15th April 2022 is my 40th Birthday. It’s come around quicker than I expected. I’m sure the last time my birthday made a difference to my life was when I turned 17 and could learn to drive?
I see ageing as a privilege not offered to many people and I am planning to celebrate the sh*t out of this occasion.
There will be fun, food, singing and dancing with the very best of friends and family.
I thought I’d write a list of the stuff I’ve spent the last 40 years learning as a reminder for myself. Then I thought, why not share this?
So here it is, 40 random lessons from a 40-year-old:
- Sleep is the foundation for human performance – invest in it, protect it, value it!
- Drink (more) water – by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated
- Fizzy water quenches your thirst better than flat water (who knows why – someone please tell me?!)
- You always feel better after a walk – get your trainers on and go for a wander
- You feel doubly better if a walk (or pretty much any activity) is with a four-legged friend
- Dogs are role models for living a good life – watch, listen and learn from them
- Standing with the sunshine on your face for 10 minutes makes you feel awesome
- A hug is medicine for your soul (if you’re a hugger that is – if you’re not it may have the opposite effect!)
- The best friends are those who you don’t see for too long then it’s like you’ve never been apart
- Spend time with people who support and challenge you in equal measure
- You give a little love, and it all comes back to you (thanks for the inspo Bugsy Malone)
- Choose your bosses very carefully, your relationship will have a massive impact on your life
- Your work colleagues will see you through 1/3 of your life – care about them
- Do work that lights you up on the inside – even when the work is hard
- Life is way too short to surround yourself with mood-hoovers (or to be one!)
- You can do anything but not everything
- One tiny action feels WAY better than inaction
- It’s easy to go from a bit “meh” to neutral than it is to go straight from “meh” to “yeah”
- Worry is a misuse of your imagination
- Choose progress over perfection – every single time
- In every situation, you have choices – even if you’re not keen on the options
- We have a weird relationship with time – work with it, not against it
- You need to start from exactly where you are, not where you want to be
- The stories in your head are not always entirely true…
- There’s always more than one side of any story
- Growth feels a bit icky when you’re in the process and bloody brilliant on the other side
- You can walk away from things that no longer work for you
- Boundaries are how we show other people we have respect for ourselves
- You have all the answers you need; you just need someone to ask the right questions
- Fall back in love with the music from your youth – sing it at the top of your lungs for that warm nostalgic feeling
- A three-minute dance party to your favourite tunes is a fantastic brain refresher
- Your body can’t tell the difference between fear and excitement
- A good cry is sometimes exactly what is needed
- Laughter has magical healing powers, spend time with people who make you laugh so hard your tummy hurts
- Some friends are for a season, some are for a reason and some are for life
- 525,600 (ish) minutes a year – choose who you share them with carefully
- Doing nothing is an act of self-care, it’s not lazy (still convincing myself of this one)
- Be silly as often as you can
- If you’re too much for some people, they’re not your people
- Sometimes, the only answer is chocolate
I wonder what will change over the next ten years…what will my 50 lessons at 50 look like? Excited to explore and find out.