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What it feels like…to turn 40.

By Debbie Cash.

I turned 40 in January and felt a massive, looming pressure to throw a big celebration and even sent out save the date invitations but in the end I chickened out of it and decided to have a small get together with family instead – an afternoon tea for 40 people which my husband organised with my sister.

I’m lucky enough to still have both my parents and my sister, though we lost my younger brother Dave to alcoholism when he was just 28.

This is something we have lived with everyday and since we lost him through excessive drinking, I just didn’t think a booze up was the done thing. And we are all still raw 10 years on.

At 40 I’m more secure and less anxious. I know I am loved by my remaining family and our extended family too but turning 40 did make me feel past it. I still think to myself, “I don’t look past it or feel past it but something about hitting the big 4-0 makes me think I might be!”

I have less energy than my 20’s and 30’s but I think that’s due to the fact I have a full-time job and 3 kids under the age of 12 to look after. My husband also works full-time and we both just seem to live in a bubble of constant exhaustion.

Our relationship has suffered greatly; we just seem like ships that pass in the night so as I write this I am already thinking I need to draw up a list of 40 things to do in my 40th year.

Things that are filled with fun and frivolity and the opportunity to connect with the man I love, the father of my children, my best friend and the man who gets me.

Turning 40 has made me realise I must cherish and nurture my relationship with my husband, he deserves it and so do I. I think that’s been the biggest lesson on reflecting back on this milestone age. Time flies and it really must be filled with love instead of to do lists. The dry cleaning can wait.