've learnt so much from you and I think you're a bit special. Big hugs, and I will get organized in time for the next carnival, honest. xx

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Mrs G - thank you. It was a real great day, with memories I will treasure forever. I'm a lucky girl to have such great friends with whom I can share such a special time and I count all the lovely people I've met through the blog in the category, including yourself, as well as my other friends whom I've clung onto for decades. LOL...they can't shake me off ;-D xx

Hi Peter - thank you and that's what I call the right attitude. Your parishoner knows a thing or too and LOL at the age thing...I already know what you mean :-D

Hi Just Gai - those are wise words and thank you for such a great description. I've enjoyed my thirties and I think you're right, my forties will be full of new adventures. BTW...fifty? From your photo, you don't look anywhere near it. ;-D

Hi Baba - thank you and yes there will be lots of celebrations...with Mr A taking me out tomorrow, the school fayre on Saturday, followed by a BBQ with some friends. Phew, I think I might need a lie in on Sunday ;-D x

Hi Jo - thanks for the hugs and thank you for your lovely words too. Don't worry about missing the carnival, Mrs G will give you a warm welcome onto next month's issue. And as forthat glass it will be refilled through the weekend...and probably the rest of the month ;-D x

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