FUCK - I'm 40 in a few days................
I have 4 healthy, beautiful (if rather horrid at times) DCs, a handsome DH who I love immensely and still fancy after 18 years, my good health, a reasonably intelligent brain and errmm, that's it.
I also have no job, a mountain of debt, no home (we are living in temporary council accommodation, don't ask), a 10 year old car which needs more work on it than it's worth, a toxic family who I am estranged from, not a friend in the world (apart from DH) and I am pretty fat!
So as you can tell, the first half (more or less I hope) of my life has not gone as planned . We had money, then lost it unluckily, together with my mental health but hey, that is all behind me now. I have been a victim of my own anxieties for quite a few years now but I am determined to face them down from now on.
The loneliness is self inflicted. I have not liked myself for so long, I have not been able to accept that anyone else would. I have come to realise after some therapy that I am not as unlikeable as I thought (actually I am bloody lovely) and do deserve friendship. No idea how to start rectifying that at this age though! I would like to take up a hobby but have no idea what.
AIBU to ask you all to give me hope and inspiration to help me start changing my life so the next 40 years do not turn out like the last 40?
I want to turn the page although I am grateful for my shit experiences in a weird kind of way. All the better to enjoy the good things that come next hopefully . Any experiences or wise advice would be much appreciated! It seems like I have a mammoth hill to climb so a kick up the butt would be good.
i live by the maxim, that what doesnt kill us will make us stronger. sounds like you are doing the same.
Find something (free) you want to do and start doing it - walking/running/library course.Expose yourself to people and force yourself to start up conversation.Read an inspirational book.
I turned 40 this year and I'm very similar to what you've described in your OP.
I started a thread about finding it difficult to accept my mediocrity, and was heartened by the sympathy I found on it.
I've been a victim of my anxieties and trying my best to live with them now, and have a self imposed isolation to make it easier.
I don't really have any life changing advice (buy a red sports car? develop a knitting habit? ) but I
pretended was never bothered about turning 40, I tried to see it as an excuse for looking so old nowadays
OI, youre still a pup by some people's standards. I'm a little behind you (37) and I relate to a lot of what you've said. HOWEVER. You know you have the right attitiude at heart, you acknowledge the great stuff, you know it could be better in some ways, you are YOUNG enough to rectify that.
I am not depressed about being 40, looking at what I've achieved, as in what I have NOW, well, its mostly luck (great kids, good health, lovely husband) rather than design, and I suppose I could think 'not much to show really'... but when I think about what I've done, where I've been (emotionally rather than geographically speaking as travelling from Devon to Blackpool and back again doesn't exactly make me globe trotter of the year) who I've met, how I've sank, survived, lived when I didn't think it was really all that much cop, loved, hurt, loved again. When I think of the sights I've seen, the stories I could tell, the people I've met.. well actually, it not been a bad 37 years.
I've decided I want to open a Pottery Studio in Devon. HA! I can't throw a pot. I don't want to move to Devon. However, just thinking these random things through and either crossing them off 'the list' or investigating further is turning out to be an experience in itself. Do a crazy wishlist. Then do NOT throw it away, but look at it, make notes on it, see what keeps catching your eye... I would also like to run an Alpaca farm and produce beautiful bed linen.
Also, my mother's best friend started a teacher training course at 41, she's now just retired, but in a short space of time became a headteacher... I won't divulge her age, but my mum's 63.
You sound perfectly suited to being 40 and fiesty. Regarding the friend thing, put yourself about a bit missus, join as many clubs as take your fancy, you may meet a couple of people, and remember that no one has millions of friends, just a few people who're comfy.
Happy birthday, be proud. You sound wise and ready for the next bit.
Oi Agentzigzag I knit... I've just completed a very complicated hat, but I'm shit at it, so if you know anyone with an enormous head who just can't find a hat to fit, send them my way.
Eureka!!! Big Headed Hats... my new vocation.
Go on Mumsnet quite a bit.It"s a good way to realise there are many people,all different,who are confident in their validity as a person.Post a bit - nothing to lose if it"s not face to face,and you"ll discover that people are interested in you and what you have to say.
Oh you lovely ladies! Feeling better and uplifted already. Thank you .
Happy birthday. Sounds to me like you're doing ok. Why so down on yourself? You've had hard times, and you got through them. You've identified areas you want to change, now it's just a case of putting them in action. A friend in a similar position joined a slimming club and a community choir. Great ways to meet people at low cost without too much social pressure, as there is actually a point to being there. Seriously, you're doing fine. Now get out there and have some fun.
