I celebrated my birthday a week ago, in the company of good friends. I was not the only birthday girl there, and it turned out to be an extended birthday weekend /country houseparty which was great fun.
There was a lot of good food involved, champagne too, and several morning-after salutary walks on beautiful but cold beaches, the sand dunes dusted in snow.
Unsurprisingly everyone present was around the same age, with a majority of empty nesters, and at that stage of life where you are tempted to turn around and take stock of the path so far, and thinking about our next steps.
It’s only recently that I realised how much soul searching takes place at this stage in life. In our twenties we are trying to work out what to do next, and which road to travel. Our thirties and forties see us rushing, or dawdling, or walking down the chosen road. We make babies, decorate homes, run businesses, write books …. and before we know it a great big fat chunk of our life is accounted for, and we are left wondering what we have to show for it. And what we still want to do.
A girlfriend said to me recently she was worried she had “done it all wrong”. She felt she hadn’t made the right choices earlier in life and she was paying the consequences now. Such a sad thing to think. We chatted about her life choices and actually of course she has much to be happy about, it was more a question of getting things into perspective.
So I wondered how you feel about where you are in your life today? Do you look back happy and grateful or do you have regrets? Maybe you are busy making plans for the next part of your life, eager to do more and go further. Maybe you have a specific regret or joy, and you can pinpoint a decisive moment that influenced your life in one direction or another. What would you say to your teenage self?
I know that my greatest joy is my family, and the pleasure we have together and the way we all communicate non-stop no matter where we are. I’m so happy that my kids get on well together and are each proud of their own and their siblings’ achievements. I am grateful to have a loving husband who encourages me in everything I undertake, and I’m very aware of how fortunate I was to reinvent myself nine years ago and create this blog and the boxes and the magazine. I’m still in a hurry, and still thirsty to do a whole lot more.
If I could talk to my twenty year old self right now, I would say go for it! Live that life at 300% all the time. Live each age to its fullest; push the boundaries and never settle for less. There is no right or wrong way to spend our time here. We all know it’s advisable to stay on the right side of the law and generally be kind and mindful, but besides that maybe our biggest obligation is to ourselves, because nobody can live our life for us.
I’d love to know what you think about all of this, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. Leave me a comment or send me an email. Let’s rejoice in our freedom to choose our own path!