25 Things I’ve Learned Since My Last Birthday

Another birthday rolls around and I’m sitting here thinking “I’m another year older but am I another year wiser?” Really, what have I learned since my last birthday? (I mean apart from the fact that there’s a higher chance of it happening between me and Robert Downey Jr than there is of Victoria Beckham ever cracking a smile…ever.)

Seriously, I do hope I’ve learned something new. Dammit, I ought to have learned something new, right? I recently saw the motivational phrase “Make sure you learn something new every day”.  The thing is, if I wanted to learn something new every day, I’d have to enrol myself in an Open University course that never ended. So scrap that. Learning something new every day just isn’t going to work for me.

However, I’ve put my mind to it and realised that I have nevertheless learned/realised the following:

1) WHEN I RECEIVE A 40TH BIRTHDAY INVITE, I think “Bless, so young…”

2) I GASP AT CHER AND JOANNE RIVERS’ PLASTIC FACES. No I’m not thinking “But why?!”  I’m thinking “Wow what a great job”.

3) I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE ANYMORE. I’ve had far too many locking myself out the house / getting stranded because I’ve run out of petrol  / sleeping off girls’ nights out at friends’ houses (or in my car before turning on the engine to go home and discovering the battery’s flat) incidents than are fitting for someone of my age.

4) I NEED TO FIND THE PERSON WHO FIRST SAID “Life begins at forty”. I just need a bit of clarification on a couple of things. The main thing I need to clarify is how hard I should punch them in the face. Mind you they’re probably dead.

5) BUT THEN I AGREE WITH THE PHRASE “You’ll never be as young as the age you are now so enjoy it”.

6) I’M STRUGGLING WITH FEELING OFFICIALLY OLD (after years of successfully convincing myself I’m not). Seriously, I watched the film Last Vegas and instead of identifying with the girls in the party scenes, I found myself relating to De Niro/Douglas/Freeman and Kline, wondering if I’ll be popping as many pills as their characters when I’m their age…which FYI doesn’t seem that far off. (By the way, if I totally believe what I just said in 4, 5 and 6, am I nuts or just a typical Pisces, unable to decide on anything?)

7) MY KIDS HAVE AN INFINITE CAPACITY FOR forgiveness. Just as well…because:

8) I’LL NEVER BE THE KIND OF MUM I’d love to be. I don’t mean that in a self-pitying way. It’s a just a simple acceptance of a truth. I’m not fishing. I don’t want sympathy or “don’t be silly, you’re doing a great job” comments. We’re all doing a great job in our own way. There are just aspects of motherhood I don’t do well AT ALL and others I wish I could embrace such as loving nothing more than to do arts and crafts with my kids or enjoying baking/cooking with them. But in truth, I’d rather tattoo an image of Miley onto my forehead than do arts and crafts with my kids. I just don’t know what it is that makes me break out in hives at the thought of working with card, glue, glitter, whatever and then having to find somewhere to put the damned stuff. And I don’t mind baking with them but frankly, I just like to get it done and get out the kitchen. See? I’m sure I have a basic maternal thingamabob-whatsit gene missing. I know. You’re disgusted now. A thousand apologies.

9) I’VE NEVER BEEN THE KIND OF DAUGHTER I should have been. And God knows, my mum deserves the very best. I could elaborate but it would take too long and it would probably involve tears and my laptop isn’t working so well so wetting it isn’t a good idea right now.

10) PEOPLE WHO INVITE YOU to ‘like’ and use a birthday app, on social media, probably shouldn’t be wishing you a Happy Birthday on the wrong day.

11) WATCHING A BRIT WIN WIMBLEDON IS FAB BUT…watching Bradley Cooper (before he went all orange after over-doing it with the fake tan) and Gerard Butler leap up from their Centre Court seats and hug each other laughing like crazy when that Brit wins Wimbledon is pure flipping magic (honestly I couldn’t make that up if I tried).

12) SOME OF MY FRIENDS THINK I’M SUPER ORGANISED (well…two friends counts as ‘some’ doesn’t it?), some think I’m not entirely vigilant (had to put that one in for a certain someone…she knows who she is…that one’s gonna run and run) and some think I’m a hot mess. This proves that my friends know me really well or not at all. I haven’t decided which (Pisces – See point 6).

13) ONCE A HOPELESS ROMANTIC, always a hopeless romantic. Mental note to self: never stop kissing.

14) HANNIBAL LECTER ALMOST WRECKED THINGS FOR ME on this front but after years of being a Bordeaux (and erm Amarone…and yes there are stories I could tell…well one in particular) kinda gal, I’m finally getting into Chianti. Take that, Hopkins.

15) LAUNCHING A BLOG – alright so I’m only three months in to it but I can still say this – has been gratifying, educating, revealing, liberating, heartwarming and so much more. So far so pain in the backside battling WordPress but so far, oh so fun too.

16) NEVER SAY NEVER. I know, it’s a well-known phrase, not a revolutionary discovery of my own making.  But when you have one of those moments (or if you’re lucky more than one moment) where you remember you said “I’ll never do that…it’s so not my thing” or “I’ll never be any good at that…I just can’t do it” only to realise that you are in fact now doing it, you don’t suck at it and you LOVE it, that my friend right there is ‘never say never’ gold.

17) I NEVER KNEW THAT a programme that critiques – well alright, downright rips the shit out of – the dress sense of celebrities and another programme that involves an intense competition to find America’s best cook, could be so good.

18) THERE ARE FEW PROBLEMS that staring at a picture of Idris Elba can’t fix. Haven’t tried it? Ooh but you should… (Men that includes you too.)

19) THAT REMINDS ME, it’s probably best not to look at pictures of myself in my twenties. No good will ever come of it. Sigh.

20) I LIKE TEQUILA AND TENNIS. (Don’t worry, I don’t do both at the same time.)

21) I’VE BEEN ABLE TO RE-PROGRAMME MY BRAIN and recondition my belief system to support me instead of sabotage me (those are hubster’s words and believe me, he should know, after observing in silent frustration all these years and to be honest, I couldn’t have put it better myself). Confused? Buy me a mojito some time and I’ll explain.

Finally, if you don’t like cheese, I suggest you skip straight to 25). The rest of you:

22) THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME INTO MY LIFE in the last 12 to 14 months without whom I honestly don’t know how I lived before. They make me happy and they are truly good for my soul. This girl don’t need no chicken soup.

23) MAKING MY HUSBAND PROUD OF ME: great feeling.

24) MAKING MY KIDS PROUD OF ME: borderline addictive.

25) MAKING ME PROUD OF ME: the best.

That’s it.

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