I like being 40, it’s concentrated the mind. I am no longer young. Rather than wailing and gnashing my teeth about this fact, it’s made me realise that I’d better hurry up and do some of the things I’ve meant to do for ever.
I’ve never had a hankering for leaping off buildings or experimenting with drugs. Instead my year has been filled with quietly pleasing activities like learning to sail a dinghy, inspired by a childhood love of Swallows and Amazons, and starting a new jewellery business, something I’d never have imagined doing a few years ago.
In the last year, I have discovered that I love opera, become a dog owner, learnt to knit, rediscovered an appreciation for Shakespeare having finally set foot inside the Globe after years of walking past, taken up running, been bowling, had a drawing lesson, seen and wept at Warhorse and revelled in the Olympics. Who knew I’d love watching live sport so much?
I think underpinning all of this is the fact that I am different. I’ve made it through the baby years and out the other side. I now get to sleep through the night and have free hours when they’re at school. But it’s more than that. I’m not so nervous of life, unwilling to push myself forward, worried about what other people think. Life seems less like a struggle and more like something to be enjoyed. We don’t have long on this earth, we might as well make the most of it.