This is what I did on my 40th… Bliss at Rumah Kayu in Nusa Lembongan, Bali.
Here I am. 40.
I’ve been thinking about this birthday for a few months now and have realised that how we approach the big FOUR-OH has much to do with how we think our lives should look when we get there.
I remember my Dad’s 40th like it was only a couple of years ago. We were on the farm in Capel, he wore a ‘This Old Fart is 40’ hat and we had a big rip roaring party with all our family and friends… people ate live cockroaches, got burnt on the bonfire and fell asleep in the paddocks. #GoodTimes.
The old fart… #HeTotesAteTheCockroach.
I have an awesome husband with two fab (yet mildly bonkers) red-haired boys, a job that I love and a wonderful circle of friends and family. Problems are of course regular, raw and real – but as long as you have your people around you… whether they are by blood or by choice… you will survive.
Clearly the apple does not fall far from the tree… Image: Jun Kendrick @artistliason
But enough of the gratuitous monologue, here are the 19 things I’ve learnt now I’m 40… The Good. The Bad. And the oh-so-very-ugly.
1. You have your people. Your family. This includes your family by blood and the ones you’ve chosen. I am very lucky to have two sisters and a brother. Suzie and Mike came in the Golden Family package and Bev came in a shared Uni house. I totes would have chosen them all anyways… they are the bestest.
2. You’ll continue to add to your ‘people’ as you get older and some will fall away. That happens and it’s OK.
A Bevi is for life… not just for Christmas.
3. Being older does not make you immune from the night-time heebie jeebies. But if the kids ask, I’ve totally got this. I’m Iron Man.
4. You learn to give ZERO SHITS.
That girl doesn’t like me? Zero shits.
Kids are eating spaghetti bolognaise for the third night running? Zero shits.
My bum is getting a bit wobbly? Zero shits. (OK – this last one is a balls out lie. A few shits are given… just not as many as the last decade).
The most fun ever with my high school gals. I had the Rails shirts NAILED in the 90s. Soooo ahead of my time.
5. Cullotes, high waisted jeans and scrunchies. All look good on NO-ONE. Even supermodels struggle.
6. Weird things happen to your face in your late 30s. One day you’ll wake up and go whaaaaaaaaaaat??? It literally happens overnight. If you’re like me, you’ll learn words like Skin Remodelling, skin needling, Retinol, hydraulic acid, peptides, botox and Clear and Brilliant… decisions, decisions.
7. I don’t understand Minecraft.
8. Being in a car BY YOURSELF is a sweet, sweet thing.
9. My Mum is one of my best friends and greatest confidants. Yes, I realise how lucky I am.
10. Going out on a big night requires preparation tantamount to marathon training. Including: actually EATING a ‘good meal’, pro-biotics, coconut water pre-hyrdration, vitamin B loading and next day food prep so you and the kids are not eating vegemite toast for dinner… again.
My Year 12 Ball. Perms were totes in… please refer to Bevi’s 40th story…
11.If you have two panadol before you go out with killer heels on, you can actually stave off the sore-feet-Bambi-walk. True story. Learnt this one just last month…
12. You can kill an über stylish look with a Bambi walk.
13. I. Am. Tired… ALL THE TIME!
14. Friends should lift you. Make you feel great and help you be the better version of yourself. Whether you talk everyday or once every five years or so. Friends make you smile inside-out. Walk away from the toads.
This is what I mean by having your people. I met Di when I was 9 and we are still fabulous friends today. We don’t see each other as much as we’d like (kids, life, blah blah) – which is probably a good thing… as we might turn out in matching Ra-Ra skirts again.
15. You get more clear about your style and how you like to wear things. I generally know what suits me and what doesn’t. But no one is right 100% of the time. I’m still able to f*ck it up in spectacular style…
16. Don’t be afraid of trying something new… unless that new thing is a cat-lady-face from way too much botox. Leave that well alone.
17. These things are always funny regardless of your age: farts, people falling over, a good dirty joke and other peoples awkward dating moments.
18. A small white lie is sometimes better than the truth. Unless your bestie wants to buy a hideous blue jumper that makes her look like a demented cookie monster. Truth always then.
19. Childbirth hurts like a bastard. And not even the drugs are fun…
Sassy now and sassy then… a cheeky 17 year old. I wish I still had those Oakley Frogskins. Sigh…
So there you go. Not an exhaustive list obviously. I also learnt to make Spaghetti Bolognese in 30 minutes flat with 80 hidden veggies in it too (see No. 4), but you get the gist.
Life is fun and challenging in your fourth decade and we don’t necessarily have our shit together. But we can fake it real good.
One of the best days of my life and the most KICK-ARSE party ever!! Making it official with my penguin.
Please tell me what is the ONE cool thing you’ve learnt since YOU’VE turned the big FOUR-OH!!
If you not there yet, enjoy your gravity defying arse because unless your Demi Moore bid it a fond farewell…
Now pass me the champagne because it’s Happy Freaking Birthday to Me!
Just SOME of my people. I am very lucky to have some outstanding women in my life.