Happy nearly birthday! I can relate to some of what you posted. It is HARD. If you want just spend time with your lovely dh, that is fine. As I got older I realised that MOST people don't have this mythical army of best friends in reserve. Some do, but a lot just don't. But if you want that for yourself you need to make a little bit of effort.
Volunteer. Evening classes? See if there are any Mnetters in your local area who might want to meet for coffee? In my experience you get knocked back, but when you keep trying you DO meet people who you gel with. I had to do this moving abroad where I knew not a soul. Today I have been out with MNetters for lunch and am meeting a friend tomorrow night. 3 years ago it was a different story.
Oh wow. My circumstances completely mirror yours! Although you seem fairly confident you can pull yourself out of this dark hole we find ourselves in, i on the other hand cant seem to find a way out at the moment.
<takes heart from thread>
<makes renewed effort to finish 40th birthday invitations for posting>
Hi Newbeginning, I haven't posted before but was drawn to respond to you. Please don't feel sad and think it is all negative. I know a few people who have embarked on completely new careers at well over 40!
I myself took up Karate at 40. I am crap at it - but I love it and have lost a fair bit of weight as a result. It is fabulous for beating stress and building confidence as you work your way through the grades. I have also made a very special friend as well, so all good for me. You just need to find something you fancy.
I would also recommend a book called "Feel the fear and do it anyway" - classic self help, but good stuff.
All the best to you and a very happy 40th birthday to you.
I'm 50 I feel better about myself now than I did at 40. I'm more attractive (honest) I've lost weight (nearly 3 stone) and have a hobby that's taken me into the GB team competing at the world championships in the 40+ age group. There is hope!
Snap aldi, I knit badly too
No offence to you fortyplus (which as it's deception by MN nickname, is a crime in itself and carries severe penalties) but the next 'big one' being 50, scares me shitless <clammy hands>
Enormous climbs start with small steps. Changing your appearance can be very inspiring so why not start with a do-able exercise regime (walking, running) and eat healthy. I don't think there's anything too scary about 40 but it's not bad to used it as a wake-up call.
I'm not awfully far off 50 and not yet having to be carried around in a bucket. 40 is the start of the Next Stage in life, really. Mind you, when I turned 40 I was living with my mum and dad while selling my flat, with DS just a couple of months old.... it's been interesting ever since.
ONe of my favourite mottos is 'This too will pass.' You can change. ANd your life will change, like it or not.
To put everything in perspective, I got my then to be dh a temporary job when he was 42 and had finished a late degree. He now manages a team of 10 and has vastly overtaken me in career terms. Our dd was born when I was 35 and he was 46. He is a very hands on dad, and we still have lots of fun as a family. I am now 43, and him 54.
AgentZigzag I've been on mn a few years now - didn't ever intend to stick around so didn't use much imagination! I'm so used to my name now I'll probably still be fortyplus when I'm 70!
Us 40 pluses are fab. Arn't we just bloody fab. Enough life experience to understand it all and enough time left to enjoy it.
Oh yes - I would not be 21 again.....well I won't obviously, but you know what I mean....
It's not the getting there, it's the journey. I am still striving to reach my goal, and I am almost 40 too. I might not get there, but the path I take whilst trying to get there is still worthwhile, even though it is a hard path to follow at times.
It's not the 'being there' that counts, it's the journey travelled. It's a cliche, but lately I have found it to be true.
Ok I am too drunk to read all the posts but I will tomorrow ( and realise that i have missed how the thread has moved on!!)
But since I was 40 I have become a qualified mountain bike leader, power boat instructor and archery leader.
I have had two major career changes, the latest happened 4 weeks ago.
I have changed my image a couple of times (thanks Bobbi Brown and Viveine Westwood)
Kids are getting older (11 and 15) so I get more time to myself as they do their things so I go to more youth hostels with mates, don't have to worry about baby sitters for gigs, spend more time mountain biking and walking in the hills.
I have more money to spend on myself so Viv Westwood is benefitting from me getting older.
I am very happy and I am 46.
Dh made sure I had a fab 40th. He paid for me and mate to go hot air ballooning, have a great party and have a brill meal with him and kids in France.
Sure some mornings I think I look like shit but with a bit of 'help' I turn out just fine!!
relax and enjoy the ride!
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