The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

40 lessons in 40 years

on August 11, 2015

So it appears to be Birthday Eve again.


How did that happen so fast?


As one good writer friend put it recently, “This time last year I was in my Thirties”.


In fact this time last year I was in the luxurious surroundings of the Somerset Maugham suite at Raffles Hotel sans #1, 2 and 3. Tonight I’m not. On a night where I would certainly have welcomed a night in luxurious surroundings after enduring a tag team of screeching behaviour. But they are in bed now and so I’m having a Birthday Eve port. 
Besides I wouldn’t want to miss out on tomorrow morning’s levels of excitement that come from #1, 2 and 3 on special occasions.


So how on earth has this year has whizzed by so quickly? It’s left me quite unnerved actually because I’ll soon be hurtling towards 50 at this rate. 
Well I guess it doesn’t help that I officially didn’t stop celebrating Embracing 40 until mid November.


Anyways, as I firmly fall into the 40 something category tomorrow, I was thinking am I any wiser for all these years that I’ve accumulated so far? Hmmm….you don’t have to answer that question.


And so I thought what lessons have I learnt exactly? 


1  You can learn something new from everyone you meet. Not all of it good.

2.  Trinny and Susannah, whilst annoying, were right about many things on What Not To Wear. It does often look better to dress for your body shape.

3.  …..but equally you should wear whatever you like if it makes you feel good and happy.

4.  At some point you need to take responsibility for your adult actions and accept that your childhood has great influence but does not shape how your life should be.

5.  Always be friends with people who love to dance….

6.  …..And who can be persuaded to have one more drink for the road.

7.  …..And who are funny, kind, loyal, interesting and happy.

8. True friendships don’t require censorship.

9.  You really must take care of your teeth.  It is costly to get them fixed and most medical insurance policies don’t offer adequate cover.

10.  When you are 21 and on top of all things popular culture and look upon the old ones with scorn who do not know that 1D and One Direction are the same people, rest assured that you too will suffer a similar fate one day.

11.  No matter how sober I thought I was acting, everyone knew I’d been out boozing. Not least the smell but the giveaway Asian flushed cheeks.

12.  Bodily functions will always be funny.

13.  Contrary to popular teenage belief, life gets harder not easier.

14.  …..and you do end up sounding like your parents no matter what you vow.

15.  It is very easy to sink five pints of lager but manage no more than one pint of Diet Coke.

16.  People are a lot funnier when you’re drunk. Sometimes more attractive. Sometimes less so the next day.

17.  Not all friendships last a lifetime. And that’s ok. It’s knowing when to let it go to allow new friendships to grow.

18.  Have a special pot for your house keys, car keys and work pass. A lot of time is wasted looking for these items.

19.  When you meet someone new and you forget their name the second  time you meet, never bluff your way through it because you will never get a chance to ask again. This will result in greeting each other warmly with hugs and kisses even but never referring to them by name and awkwardly trying to avoid introducing them to anyone else for the rest of your life

20.  The one size too small bargain buy in the sales is a waste of money no matter what good intentions you have.

19.  I will never understand modern art.

20.  …..or cricket

21. Dump the people who talk in riddles, who never ask how you are and appear to be on the lookout for more interesting people whilst seemingly holding a conversation with you.

22. The above is not so easy to do and so surround yourself with positive people that outnumber the negative ones to a ratio of at least eight to one.

23.  The mid-80s perm is not a good look for everyone. Neither is the mullet. Nor that bit of facial hair that sits in the dip under your lower lip. (And no Uncle Monkey the ladies do not love it.)

24.  Your siblings may annoy you but they are also the ones who always have your back.

25.  Since the day I left home, I have not stopped missing my Dad, Mr Li and my Mum.

26.  It is very satisfying to know how to drive, cook, sew, build an Ikea shelf, wire a plug and fix stuff.

27.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and people genuinely want to help.

28.  The world is a very big place, try and see as much of it as you can. Especially beyond the boundaries of a resort. 

29.   Choose a sport to follow and to take part in. It’s very unifying.

30.  Restricting yourself in order to be healthy doesn’t always make you happy. Everything in moderation.

31.  Being tidy is a genetic condition and not a learned behaviour.

32.  Even if you haven’t lived in the town where you grew up in for decades, it is still home and will give you a warm fuzzy feeling whenever you go back there.

33.  I like people who make me laugh.

34.  You don’t have to act your age but sometimes it helps if you do.

35.  You have to let the young people make their own choices, learn from their mistakes and always be there for them when they need you.

36. Going to an airport never loses its appeal.

37. All relationships not just marriages need working on. You get out what you put in.

38. I miss many things from two decades ago, mostly the lack of responsibility, the freedom and being fairly carefree but it was so fleeting and you can do so much with your time now, why chase after your youth.

39.   Quality is better than quantity and that can apply to all aspects of life.

40.  It’s impossible to recount all that you know and who knows what else there is to learn.

So today concludes my year of Embracing 40. Does life begin at Forty? It begins every single day really.


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