This time tomorrow, I will have entered a new decade. I’m having a “significant birthday”. What is it about big birthdays that get us thinking?
I wonder if it has something to do with what we feel we should have achieved. I remember completing a timeline when I was at school. We had to predict what would happen at what age in our lives. My life has not fitted at all with that plan!
Some elements that I predicted have worked out. Yes, I am married with children. Other things have not been as expected. I feel that the path I am following now is through unchartered territory, and I sometimes wonder where it will lead.
My hopes and dreams from teenage years are very different to those I have now. I thought I was going to be able to change the world. In some respects, my world has closed in. My main hopes are that I would like my family to be happy and healthy, and while I have some chance of making this happen, a lot of it is out of my control. I can only hope and pray that this will be the case.
It’s funny – I look around at my friends, many of whom have already entered their fifth decade. To me, we still look like girls. Yes, we may have a few more laughter lines, but what does that matter? I think some of my friends radiate inner beauty, which lasts far longer than the flush of youth. One of my friends was delighted yesterday to be asked if she was eligible for a student discount.
The challenges of life
One thing I have discovered on my journey is that having babies and little children is hard. I could not have imagined how hard it would be. Yes, they have enriched my life more than I can describe, but motherhood has not come without its challenges.
Through having children I have developed a strong support network. I have mentioned before that we do not live near family, and I think this has made the need for having friends I can depend and lean on all the more important.
I really struggled as a new mum, but as a result of this struggle I have ended up supporting new mums through voluntary work. This is not something that was on my life plan, but it has been so much more rewarding than I expected. I have felt blessed by this valuable work, and being able to empower mums at a vulnerable time in their lives is so special.
Changing the world
Yes, I would still like to be able to change the world. I wish there was less anger and hatred. I try to make changes that will benefit my children, and the children of others, in the future. I have come to accept that it is unlikely that I will change the whole world, but that I might be able to change it a little bit. I might be able to change it for a few people.
And hopefully those changes will radiate out to others to make our world a better place to live in. Maybe it’s not so bad to be turning forty.
How would you like to change the world?
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