I am two months away from turning 40. One week before Christmas, the 18th of December 2021, I hit that truly significant milestone, the big four-zero.
And even though I see ageing as a great privilege, I have to admit I haven’t been one of those women who embrace big birthdays with joy and excitement.
I’ve come to terms with it now, but it has been a struggle.
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I have struggled because I compared myself to others – their careers, their houses, their bodies, and their lives.
I have struggled because I haven’t achieved all the things I imagined I would by this age and that’s been hard to accept.
I have struggled because my life has changed so much in the last 10 years and it’s been difficult to adapt to all that change.
And I have struggled because I am approaching middle age, which means I only have half my life left to do all the things I dream of doing.
Slowly though - with the help of my psychologist, my friends, a number of self-help books, and lots of self-exploration – I am comfortable with turning 40.
In fact, I’ve recently realised that at age 39 and 10 months, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life and I think as I continue to grow up and grow older this happiness will grow too.
So many of my worries and fears have finally melted away and I really like myself – even with the 'biggest bum of any grade 1 mum', as my son tells me.
My only regret is that I didn’t accept myself and my life sooner, so recently I made a list of the things I know now that I wish I’d known in my thirties, and my sincerest wish is that these insights save other women some of the heartache I experienced over the last 10 years.
1. Your body will change and that is okay.
Every single body changes, even if you don’t have children, but probably more if you do.
Bodies get older and things happen to them, this is okay.
I love my body now, not because of what it looks like, but because of what it does.
In fact, I’ve realised the most revolutionary act is to learn to love your body in a world that tells you to hate it - it is so very freeing. One of my daily mantras now is 'all bodies are good bodies' and it is true, they are.