Fourty five is one of those ages that you never expect you’ll be. Whether you are eight, or fifteen, twenty-four or thirty-eight — 45 feels a hundred years away.
Until it’s not.
I expect you have guessed my age by now. I knew I wasn’t going to like it, and I was right. But aging is inevitable, and every year I just try to get my head around it a little more…though this time it felt a little bit different.
There was the usual reminiscing and over thinking, but there was also more mourning my youth than ever before — it was far away now, firmly rooted in my past, out of reach even if I stretched far enough. That feeling of possibility and infinite time was gone forever.
God, the drama of it all! You will be glad to know I snapped out of it.
In reality, getting older is both simple and complex, empowering and frightening, a little sad but ultimately enriching — we are the lucky ones after all. And so, I thought I would share some of my pearls of wisdom, in case you were wondering what may lie ahead, or if you wanted to compare notes.
What has this got to do with SE London you ask? Absolutely nothing. But it’s been on my mind since my birthday (March!), and I’ve been wanting to share it ever since.
Clearly, this list is a work in progress, so I would love you to add your own insight too — regardless of your age.
Fourty five things I’ve learnt at 45.
What goes around really does come around - you've been warned.
There is more to life than being thin.
Your parents were winging it. Just like you.
Self-doubt is a bitch.
Growing up is a process.
Some days you win, some days you lose — hard
Planning your future is great, but so is being present.
Trust your instincts.
Never underestimate your health.
Failure is important — it just doesn’t feel like it at the time.
Large pores are a thing.
Friendships must be nurtured to survive.
Forgive yourself. Often.
You can learn something off everyone, if you are willing.
No-one has all the answers.
Perception is not reality.
Life is short. Just like they say.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Someone’s success does not mean your failure — there is enough to go around.
Know when to push back.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s small for a reason.
Your body changes in your 40s. It’s OK to struggle with it.
Be kind — it’s infectious.
If it looks like shit and smells like shit — it’s shit. Walk away.
It’s not easy to watch your parents grow old.
Try to listen more.
Some friends will drop you. It will hurt. You will get over it.
Drinking will change from quantity to quality. Go with it.
Social media is curated reality.
No experience is wasted.
Being true to your values will serve you well.
You’ll never see yourself as a grown up.
Marriage is a partnership. You can’t go at it alone.
The person that can influence your life the most is you.
It’s never too late to say sorry.
Children kick your mortality door wide open.
Feeling guilty is part of parenthood.
Everyone under 38 is a spring chicken.
The easiest person to lie to is yourself. Try not to.
Never be reluctant to complement someone.
Accept when others compliment you.
Beware of children’s swimming lessons. They bring the worst out of everyone!
Showing vulnerability is not a weakness.
You are responsible for your own happiness.
Women are amazing!
What about you? I would love to repost this next year with some new insights. What are the life lessons you have learnt so far?
All the quotes listed above have been taken from Oprah Winfrey’s Masterclass Podcast — which I highly recommend.