The fact that I'm writing this post at all says a lot! Most of us attach a huge amount of importance to turning a certain age, be it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 21 or a much bigger number, it's as if as we get older we long for those birthdays of childhood when it was a REALLY big deal, but as grown ups we only allow ourselves to properly go for it once a decade.
Last summer when I turned 39 I put the idea out there that I might do a 40 before 40 (or as an alternative list 40 achievements to celebrate). I wasn't too keen on putting pressure on myself and while 30 before 30 may be achievable, 40 things would be stressful when I only had 365 days to play with! I started writing a list of 40 achievements and only got into the teens before declaring myself to be a total faliure, so that worked well too...
What I've realised since the start of the year is that the best present I can give myself for my big birthday is to be a bit kinder to myself all year (so no unnecessary list writing - I swear it's only bloggers who do these things anyway?), lots of lovely exercise, some nice days out. I'm trying to plan little thing is to look forward to (my Mum has a big birthday this year too so we're going to a day spa together for example), but no made up deadlines, lists or parties. I haven't decided what to do on the day itself yet (it's a Monday in the school holidays when we have no plans but Mr M will probably be working) but I'm sure a nice day out or something will come up.
When I was thinking about the 40 things before 40 idea (briefly before it overwhelmed me) I did list that I wanted to be healthier, less stressed and a better mum - so these are all still works in progress, but achieving all of these things involves lots of little things along the way. And, as I've mentioned before, the work I'm doing in these areas is unexpectedly having a positive knock on effect on my progress with my business, and how I feel about my work. Talking about work though, I'm determined to take more of a break from that this summer, but let's see how it goes!
I think the hardest thing for me will be getting to 40 and feeling that I haven't achieved anything and have wasted all those years (another time to remind myself that I have an 8 year old and I changed career in my 30s so I'm perhaps comparing myself to the wrong people), so instead I'm going to try and focus on just being the best version of me rather than the person I really want to be, or continuing with that whole comparison nonsence!
How do you mark the big birthdays? Do you prefer a year-long party or hiding under a stone and waiting for it to be over?!