Up till the New Year I was looking forward to the big four O.
I felt the same about turning 30. I can't recall the months before the big date but for years before I saw it as a positive milestone - in Christian tradition Jesus first public miracle occurred when he was 30.
Turning 30 sparked off a mid life crisis. I was married with two children, a mortgage, no savings and was struggling to find any job that would pay enough to support us as a family; let alone one that would allow us to save for our childrens education or a pension.
I decided I needed a career. Some formal training and direction to give me a fighting chance of turning not interested letters into job offers.
Ten years later; a lot of hard work and it has paid off. I went to night class, got my first higher education college certificate. I took on contracts that on paper I was underqualified to succeed in and spent evenings and weekends improving my knowledge and skills to enable me to complete those contracts and gain valuable references.
I kept studying and last year completed a degree course. I'm now earning a good contract rate and have achieved more than I imagined possible ten years ago
By many standards I have succeeded and I have been wanting to celebrate this year. But the current work project I am on has proved even more challenging than I imagined and since January I have again been working evenings and weekends just to keep up.
Having written a first draft of a novel last November I have wanted to review it and begin work on the second draft but I've had no mental or physical energy left to tackle that.
The weeks before my birthday I began to get severe headaches. I attributed these to stress of the project and while I now think that was a major contributor - days after my birthday I realised the headaches had dramatically eased.
Was I really that stressed about turning 40?
I see these major milestone years as an opportunity to take stock of what has happened and make plans for the future. I'm not quite ready to either reflect or plan but God willing I will make time to do both this year - I have proved to myself that considering the past and setting clear goals are equally valuable.
I don't know what I will be doing or where I and my family will be when I turn 50 (or even 60!) but I intend to be writing and continuing to develop new skills.
When it comes to those milestone birthdays though - I may just head off and find a quiet cave or lonely mountain for a few weeks...
How do you find your age affects your planning for the future?
The work of motherhood: Leslie.
12 hours ago