a few thoughts on 40

There has really been no getting away from the fact that this would be the year I would turn 40. It's been all around me, especially in the age of social networking. I've watched on Facebook as friends from school have proclaimed the start of a new decade with photos of parties, shouts of Happy Birthday! from friends and family, and all too often, a sense that 40 is NOT. GOOD! Funny how a simple number can come with so many associations attached. So what has 40 meant to me? Well, as with all other numbers from 1-39, it hasn't meant anything at all in terms of my actual age. Miraculously I didn't waken the following day with a load more wrinkles and a hankering for polyester jumpers from Menary's! What I did notice about turning 40 was the following,:: I got special balloons! I mean, have you seen how much fun you can have with just a ballon?:: I got to wear the special ginormous badge - again, what's  not to love about a badge I ask you?:: I had a special cake that even merited number candles!:: All of my boys humoured me and sat still for 10 seconds to let me have a picture taken - that for me is the miracle of the day!:: I got my own party and all my most favourite people in the whole world were there (well nearly, but some were poorly and some were in other countries). And there was Sing Star - I kid you not, it was marvellous!! Admittedly there were also a heap of embarrassing photos from my past dotted around the house, but I'm trying to embrace it all! (Note that I just look like a girl version of Patrick in the school photo!):: People brought me lovely presents - these are only a very small few. My people are very lovely indeed!

look at these cute meringues - all handmade for me by my amazing friend Adele

how cute are these teeny tiny biscuits from the biscuiteers?

another Cath Kidston bag? well, ok then!

:: I got to decide where we were having birthday tea - Little Wing, of course, where we enjoyed pizza, wine and silly photos!

:: There was a whole weekend in London with just  my husband the following week but I shall hold those photos back for a day or two - I would hate for you to get overexcited at my blogging activity in one day! I shall tease you with just one.

I did also notice that my 5th decade opened with a bit of surgery as well - bad timing really and nothing to do with my age (just gammy ligaments). But even surgery at 40 hasn't been all bad.

:: I got to watch the Rugby World Cup semi final uninterrupted in bed!

:: My surgeon drew this fabulous artwork on my shoulder! It's exactly the kind of thing I would tell the boys off for, but it's ok for mums who are 40!

:: AND, I got tea and toast brought to my bed, twice within an hour! Admittedly, post-surgery it was tricky enough managing to pour the tea without spilling it all over myself, but it was a completely fabulous treat. In hindsight, it could have been the 2 shots of morphine that have made this seem so much fun!

So, my final thoughts on turning 40 are these.

:: 40 is just a number. Seriously, you can check - it doesn't come with anything attached to it at all.

:: I don't feel 40. Some days I feel 15, some days I feel 30 and some days I feel 58!! It's all about attitude to what's going on around you. That and not taking it too seriously (because there are definitely some people who are taking it all too seriously!)

:: I don't feel I have to justify my love of Countryfile anymore! I can watch Matt Baker and John Craven each week knowing I'm safely within their intended audience age bracket!

:: And my final, final thought is simply that life is good. I must make of it what I can, with sick kids, stitches in my shoulder and far too many creative thoughts going on in my head all at once. It is all too short and it must be grabbed by the proverbial horns with both hands and have all the goodness squeezed right out of it!

So who's joining me for a bit of life-squeezing this week?