Wednesday, 11 March 2015

New beginnings, life begining at 40, first day of spring, etc!


I wrote this last week...

I was taking my morning constitutional this morning in the park, enjoying the sunshine and looking at the crocuses; even though I like autumn and winter better than the warmer/lighter months, there's something so smile-inducing about the first signs of spring life.  New beginnings are forever a thing of magic and possibility, are they not?  


Talking of new beginnings, change, etc, I was also thinking about an email I'd had from my friend Peregrine (not his real name) this morning.  We'd spoken recently about a mutual friend, who I will call Lucinda.  Neither of us had heard much from her for some while.  However, Peregrine told me he'd 'messaged' with her the night before.  I asked how she was; Peregrine said that she seemed down in the dumps, a bit 'blahhh' and 'like everything was over, her life was just going to carry on the same as it is now, forever' about which she was fairly pissed off.

Lucinda is 40.  I am a 'wee' bit older than that.  This week Lucinda will be 41, which Peregrine says was depressing her further, particularly as she works in a very image conscious/youth worshipping orientated business (she's gorgeous, by the way!).  I was a bit "oo-er" when I reached my 40s, too, so I've written this to everyone who feels similarly about it:



Dear Lucinda and other People-Who-Think-Life-Ends-At-40:

It so doesn't!  A whole bunch of stuff happens after the jowls start sagging and the grey hairs and crows feet appear, and you appreciate it all more when you're older, too.  Since my 40th birthday, I have:

  • Moved counties twice.  I would never have predicted either move as I drank into the early hours at my 40th birthday party.  Amazing what life can throw up at you, eh? 
  • Published ten books.  I wouldn't have predicted that, either, as Kindles weren't around!  I was writing at the time but the only chance of my ever being read by anyone aside from family and close friends was to find an agent and be traditionally published (likelihood: miniscule). 
  • Discovered life 'online' - no, it's not real life, but it kind of is, too.  It's weird.
  • Had about five different jobs.  
  • Made stacks and stacks of new friends (both in 'real' life and this strange online one) through jobs, house moves, my writing life, a social networking site or two and the 'real' social life I used to have (!!), some of whom I know will be friends for a long time. 
  • Discovered and developed new interests.
  •  Seen my niece, Freya, born (well, not actually being born - you know what I mean)
Freya with my dad, about 2012

  • Ended a less than satisfactory marriage and got married again, and had another long (five year) relationship and three short ones.
  • Visited places in the UK I'd never been to before, and been in an aeroplane for the first time (look, I know it's pathetic, I just haven't travelled much!)
  • Heard new music, read new books, seen new films...it's endless. 

In a nutshell, more good things have happened since I turned forty than in all the years before it.  Hands up who thinks I ought to send this to Lucinda (bearing in mind that she and I only met in 2008, too!)......







49 comments:

  1. Oh no - there's decades to go after 40!!

    I recall struggling with 30 - I has small children and thought I'd be reading Humpty Dumpty forever.

    By 40 I was divorced and remarried.

    By 50 I was widowed. That was pretty crap.

    By 60 I had a PhD, had gone round the world and written a book about it.

    So by 70 ...

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  2. Well said, Jo!!!!! I remember seeing 40 as 'the end' when I was in my early 30s - haaaa!!! You've done more than most, tho - I am so envious re the travelling!

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  3. Love this! Any and every age can be a drag or a great adventure!

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    1. Indeed - pity about the knees, tho....!

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  4. Well, as you may know, I'm going to be 50 this month :( It really does seem like only yesterday that I was saying 40! A lot of good and bad things have happened in that time but I'm still here, so that's pretty good. I feel okay about being 50 in some ways but miserable in others. I feel like it's time for me to do what I want now but I can't because of all the responsibilities acquired in the previous years! So that's not that great. However, I am constantly reinventing myself and I think that's the key to it all, for me anyway ;) Hopefully, one day soon, all the other dreams will fall into place as well. As you say, you need to keep doing new things and that inspires you to carry on, knees permitting of course. Great post, Terry x

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    1. I didn't know you were nearly as ancient as me, Julie! I found 50 very daunting, much more so than other milestones, and of course we get the menopause crap too, but now I'm (well) over the hump it's just fine - take comfort in that!

