This is 40...

posted on: Thursday, 13 March 2014

I turned 40 yesterday! Despite all of my well-documented thoughts and worries about this milestone (thanks for bearing with me for the last few months!) I feel pretty good about it all now. As in: let's do this! I had the most lovely day; the sun shone, I saw friends and family. I was spoiled and given beautiful gifts. My best friend gave me a vintage leather-bound set of the entire works of Jane Austen, which is also 40 years old. Honestly I cried when I opened it - it was the most thoughtful, 'me' gift ever. I knew there was a reason why I made her my children's Godmother. There were flowers and surprises and kindnesses that are still making me smile today. And by the way, I don't look any different! Thank you too for all of your kind friends are cool.

From the vantage point of my 40's I can say:

Things that used to worry me about my appearance no longer do.

I would not consider plastic surgery. This is an important decision as at this stage in life you either commit to the ageing process or try to allude it. The last few years of medical ailments has taught me that health does not equal beauty. You may have beauty but you may not have health. In all matters: health can trump beauty every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

The best thing I ever did was to marry someone who made me laugh and who I find, despite over twenty years of waking up with him, is still my love. This is no mean feat.

I worry way too much. I regret worrying as much as I do, but find I can't stop. I worry that I worry.

The last few years have been a path of discovery for me. I thought I knew myself at 35; not so. May the same apply over the next five or ten years. There is so much to learn and appreciate, I hope there's time enough.

When it comes to knitwear, I like grey the best.

I won't leave the house without foundation and concealer on; good skin is all.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: motherhood is a marathon and not a sprint.

My Mum is the coolest, most necessary grounding influence in my life. I know no one like her. She is utterly unique and has been the an incredible bedrock of support to me for my entire life. Even now, I rarely make a decision without her.

I may flirt with being a blonde, but I am a brunette at heart.

A combination of yoga and running gives the best fitness.

I should read more. Writers inspire me.

I spend too much money on clothes and shoes.

My daughter is a funnier version of me.

My son has a gentle heart and one day, I hope I'll have done a good enough job in teaching him how to be a man.

If in doubt, paint it white.

There is a book in me.

If it's wrapped in brown paper and string, I'll probably buy it.

Cherish friends.

Above all else, be kind.


  1. Happy, happy birthday Lou ….. you are still a ' bright, young thing ' with many wonderful times ahead { and, so many more years of clothes buying left in you !!!! I'm still buying them and I have half of your life again on you { and a little bit more } !! haha } Enjoy being 40 { my mum always said that her 40's were the best time } ….. you don't really notice too much of the ageing process until you reach 60 { if that makes you feel any better !! }
    Love your list and love the present that your friend bought you …. what a really thoughtful gift and what a wonderful friend.
    ….. and, be like me and make your birthday last about a fortnight !!!! XXXX

  2. Oh Lou HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. I hope you had the happiest of days and that you have a lovely weekend planned. I have to say I rather enjoyed turning 40 it was a turning point and it sat well with me. What wonderful gifts, you clearly matter to those around you. I love your words about your Mother .
    I will raise a glass to you tonight Lou. With lots of love and warm wishes xxxx

  3. What a lovely, thought provoking post! As a writer and 40+ mum of three teens, I'm with you on the health over beauty vibe; it's all about feeling great and content, then natural beauty shines through whatever your age! Enjoy your 40s - they're fab. Happy Birthday for yesterday! Lisa x

  4. Happy birthday! And what a lovely gift from your friend.

  5. This read so beautifully that it actually brought tears to my eyes....if you don't have a book in you, then I don't know who does. you must write one!!

    Your day sounds completely lovely as does your friend's beautiful gift...that is such a perfect gift, I would cried too!

    Love that you have your Mum & that she's wonderful....and one day, Boo will no doubt feel the same about you.

    Grey knitwear, always.

    40 sounds good on you Lou Xx

  6. Happy happy birthday! This post is so happy and lovely. Perspective is a beautiful thing, isn't it? I feel so powerful and wise heading into my 40s...imagine what the next decade will feel like! Okay let's not do that just yet. ;-) Let's enjoy our 40s to the fullest!

  7. Happy 40th for yesterday! Life begins, so they say! Sounds like a wonderful day and I hope it continues for the weekend.

  8. Happy Birthday! Happy new decade in life and many many more posts to inspire. Thank You!

  9. Happy birthday, Lou! So glad you had such a wonderful day. I love grey knitwear too ;) xox

  10. Happy 40th!

    I found the lead up to turning 40 worse than the actual turning. I am now 44 and the happiest I have ever been in my own skin. I'm not a perfect size 10, have grey hairs that keep appearing despite being coloured and wrinkles that appear like magic BUT I am healthy and enjoy everyday. Its definitely a milestone but one that should be enjoyed. 40 is the new 30 after all :) Welcome to the club! x

  11. So glad you had a wonderful 40th Lou and are embracing it. Somehow I kinda knew you you would. I nod in agreement with so many of your 40th vantage point observations - I do wonder if are sisters separated at birth sometimes. I raise my virtual glass to your most fabulous decade ever! xxx

  12. Yeah ~ welcome to the club sweetie ~ you are coming in the front door and before long I will be heading out the back ~ I can't even imagine but that's life. Love your list ~ of course I love lists of any sort. Happy weekend xo

  13. Dear Lou,

    A belated Happy Birthday to you! So glad to read that you had a wonderful day!
    Sending you a sunshine hug from Copenhagen, Manuela xx

  14. 40 suits you!
    Your best friends gift is nothing short of heaven- no wonder there were tears.
    Mother's are the best- I'm trying hard to be that person my kids will continue to turn too.
    Your list of thoughts is the start of that book- we all know you have it inside you!
    Happy 40th year honey.
    Melissa xx

  15. 'Happy Birthday Lou'... I simply love your blog and I love your 'vantage point' post. Take it from me 40's not that bad, I think Ive laughed,danced, cried and sang more than I ever did in my 30's so embrace it. Welcome to the gang! x

  16. Just catching up on feeds and wanted to wish you a very happy birthday!! Welcome to the 40 club - nothing but great things ahead! Cheers!