I’ve seen a lot of posts recently on some of the other parenting blogs, along the lines of “forty things to do before you’re forty”, or “thirty things to know before thirty”. There’s not many milestones for me know. In just over seven years I’ll be fifty and nobody seems to celebrate that. As we are all having to work for longer, it’s not even a celebration of only having to work for another few years and your life is your own.
I can’t think of 44 things to do before 44, but there are a few life lessons that I think are helpful to get under your belt before your forties.
I thought I’d share with you some of the life lessons I’ve learned so far, and what I wished someone would have told me earlier. The list is not exhaustive.
- Read the political and economic columns in the newspapers regularly, and start doing it when you’re young. Trust me, it really is easier to understand what’s happened to the euro, or what the Middle East is all about if you’ve been following it for a while.
- Learn the basic rules to popular sports, or at least some terminology. I’m thinking football, rugby, tennis, are good places to start. Whether you like sports or not is beside the point, people will insist on talking to you about them. You’ll make your life easier if you don’t have to keep asking what are “obvious” questions to them. Even better you can cut them off at the knees with your with your knowledge of the offside rule.
- You are not Jennifer Aniston* ! This is what all hairdressers should tell you but don’t.
- You are not Jennifer Aniston! This is what you should remember before spending a fortune on magic face creams. She looks great in her forties as she has sufficient funds to eat great food, have personal trainers and a great stylist. I suspect there’s also beauticians, skin therapists and some surgical/medical assistance when needed. Stick to your budget and accept your own beauty – we are all different and this is a good thing.
- FitFlops are the best sandals ever… FACT
- Saying anything with conviction and/ or declaring it as a fact has the automatic result of making people believe it is true, which is essentially the same thing. FACT
- Returning to footwear : I was a child of the eighties and nineties. I’m part of a generation of Kangaroo-Kicker-DM wearing women without bunions and with great feet. Never wear heels unless you absolutely have to.
- Don’t judge women who have kids at a young age. Trust me, when your eggs are limping along your fellopian tubes in your forties, you’ll realise you can’t beat biology. Don’t judge older mums like me either. It could be you one day.
- On that note, you don’t HAVE to have kids. For some, this is out of choice. For others, its biology (see point 8). Kids don’t make your life – they’re part of it, one option. Don’t judge other women for their choices.
- Take risks… calculated risks. It’s okay to be single, move towns, change jobs, learn a new hobby, do something out of the ordinary. Just be you ! Quit and start over if that’s the right thing to do.Equip yourself with knowledge and go for it. Take risks, but calculated ones, ensure you have a chance of success.
There are many more lessons, of course. But if you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you’ll pick those up along the way.
*Feel free to swap in a more age appropriate celebrity for you to mirror. It was all about “the Rachel” in my day.
… and don’t forget to wear suncream