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And So This is 40, and What Have I Done?

I woke up yesterday morning and the weirdest thing happened. I was 40. How did that happen so quickly? One day I was dancing at secret raves and generally living life without a care in the world and the next I’m married, 2 kids, a grown up house, proper job and a full 40 years behind me. Excuse me if you’re easily offended, but holy shit.

I have a clear memory of being about 16, soon after my mother died, imagining my life at 40. I think I thought I’d have a rather grown up job (tick), I seem to remember thinking I’d have children (tick) although in my 16 year old mind they would be older than they are. I guess I spent too many years living a fancy free life to have them any earlier. I certainly remember promising myself I would never forget my mother and that on my 40th birthday, if I had survived (well I was 16 and with that comes a barrel load of drama) I’d say ‘well done Holly, you’re okay’.

What would I say now to my 16 year old self?

- Always follow your instinct, it rarely lets you down. On the occasions you don’t things generally go a bit awry . You will come to realise this.
- Don’t dye your hair blonde. It will look awful and will take years to go back to its normal colour

Evidence that I should never dye my hair blonde.

Evidence that I should never dye my hair blonde.

- You do not have a genetic ability to stay in shape beyond your 22nd birthday. Do some exercise.

I was the best runner at school, shame I waited till my 30's to take it up again

I was the best runner at school, shame I waited till my 30′s to take it up again

- Count to 10 before you lose it. If you follow this advice you will be a better person than you actually are (figure that out)

- Figure out your priorities and stick with them

- Smile more

- Save more

- If something’s not working, ditch it. Life’s too short to keep flogging dead horses (and who wants a yard of dead animals anyway? Weird expression).

- You will always take on more than you can do. Just get used to it and don’t try and change it. It’s who you are.

- Have a day every now and then when you switch off all devices. Phone, blackberry, TV, laptop. Even before you have children you should do this.

- Make time for your friends. They are the glue that hold you together.

So all in all it’s not bad to be 40. I’m mostly where I hoped I’d be, maybe sometimes it’s a bit rough around the edges (the 5.30am starts are fairly trying), if I stop spinning the plates they tend to crash in dramatic fashion, but I get by and I have some great, great friends both new and old and I have the best family anyone could ever wish for.

Thank you to you all for getting me here.

(That is the last smug post you will get from me. Promise.)



  1. Belated happy birthday!! Fab post x

  2. happy birthday mrs, sorry I missed the lunch x

  3. Ah, I’m en route to 40 too, and wonder everyday how this grownup life came to be mine! Happy belated birthday. One thing I can say is that 40 seems to look a whole lot better than when I was 16 thinking it would never arrive!

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