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  5. For me the worst age was 30. All my friends were away because it was August and it felt like the end of my youth. 40 & 50 didn't bother me at all. I really didn't enjoy receiving cards with 60 on them but I feel much younger, hopefully look slightly younger and my life since retiring from full time work is so much fun.

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    1. Oh yeah, my 30th was awful! I was just going through my 1st divorce, which was horrible - and yes, you look much younger (fell Leo, yes?)

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  6. Hear, hear! I'll be 40 in a few years. While I don't look forward to the age chronologically, I do look forward to another decade of growth and interesting life experiences.

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    1. Keisha, that is what it is all about, isn't it? One life and making the most of it, etc - can't pretend I wouldn't rather be 33, though! Thanks for reading and commenting :)

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    2. Ditto all around. I looked at your bio, Keisha, and we should probably be friends??! How do I make that happen 😂

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  7. This is all so true. I actually kind of did nothing with my life until I was 30 and so much happened in the decade to 40, not least leaving England and coming here. 41 next month =s But...i thought 30 was the end, was my point, and it wasn't at all. And having turned 40 now, I soon after set some other things rolling. Admittedly I'm not tied to anything which makes some things easier but still..I'd rather not be 40 but WHAT YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT..?!! It's a mental block, age, more than anything.

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    1. Totes, bro. Easier for men, too. And no kids makes it better, provided you don't want them, of course!!!

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    2. Yeh I suppose it is. Well I did once bt never happened so, 'free' still. The world is my Frankie Goes To Hollywood's oyster in Welcome to the Pleasuredome - if I could afford to go wherever that is.

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    3. It is easier for men, I firmly believe. Not that I let it bother me. And easier for Literastein (though it may not seem so now) because he's very good-looking, which I bet he takes for granted!

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    4. Very good looking people rarely realise what an advantage it is :)

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    5. Nice of you to say so buutt...can't change how you see yourself, can you? I do realize my eyes being green is somewhat advantageous at times but other than that..

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  8. I think the best thing about getting older is that you care less and less what other people think. Plus you get to an age when it's inevitable that you see people you love taken too early and worrying about age starts to seem obscene given the alternative. As long as we are alive and kicking, anything is possible and none of us know what great things are waiting for us around the corner :D

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    1. Amen to that, Workshy!!!!!! :) Nowt to add. I do still care what people think, but am much more trucculent generally...

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    2. Good one, Workshy. Btw if you are ever in the US again we should go on the lash 😆🍸

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    3. It's a date - although I feel duty bound to warn you I'm a total lightweight and it gets messy :D

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    4. I'm a lightweight too, now, WS. Doesn't mean I am not still pouring 'em and talking until 2 in the morning, tho. Last Saturday my dad was coming to pick me up from my mate's after the first drinks for me since last October (give or take one bacardi and coke on Christmas day), and I had to be administered every potion under the sun so I could even STAND, let alone put make-up and decent clothes on. But I did it. I stood up like the trouper I am.

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    5. That is pretty impressive, Terry! What's that rule - one drink is not enough and two is too many. That always happens to me I plan for one, risk two and then before I know it I've lost a shoe and fallen down a flight of stairs :D Actually when I say always, I should point out I very rarely imbibe at all these days.

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    6. Me neither - as indicated by 'the first drinks for me since last October (give or take one bacardi and coke on Christmas day)' !!

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    7. I can handle messy, I think. If you get in too much of a state WS I'll just get hammered too and pretend you're not happening =p Just re-read the losing clothing and falling down the stairs bit...i might re-think this...=D That is good, Terry, you used to be terrible... !! Haha! It does change though with age doesn't it?!

