10 Things I wish I had known before I was forty

I am FORTY next week.  Apart from going on about it quite a lot I’m not really that bothered.  Age is just a number and if you’re only as old as the man you’re feeling then you can subtract 7 years – oh yes!  It has got me thinking a bit about “if I knew then what I know now” so here goes.

1)  You were never ugly

As a teen I was convinced I was ugly.  I hated myself. Fuck me! I was so serious about how I looked.  Because I hated the way I looked I spent hours putting on makeup, I wouldn’t leave the house without it.  If I’d known that actually I wasn’t really ugly, and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder I would have been a lot happier. Not that I think I’m a thing of beauty, I just don’t really give a fuck anymore

Me, aged 17 second from the left
Me, aged 17 second from the right

2) You were never that fat

OK I was overweight, but as a size 16 and 5ft 7 (and 3/4) I wasn’t obese – I am now, that’s another story.  I wouldn’t have beaten myself up over my weight for the best part of the last 33 years and wasted precious time and energy on it.

3) Don’t fear failure

I can’t tell you the opportunities I turned down or didn’t go for because I feared failure, or being laughed at or not being good enough.  I was asked to sing in a band but was too shy. I didn’t go to uni when I could have. It’s only recently that I have “put myself out there” with this blog and it took some soul-searching I can tell you.

4) Making people laugh is a talent

Growing up I envied my peers that were good at sport or art or anything that could be measured really.  I was academic but nothing special. I’ve always been funny though. Just because it isn’t on the curriculum doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

5) Life doesn’t always go to plan

I never really was a planner but you have a bit of an idea the way you think your life is going to go.  I never factored in for a boyfriend being killed, a divorce or finding out I had Crohn’s disease (which I’ve tackled here & here).  It’s a funny thing, life

6) Everything is relative

A friend of mine once said “I can’t tell you my problems because yours are much worse” or something like that but it’s all relative.  A problem is a problem, no matter how small – move over Dr Seuss.

7) You may not be a “Natural” mother, but by heck you are a good one

So, yeah.  I’m not a natural mother – (I would list all the posts but you’re better off just checking my archive to be honest).  I didn’t have my first child until I was 34.  I quite liked going out and partying.  I was good at that too by all accounts. But just because I don’t go to every baby group going, I’m not on the PTA and I don’t do crafts (I just can’t be arsed if I’m honest) doesn’t mean I’m not a good mum.  I play Minecraft, paddle in the sea, tell fart jokes and I’m a pretty good mum truth be told.

Me, aged 32 keeping it classy after a night out.
Me, aged 32 keeping it classy after a night out.

8) Learn French

I reeeeaaallly should have paid more attention in French class, instead of being told off by the teacher.  I did OK for the first year or two but my teacher left and was replaced by a woman who did not like me one bit.  She wasn’t the brightest, I mean who puts the girl she accused of mucking about at the front of the class BEHIND where she stands.  That was just asking for trouble.  Anyway, I hadn’t anticipated meeting Vince aka Monsieur Incidental.  If I had I would’ve made more of an effort and might understand his family a bit more.

9) You don’t need lots of friends – it’s quality not quantity

I always craved popularity – again I wanted something you can measure and having lots of friends proves you’re nice and funny, right?  Nah! I’ve found over the years that friends come and go.  Good friends stick with you through thick and thin as many have proved to me recently.  The ones that come out of the woodwork when you really need them are the ones that count.  Cheers ladies – you know who you are.

10) Mother is always right

At least mine is.  Drives me mad to say it but there we go.  Listen to your mum (unless she’s a complete twat, in which case don’t) she knows what’s best for you. There will be no living with her after this!

I guess all these things are learnt with age but, fuck me, if I’d known then what I know now…

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Omg yes yes yes to all of this!! My kids who are nearly 38,35,33,28 ( & 9 grandkids)all say, we get now Mum!! Whoo hoo!! I brought up well adjusted adults go me!! I’m at an age now where I can just say fuck it or fuck off I don’t care if you are offended because one day …. you will get it too!! I’m not going to grow old gracefully ….. but I’m gonna go- probably knee sliding sideways, with a prosecco in my hand, yelling yes!! What a ride!!

    1. Author

      I’m with you! Screw growing old gracefully!! I want to be the old lady that everyone says “Oh fuck! It’s her again” and then hides 😉

  2. Happy birthday! Ive always thought my 30s were better than my 20s. If only the things we knew now, we knew then, huh?
    Glad you’re feeling fabulous as you hit forty!

    1. Author

      Thank you! I know, you shouldn’t look back but it’s good to realise how far you’ve come 🙂

  3. Love this post and agree with so many things. I have wasted so many years worrying about my weight. I remember going on a diet in school st was only 9 stone something….

    Wish I head learned some Spanish!

    Hope you have a lovely birthday! We must have local bloggers meet up soon xxx

    1. Author

      Thank you! A local bloggers meet sounds just the ticket xxx

  4. So true!! I’m closer to 50 now, and each year I allow myself to become more ‘eccentric’ – embarrassing in other words, but one can get away with ‘eccentric”!! I too thought i was ugly as a teenager, overweight (still am!), but to hell with it – as I say to my kids, they’ve got all their body parts, so they should think themselves lucky! Really enjoy your blogs!

    1. Author

      Eccentric. I like that! Thank you 🙂

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