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I scrawled those words in my notebook on my birthday eve after they came to me during post-dinner dishwasher duty. Probably the best thing I wrote all day.
My task of the day was to write my 40th birthday blog. That’s it, the only writing to get done. A piece I decided to do about six months ago - I’d declared it to Becca and she’d added it to our content schedule - and yet, as ever when I’m left to tackle a blank page alone, I’d hesitated. Procrastinated. Put it off until the day before when I had to call upon Last Minute Laura to step in and make it happen.
Needless to say she wasn’t playing ball, not this time.
Why? It’s hard to say.
A little laziness? Perhaps.
A sense of ‘there’s always something more important that need my attention’? Sure.
A dose of self doubt and fear of what I’ll even write with these words of supposed 40-year-old wisdom? Probably.
So, as I sat with only hours to go, with my one writing task staring like sheet ice in front of me, it felt hard. Really, horribly hard. So I quit. I closed my lap top, took a more leisurely walk to school then drove my 7-seven-year-old to her first athletics track training. It’s here when the idea of what I wanted to write started to form in my head. Not while I was at my computer, while I was by the track, watching my girl run.
Tess has tried what feels like everything. Ballet, tap, jazz, street dance, acro, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, horse riding (still feeling the pinch from that one), piano, biking, rollerskating, skiing. I’m exhausted trying to even recall all the activities she’s had a go at. And with every new experience, she’s been decent, good even. But then after a while, the interest wanes and it stops.
We’d had a conversation the night before about sticking with something, keeping going and trying your best regardless of how hard it was (this was prompted by her dire attempt at tidying her room I might add). “Are you calling my a quitter Mummy?” she’d yelled. Errrrr, yes but no but. I’d taken myself off not quite sure how to respond.
This firecracker mini me is wise beyond her years and frequently flaws me with her insights into my maybe not so subtle teachings.
Parenthood is by no means a perfect game and I’m reminded constantly.
Her latest insight really got me thinking. Is quitting a good thing? Maybe. But surely if we just don’t love it, walking away isn’t so bad?
In the car on the way over to the track she was understandably nervous. This was something new, with new people in an unfamiliar setting. But she was excited too, we both were. It was another opportunity for her to find her thing. The thing that lights her up, that gives her such a sense of joy she can’t wait to do it again. And this was the one thing I’ve always felt could possibly tick the box.
An hour and a bit later, freezing from perching on a slab of wonky concrete beside the track, I had a good feeling. She’d flown along the rubber on each and every drill, face beaming. The bounce in each step gave her enthusiasm away and the sheepish delighted grin when she received a trophy at the end for something (I couldn’t hear for the wind and she was too excited to remember) filled me up. Running over to show me she announced, “I want to do that again!” and as we left the stadium and got back in the car, “Mummy, I think I’ve found my thing.”
Four decades. 40 years. 14,610 days on Planet Earth.
If the first 40 years of life have taught me anything, it’s that while finding our thing is a gift, being ONE THING is a different story.
The reason we’re so special is because of the unique combination of wondery that makes us, us.
As possibly the most indecisive lover of organisation, you could say I’m a contradiction - a combination of ideas and features opposed to one another - but aren’t we all? Isn’t that what makes us special? I think so.
And here’s what’s great, that’s my thing.
The thing that lights me up, that brings me so much joy I’m excited to do it again and again. Helping women discover their strength and utter power in their story to create a business and life they absolutely fall in love with. And it’s been there all along.
From conversations I remember having in college, the way I managed my team in my corporate days, advice I gave others who needed a helping hand before a job move. I’ve always loved lifting others up, helping them take the next best step to create the life of their dreams. It feels good and now I get to do it for my work. Pinch me.
I’m 40 and a proud contradiction:
As for the lessons I’ve learned along the way and what I’ll be taking with me as I enter my fifth decade on Earth? Here are my top 4 takeaways:
⚡️Find the joy and make it a priority, every day. If what you’re doing doesn’t light you up, try and find a better way. Find your thing.
⚡️Don’t worry about anyone else, you do you. Be whoever you want to be and don’t apologise. If anyone passes judgement, it’s way more about them than it is about you.
⚡️Don’t rush love, it will come. Fall in love with yourself first and lean into your friendships wholeheartedly.
⚡️Get up close and personal with your values and your vision. Know what matters to you and use that as your guide for making decisions in all areas of your life.
The first four decades have been an adventure. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, I haven’t always been happy but here’s what’s great, I’m just getting started.
P.S. Hit me up with your wisdom - what else should I take with me into this next decade?
PRs, copy coaches, mates, mamas and story obsessives. Between us we've got four kids, three dogs and two husbands. We know first hand how life is a big old juggle and we're here for the ride with you. Running a business (and a family) is hard work but we believe writing about it doesn't need to be. We're here to show you how. We're also here for the thrifty finds, adventure and cocktails.
Sunshine vibes and poolside tunes to get me through these long winter days. Download the app to listen on your phone, or mac and and enjoy the preloaded playlists. Pass me a margarita!
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