I turned 39 today.
Oh. My. God.
Thirty-nine sounds like a blah number, but if you ask me there’s something significant about numbers ending in nine.
Nine, 19 and 29 have been pivotal years of my life. I’ve felt as though I was on the cusp of something new and exciting at those ages, reflective of the decade soon to pass and eager to welcome a new decade.
Despite the excitement, I must admit that with turning 39 there comes a feeling of … I want to say terror, but perhaps that’s too strong a word. Let’s just say that with turning 39 there comes a feeling of apprehension.
Whenever I tell someone I’m 39, I grit my teeth and raise my brows as if to say, ‘Yeeeep, 39. I don’t know how the hell that happened either. One minute I’m rocking out barefoot and merry at a Thirsty Merc concert for my 30th birthday, and the next minute I’m debating whether to even celebrate my birthday because kids, because old, because tired.’
Side note: I know I’m not quite there yet, but I don’t care how many times people say 40 is the new 30. It’s just not, and we all know it. 40 is 40.
As I enter the final year of my thirties, hurtling at pace toward my forties, I can’t help but reflect on where I am in life and what I want for me and my family moving forward.
I stumbled upon a quote from Brene Brown last week, which has stuck with me.
Even though I’m not middle aged, Brene served as a wakeup call of sorts for me and stirred up thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind for some time. A feeling of now or never to start making my dreams come true, to lose that weight, to get fit, see the world, live life, and cherish every second I have with the people special to me.
I’m conscious that I’m not getting any younger. I see and hear people around me and those close to me getting sick, battling with cancer, and serious health issues. People my age.
At this age, we really need to start taking care of ourselves, if we haven’t already. We need to watch those stress levels, check our skin, our boobs, have regular pap smears and, in my case, come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to convince my family to become vegetarian and I need to start eating something a little healthier than Weet-bix for dinner.
I have countless friends my age training for marathons and triathlons. It’s like we’ve gotten to this point in our lives where we think if we don’t do it now, we never will. Running and being uber healthy is the new black and everyone is jumping on board. Hell, I even have a much loved and crazy (I say that very affectionately) friend who is climbing whopping big snowy mountains and riding a bike halfway across the desert.
As we enter our late thirties, we very much enter a stage where we realise we’re still young and healthy enough to do the things we’ve always wanted to, to take risks, and bloody well get out there and live life. It’s time to quit worrying about what other people think. It’s time to embrace who you are and make certain you do not live your life in regret.
Each year I feel a little closer to knowing who I am and what I want from life and, of course that morphs and changes over the years.
I have grown significantly as a person in my thirties. Life with little people will do that to you. You love deeper, you discover patience you never knew you had, you learn to survive on a few hours’ sleep and you have less money despite working harder than you have before.
My thirties were full of life and all that it brings – love, marriage, death, infertility, friendship loss and gain, the birth of two beautiful children, sleepless nights, laughter, tears, and life changing health issues.
I know the forties will be no different with regards to highs and lows, joys and challenges, but I’m ready to tackle them head on and make it known to the universe I’m not f-ing around.
I will celebrate my final year of my 30s as this life-changing decade draws to a close and prepare myself for a new decade full of life and all that it has to offer.
Ps. It seems I’m in good company. Some of my famous friends who are turning 39 this year are: Michael Fassbender, Sarah-Michelle Gellar, Chris Martin and Jessica Chastain.
Do you become reflective on your birthday? What is your favourite way to celebrate your birthday?