I am going to be 40 this month, it feels like a big momentous occasion as this time 10 years ago I had just started my chemotherapy treatment and wasn’t even sure I’d make it another year.
Now here I am alive and kicking with an 11-year-old daughter, running my own business and owning my own home with a man I love. I am definitely celebrating turning another year older. Because what alternative to birthdays is there? Just death.
So, here are the 40 things I’ve learnt over the past 40 years.
Things always get better. And no it’s not a D:Ream song (for those of you not 40, Labour’s passing into power in 1990 was punctuated by this annoying ear worm). No it really is that things always get better. I’ve been in some terrible depressing situations in my life and no matter how hard things have been they have always got better.
You’ve just got to keep on trucking. As much as we might want to step off the merry go round of life, unless you have a great fat pay check appearing every month from some old rich relatives, you do really have to keep on going.
It’s not the end of the world if you stay in on a Friday and Saturday night.
Not everyone will like you. And that’ ok. The one’s who do like you, will really like you.
Yellow looks good with everything (if your complexion allows you to get away with it!).
Women are amazing. Throughout history we have carried on making babies and keeping the home fires burning with little fan fare or thanks. We just get on with it.
Everyone has come out of a woman’s body – makes me smile to think about that!
Forcing your friend who tells you she doesn’t like strawberry yoghurt to eat strawberry yoghurt, resulting in your friend throwing up strawberry yoghurt in your parents car, will smell for months and will make you dislike any strawberry flavoured anythings for the rest of your life.
The personal relationship you have with money will affect your ability to earn and keep hold of it.
Good TV is hard to come by. Breaking Bad breaks all the moulds.
Don’t believe everything your brain tells you. It is not true.
Trust your intuition. Is it generally, mostly right, and further down the line you will have wished you’d listened to it.
You don’t have to work for arseholes. Throwing a stapler at them and getting escorted off the premises is preferable.
Treat other people as you would like to be treated. I know this gets banded around a lot, but it really is worth thinking about your actions and how they affect people.
Saving isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, the more you get into it, the more excited you’ll be by it.
You can buy a house if you want one.
Earning less money so you don’t lose your tax credits is not a sensible way to run a business. Neither is staying under tax thresholds. If you can earn more, do it.
You are responsible for your own happiness. No-one else, just you.
You won’t stay spotty and skinny forever, and boys will fancy you one day.
Let some friendships go, the good ones will take care of themselves. You don’t need to hold onto everyone you’ve ever met like a limpet.
Love your body and face for what it is. You can only change it in small degrees, so just learn to love what you’ve got.
The longer your hair gets the more you find it everywhere!
Having no eyebrows or hair anywhere on your body can be quite upsetting.
You are always stronger than you think.
Take vitamins every day. They will ward off those viruses everyone else gets.
Cheese will make your face spotty for over 20 years and one day you will stop eating cheese and you will have the complexion you’ve always dreamed about.
Baby animals are still as cute as they were when you were 3.
Crying is cool. Crying at Friends is fine, as well as Neighbours (in the 90’s) or anything else you care to cry over. It lets stuff out.
Women need to talk about masturbating more.
Starting a business can be lonely, so make sure you find a network of amazing people to help you when things don’t feel quite as rosy as you’d like.
Breaking the law is not quite as sexy as it looks in Trainspotting.
Being yourself is better than trying to be the thing you think people want you to be. The more yourself you are, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
Having a child is tricky and challenging, but challenges are fun and you get to make an amazing human being who grew inside you.
Not all women have to have children and societies obsession with our wombs is not good.
Nobody owes you anything.
There are too many white men in politics and positions of power and we need greater diversity in everything. No good can come of one select type of person controlling the world.
You can meet a man you love being with and who you get on with 98% of the time.
Shaving your legs is an absolute arse pain and waste of time and you’ll wish it had never been invented.
Your friends become your family.
Turning 40 is really cool, you’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin than you’ve ever felt.
So that’s it for me! I’d love to hear some of your nuggets of wisdom!