On the 1st November 2018 I will be 40 YEARS OLD!
I know hitting this so called life ‘milestone’ invokes FEAR into many people who are approaching it:
‘Where did the years go? What have I achieved with my life?’
‘Quick, I need to do something ‘crazy’ before the time runs out!’
‘Where’s my bucket-list!’
and ENVY for some in their later years:
’40? That’s still young! You’ve got so much life ahead of you!’
‘You’re lucky to have your health / own teeth / memory’
But for me, it’s been precursed by a number of years of genuine soul searching, finding my life purpose and now I identify being 40 as a real milestone to celebrate all I have achieved and look forward to what comes next.
Who I am kidding. I’m shitting myself about hitting 40. Outwardly I am adventurous, have a successful career, love trying new things, was a party animal in my younger days (!) but internally I am scared of having so many things to achieve in life and not enough time to do them (yes ‘oldies’, I know this is an unnecessary fear but it’s one I have all the same!)
Alongside the ‘holy f*ck where did the years go’ feelings I currently have, I’ve also been reflecting for some time on the various lessons I have learnt, especially in the last few years. I expect this is also a normal place for many late 30-somethings as we stare down the barrel of OLD AGE!!
My life has been full of amazing experiences and when I stop and think about it, I have had a wonderful 40 years on this planet. But there are things I would do differently if I had my time again and much of what I have learnt about myself are lessons that have come with time, and no-one could ever have taught me. But I feel drawn to share my life lessons with the world and after many years of procrastination (more on that later….) I am finally getting round to it, but with a little twist.
My biggest life lesson in recent years relates to the title of this blog: ESCAPE YOUR BUBBLE. I am so aware of being moved along the conveyor belt of life, following the same path as everyone else (school – uni – career – marriage – house – family etc) that I have looked to ways of stepping off the conveyor belt (or ‘escaping my bubble’ as I like to call it) and trying something different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying following this path is wrong, it’s just not for me. I like to bimble off down the path less travelled and not do the same as everyone else. (I think the topic of ‘rebellion’ will pop up as a theme in a later post!). I have reflected on this a lot recently and will talk more in later posts about how this concept links to ‘happiness’, ‘fulfilment’ and ‘purpose’ which are very topical in a lot of self development / online coaching content currently.
I’m also intrigued by the notion that we should ‘live for the day’ but in reality, how many people actually do this? I recently watched a BBC2 documentary called A Time to Live. The 12 people interviewed had all been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Their outlook was amazing, some even saying they were glad they had the cancer diagnosis as it changed their outlook on life:
If my choice had been to live longer and not have cancer and not have the insight that I have got, I wouldn’t take it. I think I would rather have my cancer diagnosis and change my life in the way I have. I was wasting life before and would never have appreciated life if it was not for cancer so cancer definitely been a gift and if my exchange for that is time then I am willing to accept that gift.
Isn’t that an incredible statement to make? Why does it take a terminal diagnosis for us to:
‘Seize the day!’
‘Live for the moment!’
‘Escape your bubble!’
when the only certainty we have in life is that one day we’ll all be 6 feet under anyway?!
I want to explore my own attitude towards this using the lessons I have learnt as my guide, especially how society, the media, our education system, our culture, all drive us to lead a certain way of life but in reality, there are things we all want to do sitting in the ‘one day’ pile…….
What happens if we decide to focus on the ‘one day’ pile and ‘escape our bubble’?!
Where am I now?
At the moment, I am already out of my comfort zone having recently set up my own HR and coaching business and working for myself and not for a large corporate as I have done for the last 15 years. This already is a huge test where I am putting all I have learnt about myself into practice. But for me, it’s not enough. I need to have a challenge in my life that feels way out of my comfort zone……
So what am I going to do?
Well hopefully, lots of things!! Over the next 18 months I am dedicating my life to achieving:
’40 Things B4 I’m Forty’!!!!
This list will take me on many adventures – some are going to be tough, some pretty easy, some are at home, some are abroad, some will take time, some will take lots of energy, most will push me out of my comfort zone, some may make me happy, some will be frustrating and some I may not manage to achieve. But ALL of them will do one thing – enable me to see how far I can go and in my own way, ‘seize the day’ and really make the most of the gift of time that I have.
I will explore what mental strength I have inside, what really are my limits? How far can I escape from the bubble that I have lived in for my first 40 years on this planet? I’m hoping to learn so much more about myself and want to share my journey along the way in the hope that it may inspire you to consider how you can Escape Your Bubble.
So this blog will take the form of a public journal to track my progress as I try to achieve my ’40’ list and along the way I will reflect on my lessons learnt in life and how I am using everything I have learnt to help me achieve my dreams.
(It should work out to be a blog every 2 weeks, as you’ll see from the first official entry on my 40 list on the topic of ‘Procrastination’ I should have started this on the 1st May, exactly 18 months to the day but hey, this is my blog, my life, my lessons learnt!!)
Well here goes…….
My crazy adventure is about to start! I’m so excited to share it with you and extremely proud of myself for starting this blog – something I’ve been meaning to do for years (did I tell you I’m a procrastination queen??)The list of my 40 challenges will be published soon so keep an eye out and please join the mailing list below to receive updates when my new blog is published and follow my Facebook page here for more news and insights as I embark on my journey.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and even suggestions on challenges I could include – I have a list that I will publish on here soon but has a number of spaces in it so any thoughts welcome!!
Lots of love and happiness,
Challenges Completed: 1/40 (I started my blog – that was on the list woohoo!!)
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Be Bold. Be Brave. Be You!”