What to do when you hit 40

What to do when you hit 40

Turning 40 was not something I relished. In fact, I dreaded it, and almost had a meltdown.

As my birthday is 1st January there wasn’t really any time to prepare for this milestone. One minute I could envision cheering in the new year, and the next minute being threatened with the bumps. And let’s be honest 40 bumps weren’t really something I wanted to put my not so youthful body through. So instead, I went to Lanzarote and celebrated there. This was the first time ever that I celebrated any birthday away from the norm and, to be quite honest I’ve never looked back. So I wanted to share with those of you who are edging closer to the 40 milestone some tips to consider in this brilliant time of life.

Celebrate your 40th doing something different.

Now for some, that may mean going to another country as I did, throwing a big party, or glamping with a few friends. You could also do something totally different such as spending a few hours learning the dance moves to Dirty Dancing, or book yourself in for a photo shoot, and, if you feel uncomfortable doing that, enlist a few friends and get a group photo that you can all keep.  

Own turning 40.

Being in your 40’s does not mean midlife. This is a bona contentious issue between myself and a very good friend. She is constantly saying you are in midlife Sarah and you just need to get over it”. However, I tend to take more of a Samantha (Sex and the City) stance but I don’t lie about my age, I just try not to make it a topic of conversation! But rest assured I don’t behave in the same manner as Samantha. I do believe we have a lot to learn from the characters portrayed on SATC. I mean they really did own their age, and they were always fabulous, regardless of how many hot sweats they had to endure during a cocktail evening.

They also dress to impress THEMSELVES,(even if that was a little wacky at times).

One thing that gets my goat is how the fashion industry appears to aim the majority of its marketing at young people. Whilst they have moved forward in the sense that body image and portraying the real woman has been prioritized over the body type that was used on the runways in previous years. Yet, why is it that they still appear to always use younger faces. Now, correct me if you believe I am wrong, but don’t women over a certain age still want to be on trend and be able to buy pieces from the high street?

Gone are the days when women spend their time at home preparing their latest knitted two pieces. There is nothing wrong with knitting may I add, in fact, one of the things I decided to take up when I turned 40 was dressmaking. I am still crap at knitting though. We need, to make a stand and invade the high street, showing off pieces that we have purchased from the likes of Zara, River Island, and Top-Shop to name a few.

But you may say, I don’t even know where to start when it comes to being on trend, or feeling like I know what’s in fashion. 

Well, hopefully, that is where women like me come in. I hope that my blog will encourage women of all ages to step out of their comfort zone slightly. Even if that means wearing a new style of jean.  Explore other blogs too. There are a fair few out there and some of them are fabulous. Open a Pinterest account and start pinning ideas to your boards. I can assure you that once you start to explore other possibilities when it comes to putting together outfits your confidence will soar.

Maybe even book a Personal Shopping Session in a high street store. Take along another friend who feels like they want to do the same and make a day of it. You can even hire a personal stylist if you want to. Remember Nicky Hamilton Jones? Well I am sure there’s one just like her in your local area. Or enlist a friend who will help you sort out your wardrobe. You never know she may be grateful for that old 70’s patchwork bag you have been hoarding in the back of your wardrobe for the past 30 years.

You could even gather a few friends together and have a girly night swapping clothes, looks and ideas. It is so true that getting a group of women together to encourage and support will help build your confidence so that you are able to step out of your comfort zone.

Next comes the Hair

Ever since I was young I was never happy with my hair. I wanted it long, short, blonde, brunette. I used Sun-In, tried heated rollers, rags, and wands galore. It wasn’t until I suffered from an extremely overactive thyroid gland that I finally became happy with my hair! Why you ask… well because it grew. I then kept the same hairstyle give or take a few layers for the best part of 7 years. One thing I learned though through all of these transitional hairstyles is that change is good.

