Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday dear Heffalump
Happy Birthday to me!
Yes, today is my 42nd birthday. I was hoping to wake up this morning and find that I know the meaning to the question of life, the universe and everything, but sadly, that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will happen at 6.45pm, which is the exact moment that I entered the world 42 years ago.
But I do know some things, and I think I will share them with you all since I’m feeling like my 40’s are bringing me into a new level of wisdom that I never had before. Consider it my gift to all of you.
1. Getting older is kind of awesome. I know a lot of women say they feel invisible once they get into their 40’s, but hey, fat women are mostly invisible all their lives, so that hasn’t happened to me. In fact I would say that I’ve become more visible – not just in the physical sense, but in that I will speak up now. I spend a whole lot less of my time trying to disappear and not be noticed.
2. Not everyone can love their body. But learning to value it is a good thing to do. Bodies don’t always do what we want them to do. And despite all the well intentioned “Love your body” messages, for a lot of people, that’s just not possible for a myriad of reasons. However, our bodies propel us through our lives. They do a bunch of important shit that we need without us ever being conscious of it. They can experience (and give) a lot of pleasure. Learning to just inhabit the body you have got to the best of your ability, and at least value it enough to be kind to it. The kinder you are to your body, the easier it is to live in.
3. Your self worth does not hinge on whether or not men want to have sex with you. Remember, as said by @moscaddie on Twitter – dick is abundant and of low value. Believe me, no matter who you are, there are dudes out there who want to fuck you. But really, aren’t you worth more than that?
4. Your 20’s suck. That’s not the peak of life. If it is, then you’ve got a big, long, downhill slide ahead of you! Aim for your peak to be much later. I think I’d like to peak around 65. We as a culture seem to put so much value on to our 20’s, when really, it’s a pretty rough decade for the majority of people. You’re old enough to have to adult, but you’re not old enough to have figured out shit yet. It gets better than that.
5. Be kind to your feet. Yes I know those 6 inch stilettos are gorgeous and make you feel sexy. But give your feet plenty of rest and care. Because you will be forced to wear ugly, ugly shoes way sooner than you want to if you don’t take care of your feet now.
6. If it makes you feel good, it’s not a waste of time. Yeah I know, there are so many things we need to do with our time right? We really shouldn’t take that nap. We really shouldn’t spend an afternoon reading/building Lego/faffing about on the internet/insert idle entertainment here. I should be cleaning the house. I should be sorting out that spare room. I should be… Let yourself have regular leisure time. REAL leisure time, filled with things that make the time zoom by because you’re so into whatever you are doing. The dishes will get done. Whatever else it is you feel you should be doing, you will do later. It is good self care to just chill.
7. You don’t need that much perfume/body spray/other scented item. Believe me, just a little dab or spritz is all you need. If someone can smell it on you when they are more than a metre away from you, it’s WAY too much, you’re making people’s eyes water and nose run, they’re just too polite to say anything. Scent is sexy when you’re up close, not when it’s crop dusting everyone in the vicinity.
8. All genitals look weird. No really, they all look weird and nothing at all like you see in porn. There’s nothing wrong with how yours look. Unless they’re suddenly green and oozing, then go see a doctor.
9. Food is not the enemy. You need food. Stop fighting it, and you’ll start to notice things you never noticed before. Like when certain things make you feel tired and run down or queasy, or jittery. You can’t know which foods your body needs when you are busy treating food like an enemy.
10. Fashion is fun, but style is personal. Have fun with fashion, but don’t be a slave to it. If you don’t like anything that is currently in fashion, just rock your own style. Truly stylish people wear what they love, not what is fashionable. Even if others don’t like your style, who cares? You love it right?
11. Blood is not thicker than water. Families can be some of the most damaging people in your life. If they do you harm, you are within your right to remove them from your life. Build your own community of people around you. People who treat you with respect and love you unconditionally.
12. Be in photographs. If you shy away from cameras, there will come a time you will regret that there are no pictures of you. Let the people who love you take photographs of you, or take them of yourself. I really wish I hadn’t bolted from cameras all through my teens, 20’s and 30’s.
13. At least once per year, sit back and note all the things you’ve done over the past year. And I don’t mean big things that happen once or twice in your life, I mean all the things that you do all the time and barely take notice. Projects you’ve finished at work. Things you’ve done around the house. Books you’ve read. Places you’ve been. Events you’ve participated in. Blog posts you’ve written. Craft projects you’ve made. Anything that you’ve completed. We are so focused on the next thing we’re working on, the next hill we’re climbing, we forget to acknowledge all the things we’ve completed. It feels SO good to look at that list and it makes the stuff in front of you less daunting.
14. Never give up an opportunity to pee. Or get into an elevator with a full bladder. Just trust me on this one.
15. Tell the people that you love, that you love them. You have an unlimited supply of “I love you’s.” Give those babies away freely. You will not be diminished by how much love you give, instead you will be enriched by it.