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  • Writer's picture Irina

My Fabulous 40s


My fabulous 40s

My 40th decade started with a bang.

My birthday dawned in Istanbul. I was there on a business trip. It was September so the weather was lovely and after a full day of meetings we headed back to the hotel before going out for dinner. I was half naked and standing in front of the wardrobe when the door to my room opened and a man in a suit, rolling a suitcase casually walked in. We both froze for a moment and then the man turned around and walked out. Still in shock and still naked, I called reception to ask what on earth was going on. They admitted it a was a room-key mix up and sent up a bottle of champagne, a small cake and a red rose. Very nice of them too.


After an eventful evening, I woke up the next day to find all the furniture in my room completely re-arranged. I will never know how or why I did it. I am talking about heavy solid wooden furniture. When I tried to put them back the next day, I could barely move them. Go figure…


The rest of the decade just built up from there and I am loving it. If time could stop now, it would be really cool actually. I would definitely not want to go back to being a teenager. No thank you. 20s and 30s were great fun but been there, done that. Good while it lasted. Like an old boyfriend who was fun at the time but I’ve moved on now. No hard feelings.


During this decade I met the love of my life. Beat that, 30s! Doug really is the highlight of this period and marrying him was the best thing I’ve ever done. The wedding alone was worth it. So much so, that I’d love to marry him all over again. Such fun organizing our wedding weekend, so much time spent looking at shoes and outfits, beauty treatments and menus and music and I had the perfect excuse to make lists to my heart’s content. All of our friends were involved too and it brought us closer, not to mention that I had the chance to visit Greece a considerable number of times. The summer of 2018 was most definitely the summer of love.


Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough to keep me from you...

By the time we got married I had already been living in the UK for a couple of years. Another major 40s milestone and what a ride that’s been. To immerse myself in a new lifestyle, country, weather, culture, language, people, food, driving. Understanding what pubs are all about and living in the countryside! It has been fascinating. I thought I was prepared, I thought it wasn’t a big deal but boy was I wrong.


Discovering Brighton @theBeachHuts, 2016

The weather for instance, is so much more than just the weather conditions, it’s all about the vocabulary and the ability to make small talk about the weather that is like a survival skill here. It’s about a whole new wardrobe of coats and jackets and boots. It doesn’t matter that no one is really sure about the difference between a jacket and a coat. The point is you can never have too many. With or without hoods, waterproof, water resistant, wind proof, longer, shorter, warmer, lighter winter coats and summer coats (seriously? summer coat?). And boots. Walking boots, wellie boots, hiking boots, boots for when it’s drizzling, or pouring down, or for when it was raining 2.5 days ago or for when it’s dry but might be showery later. Enough boots to fill your boots.


Wellie boots and coat. Or is it a jacket?

Driving is another thing that I had massively underestimated. When my new car arrived, it stayed in the driveway for over a week. Every day I sat in the driver’s seat, turned the engine on, listened to the radio and played with the indicators and the lights. Then turned the engine off and got out. I finally built up the courage to drive round the block and a few days later I took a leap of faith and drove myself to the super market, all the while talking to myself: keep to the left, left, left. I felt 18 again in a nervous- heart racing-cold sweat-sweaty palms sort of way. Unfamiliar roundabouts are still my nemesis and although I am now comfortable driving, if you listen close enough you can hear me whispering...left...


I digress. Back to my fabulous 40s. Great things happen with age. Well, ok, it’s not all great. My body has become much more obedient to the laws of gravity. I was in a plank position one day and made the horrible mistake of looking down and back. You’d think there was a magnet beneath me pulling everything towards the floor. My hair and skin require a lot more maintenance for a lot less result and the occasional hot flushes give me a sneak preview of what’s to come. I have become a lot more sensitive to noise and light. It still surprises me how far I have to scroll to find my year of birth on any online form and I don’t appreciate being grouped with the over 50’s when I need to check a box for my age group. There may be some hair growing in wrong places and I do believe there’s a conspiracy around how writing on manuals, menus and medication is just getting smaller. You know what though? I honestly don’t mind.


Oh no! Don't look down!!

That aside, my life as a 40-year old girl (can’t bring myself to call me a woman), is brilliant. Because despite of all of the above I have finally learned to love myself for who I am. The endless soul searching, the many heart aches, the loneliness at times, the wrong decisions, the trying to be someone I wasn’t, the experimentation, all of it has paid off and all of it has been worth the pain. Being in my late 40s, means I can be myself, and be fine knowing that some people will like me and others won’t and it’s ok. It also means I have no time for toxic people and can move away from them without anger or resentment. It doesn’t mean I care less for people, quite the contrary I care more but for less people. The ones that matter.


I am also very happy that I can fall asleep at 10pm and not have fear of missing out. That I don’t have to pretend I enjoy camping or that I can party all night and go straight to work the next day. I am not ashamed to admit I like drinking peppermint tea before going to bed and that clean sheets on a Friday night is something I look forward to. Don’t get me wrong! I still love, love, love going out and partying and dancing till dawn. I’ll just need to take Monday off.


If all goes well, four days before my 47th birthday, I will be running the marathon. Another great (?) story for this decade! Who would have thought I would be doing this? Not me! Yet here I am, fitter than ever and ready to give it a go! This middle-aged version of Irina is more confident, strong and positive. Hard-working and wanting to improve. Trying to change the things she doesn’t like and embrace the things she can’t change. Life is always about some kind of marathon and she is here to live it.


I have younger friends that are approaching their 40th birthday with dread and to them I say: Fear not child (!). Embrace the decade ahead. Regret you shall not.


The sky is the limit





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13 comentários


thominia
15 de mar. de 2021

Very well said on our 40s! Much less torture and much more honest reality check! And also enjoying even more dancing and partying because when it happens it is a choice and it is so precious. Oh how I miss dancing with friends! Keep writing Irina, you've got 🌻

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 Irina
Irina
15 de mar. de 2021
Respondendo a

We need a big dancing party soon!!!!

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camkavanagh
14 de mar. de 2021

Good on you Irina, great journey to your happiness today 😀

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Maria Hatzisavva
Maria Hatzisavva
02 de mar. de 2021

Thay was sooo inspiring yet again! It put a smile on my face. I am so happy for you. and you do have a talent for writing, too. <3

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 Irina
Irina
02 de mar. de 2021
Respondendo a

Thank you so much!! This means so much to me!!

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marygiemen
marygiemen
02 de mar. de 2021

How beautiful, how true, loved every sentence..and every photo ..again !!

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 Irina
Irina
02 de mar. de 2021
Respondendo a

Mairoulita!! I am so happy you enjoyed it 💋

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errietta.varvogli
errietta.varvogli
02 de mar. de 2021

Fabulous 40,s and many beautiful years yet to come!!!be happy!!!

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 Irina
Irina
02 de mar. de 2021
Respondendo a

Thank you manoula ❣️❣️🥰

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