The Night Before The Big 4-0
This is a post I wrote on the 6th November, the day before I turned 40, as part of a mini-series about reaching this milestone. As I only launched my site on New Year’s Day, I haven’t yet had the chance to share it with you. No time like the present. I actually found writing this post quite therapeutic and just jotted down what I was thinking and feeling in that moment of time, with no filter.
As I sit here on the eve of my 40th birthday, there are lots of things going through my mind, a lot of questions that I find myself asking. I don’t know whether I am asking myself these questions because I feel it’s something I need to be doing or should be doing. Maybe it’s because I feel it’s something a lot of people do when they’re about to hit a milestone age. It’s a cold, dark evening and here I am, sat on the sofa in the den with my cup of tea, a biscuit and my laptop.
I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m very excited. I’ve been buzzing about this for a really long time. And I wonder why I am so excited. I know a lot of friends of mine who are turning 40 around the same time, or who have already hit their forties have been unsure and apprehensive about it. Some of them have been scared while others have been contemplating their future.
There are a lot of people in my life who hate sharing their age, no matter how old or young they may be. Some people think it’s rude to ask someone how old they are, others don’t like to give that information away about themselves freely and society dictates that it’s not a polite thing to do. I guess it’s a big thing for many. Each to their own.
I’ve never personally had a problem sharing my number. I don’t know whether that’s because I think I still look young. A lot of people tell me I don’t look a day over 30 and that’s great. It’s a huge compliment and I love it but that’s probably not the whole reason. I guess I’ve always been comfortable with what I’ve achieved till now. I’m content knowing that I have a great husband, two fantastic children, a nice home, a good career and wonderful friends and family. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like I’ve questioned my age as much in the past.
I’m quite a confident person. I make every effort in my appearance to look and stay young, whether that’s the clothes I choose to wear or keeping up with the latest make-up trends. I’m healthy, active and am a ‘get-up-and-go’ kind of person. I’m quite happy in my own skin.
But I still owe it to myself to ask this question – have I done everything I wanted to do by now?
I found myself asking the same question when I turned 30. Back then, I had a different set of goals. Of course I didn’t have a blog or an outlet like this to share my feelings then. I spoke to Sukh and my friends about what I was thinking over a decade ago. I had always wanted two children by the age of 30 and OK, that didn’t quite go to plan. I had Shivam when I was thirty-two. But when things don’t go to plan, you can’t just fall apart. At that milestone, I had achieved more or less what I had hoped for.
I don’t know whether we, as a people, make a bigger deal of milestone ages than we should. That might sound strange seeing as I’m writing a whole post about it. It might even sound hypocritical because I’m planning a big bash in a couple of weeks and I have a lot of smaller celebrations with different groups of people in my life. However, I decided to do all of these things because I am at a time in my life where I can afford to do something big like this for myself, where I can splash out on a really expensive outfit because it makes me feel good or buy something just because it puts a smile on my face. I’ve worked hard all my life. I’m raising my children well and always put them first. I don’t think I should feel guilty for choosing to think about myself first for a few weeks of my life.
Recently a lot of people have been asking me what my five- or ten-year-plan is now that I’m almost 40. I don’t know if I have one. I love holidays, I love venturing in to a new country and exploring the sights and sounds. By now, I had hoped I would have experienced some of the Far East and visited some of the countries I’m really passionate about discovering like Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. I haven’t even set foot in the Far East yet but that’s not to say that it won’t come in this decade of my life. I guess it’s always nice to have something to aim for. Things don’t always work out as planned but that’s OK.
I have always gone back and forth with the idea of having another child. Sukh had always wanted three children but I was the one always shutting down the idea. It’s highly doubtful I will ever have another baby now that I’m hitting my forties. Sometimes I feel really broody and wish I had made the decision just to go for it. At other times, when I’m really enjoying myself on a night out, or I’m at a wedding or party, I’m really pleased I decided not to. Shalini and Shivam are older now and self-sufficient at family events. It means I can fully enjoy myself too.
Aside from travelling, I don’t really know what’s on my five- or ten-year-plan. I’d like to invest time and effort in my blog. I’d also like to spend time mastering photography. I want to capture all of those wonderful moments that take place in my life and with my family. Sukh is usually the photographer but I would like to explore my own skills. Shalini loves clicking photos and I really want to help her develop too.
In terms of my career, I’m really happy with where I am at. A few weeks ago someone asked me why I had given up on news reporting and journalism after only a few years in the field. I had always wanted to be a TV reporter and when I got my first job doing just that, I was so proud of myself. I’d worked towards achieving that goal since I was fourteen. It was a dream come true. I then moved in to radio by chance and continued with reporting and news reading. But then, over the years, I moved over into the entertainment side of things as a radio producer. I’m actually glad it panned out this way because I am happy doing what I’m doing now. I’m content my career has gone the way it has.
One thing I guess I wish I had focused more on is my poetry. I loved writing poems as a child and throughout my teenage years. My poems were another way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. I even had several of them published in community newspapers while I was still at college. Yes, poetry took a back seat, but now I can look forward to getting back to writing and exploring my emotions.
This blog has opened up so many avenues for me already and I hope it continues to allow me to fulfil many of the dreams I still have. I’m glad I’ve put all these thoughts down on paper. If anything, it’s made things so much clearer. There will always be things I still want to see, do and achieve but for now, I’m really content with who I am. Here’s to more.