I am not saying go to the hairdressers and get a severe fringe, or a shaved undercut, but maybe try something a little different. I mean Balayage has been the rage for a while now and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon, and that’s not an extreme combination of colours. And, if you struggle with using any styling instrument just watch around 100 youtube videos as I did haha, or pay to spend an hour with your hairdresser and learn there.

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Okay so you now have this new found confidence on the outside, but what if your inner confidence is suffering.

This is, unfortunately, the time when you have to evaluate those other parts of your life. Whether that be a job you have hated forever, a friendship that just isn’t edifying anymore, or a relationship that has gone a bit belly up. In one way or another, we all put up with things that, quite frankly bring, us down.

One thing you will learn by the time you hit 40 is that you no longer have to put up with this. I am not saying jack your job in or walk away from that relationship, but what I am saying is this is your life and it’s up to you what you put up with. So, if you hate your job then re-train. Maybe do a bit of volunteering outside of your day to day job to gain experience. Start your own little online business. Write your own blog. Learn a new skill that could become a new career.

There are so many resources available to us, but unfortunately, we have no idea how to obtain them. This is when borrowing a teenager comes in handy. They know EVERYTHING. Except how to tidy their room. 🙂 Or get that group of friends together and do a bit of brainstorming. You will be surprised if you ask your friends what you are good at as they will tell you more about yourself that you even knew (or maybe you did but struggle to believe it).

As for those bad friendships, you have three choices, put up and shut up (which I don’t advise), talk openly to the person involved (this option gets easier when you go through the menopause as your filter gets thinner) or tell them that the friendship is no longer working and walk away. Difficult yes, but also extremely freeing. You were not put on this earth to be a doormat. If you are in a difficult relationship I urge you to seek advice, especially if it is an abusive relationship. Do not spend the rest of your life being controlled and manipulated by another person. You are worth far more than that so please get some help. But if the relationship has just become a little tired and mundane, then talk, encourage and move forward together.

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This may then give you the courage to help someone else.

Ah, I bet you thought this blog post was all about you, well sorry! But, the most of it is. However, I want you to consider helping someone else too. Now that could mean helping another friend that is in a difficult relationship, or one that is struggling with turning 40. It could mean sponsoring a child abroad, or entering a 5k race when you don’t even own a pair of trainers. But I will tell you this once you start helping others your own problems seem to fade. Why?  Because you have less time to focus on yourself.

However, ensure that you take time out to do something you enjoy.

More often than not you will have spent the past 10 years or so assisting with homework, making robots out of old toilet rolls and clearing up after little people. Hopefully, by now you will have a little spare time to be able to take up a new interest as I did with my dressmaking. Or you may want to learn a new language, train in photography or have a go at dance lessons. All amazing things to learn.

Whatever it is just go for it. And, even if you do have small children, make sure that you take a few hours a week to do something you enjoy. I can assure you that you will be so much more productive in all other area’s of your life if you give yourself a break. You may also make some new friends along the way, and build a whole new social life for you and your family.

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And finally (well for now anyway)…

Plan a trip, fly a plane, hike a mountain

I have said that it is important to take time out each week to do something you enjoy. But I also believe that it’s a good idea to plan to do something that you have always wanted to do. A couple of years ago I went to Ibiza, and you may well say “there is nothing unusual about that Sarah”. And you’re probably right. But my main aim, when planning my trip was to visit one of its famous clubs. We opted for Pasha.

I also want to go to a large festival at some point in my life, and I may even jump out of an airplane in the near future!

Whatever it is that you have always wanted to do, begin to plan to do it. Even if you have to save for the next 5 years. Ask anyone that is in the latter part of their life to tell you about themselves, they will never talk about their job, house or car. They will always talk about fun memories.

So make sure that as you embark on your 40’s, you start to build those memories even more than before.

Let me know what kind of things you have done to celebrate, and any plans you may have for the future. Your comments may just encourage someone else xx

All items can be found on my Shop My Look Page…

Special thanks to my sister Amy for her help with this post ♥

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