Date: 6th November 2015
I am turning 40 tomorrow, and I have to say I am very excited about it! I know some people dread it and want to hide away thinking ‘how could I be that old? Where did my life go? It won’t be long until I’m 50 and then 60…
But I had a moment of clarity; the moment came to me 3 years ago, when I was at a 40th Birthday party of a friend who had passed away. There was a party held in his honour around the time he would have turned 40. I realised as I sat there, amongst his loved ones, that there is nothing at all to be ashamed about when turning 40 (or any other ago come to think of it). I had a very strong thought, it just hit me, it was along the lines of this – ‘Wow what would he have given to be here with his friends and family, celebrating his 40th Birthday. If I’m lucky enough to be alive and well on my 40th Birthday, I am going to have a big party, celebrate and dance the night away!’ I started to think about my own party, to really look forward to it. And here I am, the time has come, and I am so happy and excited to be almost there. I am proud to be turning 40 and grateful to have friends and family willing to celebrate with me.
Those who have passed on before their time, and unfortunately there are many, are teaching us a valuable lesson about life. Don’t you think if they could say anything to us, it would something along the lines of – ‘live life to the full, enjoy it, celebrate it, you are getting to do what I didn’t.’
It is so sad when someone young dies, what a waste we say, they didn’t get to do all the things that we take for granted. But it’s also enlightening, because we are here, right now. We are lucky enough to be alive. We should be grateful but we so easily slip into ‘automatic’. We need to embrace every day, and if we can’t do that, we should at least embrace any good reason to celebrate and enjoy life. For those who left this earth before their time, you have taught us all a lesson, you showed us all how much can be packed into one short life, you showed us what a positive impact and contribution someone can have, you taught us to take nothing for granted, for we don’t know what is around the corner. I think we should make sure to honour them all by living life to full, in whatever form that is for each of us. It could be something as simple as noticing the colours of the autumn leaves or a fabulous sunset, the smell of the sea air, the smile on child’s face or enjoying the laughter of strangers. It could be something bigger, changing your job, booking the holiday of a lifetime, throwing a party! Make good memories, embrace the now, enjoy as much of your everyday life as you can, every second of it is precious.
So now in my forties, I am making a promise to myself, I’m going to work harder at having more fun, laughing more, playing with the children more and doing my best not to be stressed. And maybe the old saying is true… Life begins at 40!