I assumed I’d have a mid-life crisis when I turned 40 years old. When I confirmed that said crisis couldn’t be outsourced, I decided to have mine early. I started at 39. First of all I quit my well-paid flexible job even though my husband and I share a considerable mortgage and all of the costs that come with having 3 children. I had a break then started working from home with irregular income. I started a blog. I decided to start learning to play the violin despite my experience of having to ‘fake-it’ on the recorder at Primary School because I couldn’t read music.
On the eve of the dreaded day I turn 40 years old, I’ve come up with these points for younger players.
1. Enjoy the stage of life you’re in. Don’t wish it away. I have to keep telling myself this after cleaning up after my 2 year old son, again and again, and hearing stories of my single friends discussing their next overseas holiday destination. It’s too easy to romanticise about life when you were younger, you can’t go back, don’t waste your time, look to the future instead.
2. Improve your health and fitness, do it for yourself. I’ve tried a few different fitness options but most of all, I love being part of a group PT class. I exercise with Kirsten Cooke of Lean Mum for Life: http://leanmumforlife.com/
3. Find a style of clothing and hair that suits you. Have a consultation with a stylist or a friend in the know. Ask me for help, some of us live for this sort of thing! And don’t just buy clothes because they’re on sale, buy clothes that you love and suit you. Try out this tip; when you’re trying on clothes, if you instinctively tilt you head to the side to reappraise the outfit in the mirror, this means you don’t love how it looks on you, so don’t buy it as you probably will never wear it. When you find something that really suits you, you’ll know immediately. I’m a long term fan of Metalicus clothes for being on-trend and flattering as well as so easy to wash and wear.
4. Be grateful for the way you’ve been made. I was the skinniest teenager, with long, lanky arms and legs. I’ve filled out since then, but my arms and fingers are still long and thin. Turns out, these long, thin fingers of mine are just the thing for playing the violin, it took me this long to find that out.
5. Find something you love and do it. Spend time pondering the things you really love, put your ideas in a journal and revisit them until you have a plan.
6. Honour your parents. If you’re a parent, you’ll know how hard the day-to-day can be. Your parents made mistakes, don’t hold it against them.
7. Look after your teeth. Teeth are always in fashion.