My Fabulous at 40 quest is born!
I suppose that milestone birthdays often spark a period of deep self reflection, questioning who we are, what we have achieved, and what might yet be to come. For me it is no different. This is the story of how one devastating day last year provided me with a turning point. The chance to get back to me and who I want to be. Who do I want to be? Well Fabulous at 40 of course!
One hard day that changed it all
Something happened at the end of last year that quite possibly changed the trajectory of my life. A kind, lovely person who I see regularly asked me when my baby was due. And I was not and am not pregnant. I want to make clear that her question was not malicious or intended to cause me hurt. She was genuinely excited that I might be looking forward to another baby coming along.
I had been putting on a bit of weight for a while as my love of Doritos, hot chips and wine became an every increasingly hard consumption pattern to break.
Looking back now, that day, crushing as it was, was a positive turning point for me. I went to the doctor for my regular (which had become not so regular) blood test check ups and discovered that I had extremely high cholesterol. My doctor gave me three months to change my numbers, or I would have to go on medication.
So how did I change?
I cut out corn chips and hot chips, significantly decreased my alcohol consumption and started using milk and butter containing plant sterols. I started trying to make healthier choices when I ate, and to drink more water. These changes alone made a significant difference. In fact, I got a big gold star from my GP three months later when we discovered that I now had cholesterol levels in the normal range. Put simply, these changes might have saved my life.
Along with the obvious benefits of my blood being able to circulate my body more freely, I discovered that I was feeling better too.
Which sparked something in me.
See, in August, I will be turning 40!
And I thought it would be a great way to celebrate this milestone, as well as kick start this new decade by feeling even more fabulous than ever before.
I feel like the 40s will be the decade for me. The 30s were all about having a family – lots of IVF and all the hormones that entailed, being pregnant and so so very unwell, losing babies during pregnancies, having babies, feeding babies and giving my two precious babies my all. Our little one is three now, and it feels like the kids are developing a level of independence now that allows me some time to focus on me. But who am I, who do I want to be and how will I get there?
Inspired by Project Me for Busy Mothers, This is 50 podcast, and The Minimalists, and lots of inspiring conversations with my Soul Sister, I have decided to focus on reconnecting with and developing certain key areas in my life. And what better time to do that than now, in preparation for my big birthday.
I have been thinking about how I want to feel when I turn 40.
I still want to feel creative, calm and connected. I still find these core desired feelings a useful compass as I navigate my life. (For information on how I came to choose these feelings and what they mean to me, go here and here)
I also want to feel healthy, strong and alive.
I want to feel inspired, hopeful and hungry for more.
I want to embark on this new decade with a level of intention never before seen in my life. Annie Dillard’s famous quote “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives” resonates deeply with me lately. Maybe it might strike a cord with you too? We can easily get caught up in everyday life, the routine of things, letting that routine take over us without much through to what really is important to us.
An from now on, I really want to focus on those things – the things that are most important to me. Because as Gretchen Rubin always says “the days are long but the years are short”.
Do you have any advice for me along the way? What kind of things would you change in your life if you wanted to feel more fabulous?
I invite you all to follow along with me as I make my way to 40. Check out upcoming posts in my Fabulous at 40 series to find out which areas of my life I am going to focus on and what I plan to do.
Until next time