It dawned on me recently that I turn 40 this year. In August. That's, like, really REALLY soon.
I've come to see it as just a number, but it's a milestone and I want to celebrate it and look forward to it. I think I'm going to have party, dress up and wear fabulous shoes.
You're all invited.
There seems to be a lot on the internet about turning 40. Do's and don'ts and the like, some I read with interest, others not. I came across this 40 before 40 list on Easy Living* and thought it would be fun to see how many I have or can tick off.
The first is hard to prove...
1. Understand, once and for all, to stop caring what other people think of you, and instead start caring what YOU think of THEM.
There are some situations in which I don't give a hoot about what others might think, but it's not always the case. I have found that as I get older I'm asking myself more and more 'what do I think about that?', 'do I agree with that?', 'how does this make me feel?'.
2. Buy a piece of artwork.
Done. William Bird by Natasha Newton. He sits on my bedside table. I'd love to own more of her work and am looking forward to attending an exhibition in early May.
3. Find your perfect red lipstick... And know how to not get it on your teeth.
I love No7 Poppy King, History for a daytime red and Revlon Super Lustrous, Black Cherry for evening. I have lots of reds but it's not the getting-it-on-your-teeth thing that perplexes me, it's the getting-it-to-stay-put that I find difficult, no matter how many 'how to get your lippy to stay put' tutorials I read.
4. Learn to gracefully accept a compliment.
Done. When I was still at college, a friend and I were waiting to leave for a party one evening and her Mum told her off for brushing off a compliment she'd just been given. She told her that it was extremely rude to do so and said "you simply need to smile and say 'thank you', you can tell them that it's sweet of them to say so if you wish, but never ignore a compliment. It belittles both you and the person who gave it to you". I'll never forget those words.
5. Laugh until you cry.
Example - my friend posted a video on Facebook of runway models falling over. I laughed so hard I couldn't talk. Andy came home and found me in a state of silent giggles, unable to catch my breath and unable to communicate what was going on. He thought I was choking, which just made it funnier. People falling over = hilarious.
6. Skinny dip.
Never say never...
7. Scream on a roller coaster.
Done but I'll happily do it again.
8. Stay awake until the sun comes up.
Done. Would also do this again.
9. Sleep under the stars.
I have an idea for this but unlikely to happen before I turn 40.
10. Try life as a blonde, a brunette and a redhead: nobody wants a boring look book.
Colour is not my thing (too much upkeep), but I have had a number of styles over the years. I feel this perhaps deserves a post of it's own?
11. Have dessert without feeling guilty.
Ha! Done. I can't believe that this is even on the list. I do this all the time, food is meant to be enjoyed!
12. Learn your high heel 'too high' threshold and adhere to it. If you hobble, they're too high.
This is getting lower as I get older, currently stands (ho ho) at about 3 inches but it largely depends on the individual shoe.
13. Find your signature style... But do still take fashion risks.
Where to even begin on this subject? I think I have a style but what qualifies as a risk? One woman's risk is another woman's... erm, something.
14. Find a whiskey you like.
I hate whiskey. Can I change it to gin? If so, Bombay Sapphire, although this could do with some more research, there is a gin bar locally that needs my attention. Any gin bar needs my attention.
15. Eat by yourself in a restaurant.
I've eaten lunch in a restaurant on my own countless times. Not sure if I could do it for a three course dinner though.
16. Date the wrong person.
OhMyGod yes, done that. More than once.
17. Go on a road trip.
I'd love a Thelma & Louise style trip, but without the whole driving of the edge of a cliff bit obviously.
18. Japan. Or Rio. Or Burma. Tick at least one of your dream destinations off your list.
I always wanted to visit New York and I finally went in November 2006. It was freezing, I'd love to go back in warmer weather.
19. Have a crazy weekend in Las Vegas.
I certainly wouldn't turn down the opportunity should it arise, although unlikely to happen before August.
20. Go to the perfect music festival. (Sun, laughter and great headliners are a must!)
Still got my fingers crossed for Latitude this summer.
21. Have a home you love and design it with confidence and style.
I love our home and I am slowly making progress, decorating it with more confidence than I've ever felt before, but I don't ever think a home is finished no matter how long you live there, a home constantly evolves.
22. Own a piece of jewellery that means something.
I have a locket that my Aunt gave me as a bridesmaid gift when I was 11. It was the first piece of 'grown up' jewellery I owned and I still wear it a lot, always have. I'm wearing as I write this. Also, my wedding and engagement rings. I've only been wearing my engagement ring for 127 days and my wedding band for 26 days but I'm already incredibly attached to them.
23. Have a signature dish (even if it's really easy).
I make a good chilli and a smoked haddock and bacon chowder.
24. Take a trip by yourself.
I wouldn't mind doing this, but surely it would be better with someone to share it with?
25. Be proud of something you've achieved through hard work.
Working for myself is something that I never thought I would do and yet here I am.
Done - I am a fundraiser and committee member for a local charity, helping to raise funds for a new cancer centre at our local hospital.
27. Find a form of exercise you actually like.
I like running and I like yoga. I just don't do them regularly.
28. Have far too many books on your 'must read' list.
Done - I don't have a list, I have a pile (and it's growing).
29. Have a dirty secret.
Done, not going into details.
30. Kick a bad habit.
Done. I gave up smoking and biting my nails.
31. Learn a language - whether its sign language, Swahili or some French.
I got a C in GCSE French, does that count? If I go to a country I always like to know how to say hello, goodbye, how are you?, please, and thank you. If I can I like to learn more while I'm there too.
32. Take a course, whether it's getting a master's degree or mastering pastry making.
Done. I have a degree but I would like to keep learning. I took a very short course last year in patchwork quilting but I've also been contemplating butchery or making furniture. Or floristry.
33. Live in another country (for at least six months).
Not going to happen. Where I live now is where I will be for a long time and I can't think of any reason why this would ever change.
34. Wear leather trousers.
I might, just the once, if I can find a pair in my size in a charity shop.
35. Buy expensive china, glassware and bedding... And use it every day for a week.
This is lost on me, I don't really keep anything 'for best'. I'd rather use and enjoy the things I have than keep them stashed out of sight waiting for 'the right time'. I always try to buy the best quality items I can afford, or I spend as much as I think something is actually worth - a plate is still a plate no matter how much it costs. Does it make your food taste nicer? No it doesn't.
36. Walk into Chanel and try on all of their little jackets.
Possibly... but the thought of this doesn't exactly float my boat.
37. Invest in something custom made - whether it's shoes, a dress or a bespoke suit.
I'd love to commission a painting.
38. Have drunk sex with the lights on.
Ha! Done. The only reason the lights stayed on was because I was drunk.
39. Call your parents and tell them you love them.
40. Write yourself a letter about why turning 40 is the best thing that ever happened to you.
It's not like I made it happen, it was always going to happen but I'll give this a try.
I think I've ticked off a healthy amount, and there is no reason why I can't do any of these things after 40, they say *cliche alert* life begins at 40.
*since finding the list and writing this post, it now links to House & Garden.