It had to go and happen. I had to go and leave my thirties.
I haven’t had what you could call a birthday party since my 30th although I do like taking a moment on the day itself to pat myself on the back for any nice nice achievements or moments during the previous 12 months.
This year, turning 40, I thought I’d have a l’il bash..
So myself and Ass Monkey checked into The Marker Hotel (swit swoo!) for the night and I hung out in the spa for a while – which is AMAZING – until we headed to Farrier and Draper for dinner and drinks.
I had a frickin amazing night, have only felt the urge to wear granny pants and shawls on two separate occasions since and overall, I would say that turning 40 has been without incident so far.
In light of my new-found old age I have decided that I shall henceforth behave sage-like and impart wisdom on anyone who comes within 14 miles of me so since you’re already here…
40 Things To Do Before You Turn 40
- Fall in love. Don’t be afraid FFS, just do it.
- Develop an addiction to Cadbury’s Cream Eggs. You want one now, don’t you?
- Take the thing that scares you the most and do it anyway. Mine was stand-up comedy. Sometimes it was amazing and sometimes it was painfully shit. I did it anyway and I survived.
- Hang out with kids. I’m not saying you have to have kids of your own (coz it’s your choice innit?!) but just go hang out with some kids. They’re flippin’ great craic.
- Be that person. You know, the one who does nice things for other people, who tries to help, who cares. You owe it to the universe.
- Watch The Slipper and The Rose. You’re welcome.
- Go dancing. Go bare-foot, bare-faced, in-your-underpants dancing and do it for hours.
- Change something about yourself. Something you don’t like – the way your name is spelled, the colour of your hair, your address, your mood. Self-improvment is your life work, girl.
- Learn key phrases in the local language of any country you are going to visit. Don’t be so.. Oirish about the situation.
- Write a book. Ah sure jesus we all have one in us don’t we?
- Stop eating processed food. If you don’t know what that means, you’re already in trouble. Start with striking jars of bolonegese sauce off your shopping list – there is SO MUCH sugar in those things. Go fresh or go home!
- Rescue an animal. Give a little mite a better life would ya?
- Save up and buy something outrageous just for you. Those shoes, that bag, that watch.. do it.
- Use the good plates. All the time. Who are you waiting for to visit? (I was gonna say ‘The Queen?!’ here but, y’know, she doesn’t really apply to us. So, em, Madonna? Does that work?)
- Take time out for yourself as much as possible. I highly recommend baths, early morning walks, a trip to get your nails done, lunch or cinema trips alone and, most importantly – DAYTIME NAPS! Just leave those dishes there for 20 minutes and when the kids are at school, go lie down. That’s an order.
- Don’t be a slave to fashion – be an individual with your sense of style. This is from the 40 year old woman who just bought a shiny red bomber jacket.
- Don’t focus on who didn’t show up for you at that party/launch/get-together/hen – focus on who did. SOOOO much better for your head.
- Assert yourself. Ask for that salary that you know you deserve, say no if you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, say how you feel, speak up, fight, know that you’re worth it every. single. day.
- Read. Everything you can get your hands on.
- Build your network and make sure you support it.
- Grow your own food – a strawberry bush, a bag of potatoes – I guarantee you’ll be so proud of yourself the day you eat them!
22. Double your efforts – if you feel like you’re not getting where you’re supposed to be – try harder.
23. Learn the words to two crowd pleasing songs – don’t be caught out singing Row Row Row Your Boat Gently Down The Stream at the family Xmas table when everyone is doing a party piece (although, to be fair to her, my Sis In Law REALLY pulled it off that time)
24. Smile. Infect the whole world with your smiles.
25. Get a tattoo. Go on, chicken shit ;o)
26. Say yes. Stop making excuses about why you can’t go to the party, drive across town, jump out of that airplane for charity, go away for a weekend with the girls. SAY YES.
27. Start your own business. It doesn’t have to last forever but if you do it, you appreciate everyone who ever gave you a job ever and makes you appreciate the value of hard work.
28. Work a Saturday night shift at a busy city centre restaurant. So that you’ll never, ever be rude to a waiter.
29. Stay at a swish hotel and pretend you’re a celebrity. I wore a sparkly dress and waved at tourists on an open-top bus from the windows of The Shelbourne once.. and they all waved back. Ha!
30. Switch off your phone – at dinner, at the checkout, after 11pm, on Sundays – you nominate it and you stick to it but give yourself a jaysus break from that screen.
31. Have a pyjama day. Lots of them. Who says that you have to shower every day and get out of the house anyway? A little off day here and there is good for ya. Just don’t make a habit of it!
32. Reign it in. As you get older you’ll find that while you might know a lot of people, and quite like all those people, that really, only a small number of them are your friends. This is FINE and you should be ecstatic that you are so lucky to have them. Nurture them, love them, be there for them and understand all the things that make each of them unique. Remember their birthdays, love their kids like they’re your own, stay in touch.
33. Post hand-written cards for people. Why send a text or write a FB post when you can buy a postcard or a card, write a lovely message on it, stick a stamp on it and fling it in the post box? The joy that goes with getting a nice card in the post cannot be underestimated.
34. Travel – yes, everyone says this and actually, I haven’t been AMAZING on my travel experiences but get a map on the wall and start picking off a few spots. If I don’t get to Disneyland and Lapland in the next year or two, there’ll be trouble.
35. Read the papers – the GOOD ones, now. Stay on top of what’s going on in the world so you don’t come off like such a wally.
36. Get political – I’m not saying run for president (although why now?!) but even getting involved in your community council will help you feel like you have some say in what’s happening around you. You can’t complain that everything is shit and let someone else be in charge of the shit. You get in charge of the shit!
37. Find magic in everything – your surroundings, your stories, the people you meet, the hugs you get, the opportunities that come your way and allow yourself to feel lucky.
38. Stand up in front of a crowd and do something – stand-up, sing, make a speech, give a presentation, pole dance (!), teach, recite poetry – if you can get through it while being heckled (and you know you will), you’ll be bullet-proof in just about any situation!
39. Stop taking yourself so seriously. You have internet trolls for that.
40. Love. All day long. Yourself, the world, life, the people in it (but not Donald Trump) – and remember every day.. you’re rocking it.
Love Shaz xxx