It’s almost here- in less than a month I turn 40!
For those that have been on the journey with me this year, you’ll know I’ve done a lot of soul searching, panicking, and fighting the ageing thing.
So many times people have told me ‘you’re young – wait until you get to my age!’
I’ve worried about dying, about the physical signs of ageing, of not being cool enough, young enough or good enough.
I’ve tried to hide from it, run from it and eat my way through it
And guess what?
I’m still turning 40 in less than a month. No matter how much I have tried to deny it, it’s still a fact and it’s still happening.
There are some things in life, like ageing, which we can’t hide from. In fact ageing is an incredible privilege that we should be grateful for.
If we think of all the people we know who have lost their lives too young, what would they give to worry about a wrinkle or a grey hair to have one more day with their families and loved ones?
So I guess I am in a grateful and reflective mood. I finally turned a corner about a month ago when I realised I didn’t feel so bad any more.
That 40 is just a number, and it’s about how I am, and how I feel as a person.
I can choose to be sad, to be angry, to wish I was 20 again (I don’t by the way I was pretty miserable in my 20s) but I can’t change the fact that I am middle aged and that I am going into my 5th decade.
Interestingly since I started to accept that I will age, my anxiety about dying has lessened slightly. Not completely, but slightly. I’ve looked in the mirror and even smiled at myself which has been a rarity this year.
Perhaps because I’m turning 40 I have taken the brave and potentially a bit irresponsible step of quitting my job without another one to go to.
Of deciding to follow my dreams to freelance and write and hold workshops on kindness and mindfulness. To help others find the peace I have found through mindfulness, and to work alongside others to develop self kindness and an appreciation of myself.
I’ve only decided this in the last few weeks, and it has taken an incredibly difficult work year to get there, when I have doubted myself so many times.
It feels fitting though to be going into my 40s with a completely new way of life, with a complete lack of security, and understanding of what my life will look like going forward. I am so frightened. Yet I am also exciting.
It feels like I’m living a big life, and that 40 is just the start of it,
What will my 40s hold?
My 30s have been some of the best, if not the best, years of my life. I met my wife, we created our fur family together, we bought our home, I moved back to me near my family and my dear nephews and niece. They have been forming, strong, happy years.
There are some things I know – there will be difficult times ahead; of loss, of sadness, of ageing, of not being able to do the things I could.
There’s a really big black cloud in terms of getting my arse into gear with my physical health. I’m pretty good at managing my mental health, but my weight, my exercise levels and the type of food I consume all need to be kicked into the right direction.
A year of mindful eating
That’s why I’ve come up with an idea, starting from my birthday, of documenting a year of mindful eating. I already tried for at least 35 years to manage my weight, and it didn’t work. Mindfulness works for me so well with my mental health, so why not mindful eating?
This is the last area of my life I need to work on. Not to be super slim but to feel healthier, to get out more, exercise more, eat more plants and whole foods, and enjoy them.
I plan to blog, to record little videos, and to hold myself accountable to you guys. I’m not promising to lose even a pound. I’m not dieting. I hate the D word.
For me, this is about living a healthy life. Yes I may lose weight, and I hope I do but I am not going to pressure myself.
Everything I eat I want to be able to understand why I eat it. What emotions are there for me, what is causing me to want to eat.
Then I want to be able to change that thinking through mindfulness. Right now I’m researching the internet for a good book to follow, and some good websites I can share.
I’m super excited and slightly freaked to go on this journey. Who knows where it will end?