I turned 40 today. I can hardly believe it, actually. It seems so unbelievably old, yet I really don't feel particularly old (well, not all the time, anyway).
That said, I was much more miserable the day I turned 30. My life was a mess back then, and I was sure that it wasn't going to get any better (and, with regard the pretty immediate future, I was right).
When I turned 30, my "career" was doing OK, and we were on the brink of moving from a large city in central France down here to the south coast to what turned out to be a pretty grotty and nasty flat - our first owned home.
But we'd been trying to have a baby for over 18 months without any success and despite a whole battery of tests and exams and treatments. I was feeling really low and despondent, and totally sure it would never work. I wanted a baby more than anything, and not being a mother at 30 struck me as real failure.
In the end, I did fall pregnant, exactly 9 months later. But that all went horribly, horribly wrong (but that's another story). The last 3 months of being 30 were great (that's when I was pregnant and oh, so happy), but the first 9 were heart-breaking.
In comparison, turning 40 is a piece of cake. My career isn't really any further forward, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. We live in a much nicer flat in a much nicer part of the city. And we have two beautiful, bright, affectionate, funny, lovable little girls.
And I feel blessed.
I had a good day (nothing special, mainly because I got up so late) and was once again spoiled with lovely gifts and I even started on my "improvement" programme - I washed my hair, painted my nails (very discreet, pale pink), took some pills (skin preparation, fat burning, energy enhancing, allergy reducing) and am about to go to bed around 2 hours earlier than usual. And I also intend to get up tomorrow morning and actually work during the day and go out in the afternoon.
One of the cards I got today gave the old cliché, "Life begins at 40". And maybe, just maybe, it's true.