I’m turning 40. When the clock strikes midnight, my 30s will have ended and I’ll begin my 40s. I’m someone who has always struggled with getting older and this one has given me more anguish than any other.
I mean, 40! In my teens and 20s, 40 was old. Grey hair, the best years behind you, a settling into middle age and sensible plodding. That just isn’t me. For a start, my hair is pink, I have so much I still want to achieve and to be honest, I’d still have another child if finances allowed and husband stopped loudly objecting!
So in a cathartic exercise, I thought I’d post some of the best experiences, moments and achievements from my first 40 years. Tomorrow, I’ll set some goals for the next year in an aim to make 40 my best year yet.
- I setup a business when I was 17. I still run that same company now, 23 years later. I’m immensely proud of TAMBA and all we’ve achieved.
- I somehow managed to find, and keep, my soulmate Jon. I am so very lucky that someone so kind, so gorgeous and such a committed husband and father chose me to spend their life with.
- I have an amazing, sensitive and handsome son who changed our world when he was born in 2009. I love how he challenges me with his inquisitive nature and makes me laugh endlessly with his sense of humour.
- I have a beautiful, bright daughter who never stops laughing and smiling. She’s my mini-me and brings sunshine to every day.
- I’m proud that even at 39, I fight the self-doubt and give new things a go. I love the fact that I’m a regular gym goer and push myself week after week.
- I’m proud that my children, husband and I love to pay it forward with random acts of kindness and love, even more that it spreads with those people also then paying it forward.
- I once had a full page photo of me and a friend in Heat magazine. At the time it made me feel very special; now I’m just glad I was particularly well dressed that day.
- I’m glad that when I’ve made poor decisions, sometimes in the public eye, I’ve worked my ass off to restore balance and have a good reputation as an entrepreneur and person.
- I’m proud to have featured in a serious BBC hour-long programme running the country through a mock crisis (does anyone even remember Crisis Command?)
- I’m honoured to have won Technology Woman of the Year in 2011 in the Network of Aspiring Women awards.
- Right up there is getting a video tribute from Graham Norton and an award from Simon Amstell in 2007 for a game my agency made for Comic Relief which generated a huge number of donations to that year’s fundraising efforts.
- I’m proud of the strength I found inside myself when my husband had cancer in 2014/15 and my mum had strokes in 2002 and in February 2017. More than that, I am immensely proud of THEM. And so happy they are still both with me and very healthy to boot.
- I’m happy I found the peace to accept that some relationships don’t work, such as one I fostered alone with a very close family member for years with nothing at all back. Letting that go has taken a long time but was absolutely the right thing for me.
- I’m delighted that at 26, I found and bought my dream home and it’s a very happy home for our family.
- Being a lover of cars, I’m thrilled to have owned a Bentley GT and whilst it feels like another life now, I’m fairly sure I’ll own one again in the not too distant future.
- I’m proud that in 2011 I was brave enough to take my first flight abroad, even though I was petrified.
- Because of No. 16, I can be happy I’ve already been to Spain, Germany, Lithuania and Greece with Vienna coming up in the next couple of months.
- I’m happy to say I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with two of the businesspeople I most admire; the charming John Caudwell (Phones4U and Caudwell Children) and lovely Karren Brady.
- I’m honoured to have lunched with the delightful Vanessa Gold of Ann Summers, who showed me big business success can come whilst being quiet and classy. I respect her style and attitude a lot.
- I met the Brand New Heavies at 37-weeks pregnant with Jasmine – that was a great day and a band I am a total super-fan of.
- Duncan from Blue (one of the nicest guys around) sang at my wedding and made it so magical and memorable.
- When I went to see Lee Mack (my guilty celeb crush), he geared the whole show to me. I think about it often and it always makes me break into a huge smile.
- I’m happy that I’m so trusted by my clients that one has me present a Facebook Live show every week on their page which we’ve built to more than 4.5m fans! It’s scary but so rewarding and I love that we now have a cult following.
- I’m honoured and stunned that in the first 3 months of this blog, I’ve already secured relationships with Milk_shake, Nuffield Health, House of Townend to name just a few. I’m honoured to be earning fees before my DA has even been established which is a testament to how many readers I’ve got and followers on social media – thank you all!
- I’m proud that as I’ve got older, I’ve realised there is more to life than financial and material success. Whilst life is easier with money, I value my family, friendships, cameraderie with my co-workers, wellbeing and sanity more. It’s taken some scary times and heart-in-mouth moments to reach that point.
So those are just a few of my highlights. I’ve had some amazing experiences, some horrific ones but they’re all part of the tapestry of my particular story. And so to sleep, before the next adventure begins in the morning…