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  9. Life's what you make of it, don't listen to the voices in your head, the ones with all the excuses and all the bitchy-ness, listen to your heart and Go Forth....

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    1. It's so damn short, after all! :)

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    2. Exactly Rosie. Drown those voices out with booze and go forth with Shiva! Life soon passes by, is frightening really. Shit, no, no it isn't. I forgot what the point of this blog was for a moment. 40 IS great, fast lane or slow lane.

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  10. I'll be 58 in a couple of weeks, and never could imagine that I'd be looking down a shotgun barrel at 60. And I've had cataract operations in both eyes, and am scheduled a hip replacement! And there I was, thinking I was immortal. On the other hand, I've changed my life completely, and I must say much for the better, in the last 12 years. And I still look awesome, which is kind of the point, I always think - ha!!!

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    1. My rock chick sister is having a hip replacement. I can say no more, except that Steven Tyler would approve :)

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    2. Look at all the hotties in their 70s and beyond these days - we are mere spring chickens :D

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    3. You do and that is a bulk of the point, Julia. ST would.
      Yes, as a 41-pusher I find women older than myself quite alluring these days, plenty of 50+ lookers about to give me the unspeakable hots.

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    4. Are you on the ale, Phillip? :^D

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    5. I..I'm afraid I was, yes...

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  11. I was appalled at the thought of being 30 something..I was a miserable bugger on my 30th birthday. When I hit 40, I just kinda shrugged..TBH, I had so much going on when I turned 40 I didn't really have time to notice.. and in the grand scheme of things (numerous major life changes) my age was the least of my worries.

    Now I'm approaching 50.. December this year in fact.... and I'm not sure how I feel about it....not that it matters much how I feel..there's not much I can do about it :)

    and anyway, the number on the page, won't change my real age....which ranges most days between 5 and 20 ;o)

    Great post Terry x

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    1. Thanks! I do think 50 is a hard one, but I'm 56 this year and all I can say is do hang in there, it gets better! xx

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    2. Definitely best to try and keep things below 20.

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  12. I was eight months pregnant with kiddie number 3 on my 30th - I looked like a blimp! I was also married to an absolute prat so I hated that entire period of my life (apart from having fab kids!). I loved turning 40, I was divorced with three beautiful children, had started my own business and published my first book. Life gets better every day! I also found that my confidence soared once I hit 40. My body also began to slide south but I didn't care as much as when I was in my twenties and everything was where it should have been! Weird eh! Bring on my 50's yay :-)

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    1. I feel best in my head now, Shelley, but after the menopause the ageing thing really does hit looks wise. I still looked cool and groovy up until I was about 49 but then.... ouch!!!

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  13. Phew! what a relief! Am not quite there yet but glad there's hope! ;)

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  14. I love this post, Terry! So many things I'd always wanted in life happened after 40. So now that I'm 50, I'm really looking forward to some adventures! Oh and BTW, you still look cool and groovy!

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    1. ha ha, thanks, Mary, and so do you! xx

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  15. Wonderful encouragement, dearest TT. I'm about to reach the big six oh, and I'm hoping life will just get better and better!

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  16. My forties were fabulous: I discovered dancing, joined a choir, became a grandmother (three times) and, right at the end of it, got married again! At the beginning of my fifties... I became a writer!

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    1. I love how the comments on this post are full of stuff like this, Wendy!

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  17. Thanks for writing this Terry, I turned 41 in January and tbh have been a bit down in the dumps- weirdly more so than when I hit 40. I guess it's been the cliche of "What am I doing with my life?" Etc but your words are very inspiring to me, thank you! Especially regarding career/dream chasing- you are never too old, I just need reminding of that from time to time, so thanks! :-) xo

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    1. Hi! Yes, I found the same. 40 was a novelty, 41 rather depressing. The good news is that life is far from over - 16 years on, I am even more sure of that!

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