I love the internet and blogosphere because I make new friends all the time all across the Globe! In this blog post, I want to introduce you to my newest friend, Debra Carter, who lives in Burmingham, England who kindly sent me answers to my questions about turning 40. Not only that, but this fab gal has created a “turning 40 bucket list” of sorts which she describes on her blog, this way:
40 Things for 40! I’ll be 40 in November 2012, and to celebrate my fabulous time on planet earth, I’ve put together a list of 40 things that I plan to experience and / or learn to do between my 39th and 40th Birthdays. As I go along, I’ll be blogging about my experiences (and anticipation leading up to some of the challenging ones!). The idea is to do things that I’ve never done before, or, as with the Mt Snowdon climb, I haven’t done since my accident 10 years ago, and know will challenge me! There’s a bit of travelling on the list as I do love to travel, yet haven’t much for a number of years.
Visit the Viking Museum in York
Go to a live music concert at The Eden Project in Cornwall
10 week acting class at Blue Orange Theatre
Have a hot stone massage
Experience a Hopi Ear Candles treatment
Learn to ice-skate
Overnight Haunted Supper
Learn how to make Chocolate
Fencing – Beginners Foil 6 week course
Scuba Diving Lesson
Falconry/Birds of Prey Experience
Roller Balling Experience
Learn to Juggle
Visit Carcassonne in France
Outdoor Dancing Weekend
Tour The Globe in London Horse Riding in Ogmore (Wales) and ride along the beach!
Having lunch / dinner on a boat on the River Seine in Paris
Go Ape day
Be part of an Historical Reinactment Group (so I get to dress up!!)
Ride a motorbike
Go up the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Afternoon tea at The Savoy Hotel in London
Shark encounter at Blue Planet Aquarium in Liverpool
Eat at Levi Roots restaurant in London
Go on the London Eye
Be part of a Flash Mob! (I’m thinking Halloween 2012!)
Eating dinner that has been cooked on an open fire on a beach
Have a long weekend in New York
Watch a musical on Broadway
Go in a horse & carriage
Have a Naked photo shoot (for my eyes only!)
Punting in Cambridge
How awesome do these sound? And she’s done a lot of them already! Here’s how Debra answered my questions about turning 40:
How do you feel about turning 40?
Personally, I’m excited about turning 40 in November 2012. Whilst I appreciate that it’s unusual, I’ve always embraced aging on most levels. When I was younger, I didn’t feel that I was taken seriously, and felt it held me back. Having said that, when I was approaching 39, I suddenly thought “what have I achieved” and had a bit of an early mid-life crises, for about a week! After that, I wrote a list of 40 things that I wanted to experience or learn before I was 40, and started it on my 39th Birthday. I’m still working through it, and some things have had to change because my body isn’t as strong as it used to be (due to previous injuries, not really age!).
How will you celebrate this milestone birthday?
On the big day I intend to be having a vintage photoshoot with friends (and champers), lunch and dinner with friends, and to be releasing a little video to celebrate my life! I know it sounds narcissistic, but really, it’s about celebrating the aging process and showing others that age can be a catalyst for good, and fun! 40 is the beginning of a new decade, and I’m determined it will be my best yet!
What are your hopes and dreams for this age? (i.e. What did you hope to accomplish by this age?)
Well, by the time I’m 40, I hope to have completed my “40 Things for 40” list and have published my first book, which I’m currently working on. I would love to also be in a good romantic relationship with a great guy, but I’m focusing on what I can control and letting go of that which I can’t directly influence!
What do you think will be difficult about reaching this milestone?
I have to let go of my desire for marriage and having a family of my own, and this is very painful, and this is where the ‘most levels’ comment came in to the first question. I always thought that I wanted to settle down and have kids, but I never met anyone that I wanted to marry, not until I was 39. When I did, an old flame from my youth, it turned out that he wasn’t what I thought, and I had to walk away for my own sanity and self-respect. I was devastated, as I thought “that’s it, my last chance!”. Right now, I don’ t know whether that is really true, and actually, I feel very positive about the future. I’m no longer even sure if I do want those things, as I realise it could just be social conditioning. It was very challenging though, and part of me felt like I’d somehow failed as a woman, to be childless and single at 40.
What is wonderful about reaching this milestone?
I no longer care about the size of my ass! I know who I am, I know what I’m capable of, I know my boundaries, and I’m not afraid to take chances, as I know I can bounce back if they don’t work out. I’ve rediscovered my creativity, changed my entire career, and I’m now committing to pursuing the life that I desire as I realise that the clock is ticking, and am determined to make the most of the remainder of my time on Planet Earth!
What do you think about our youth-obsessed culture and the constant pressure to look younger than we are? How do you feel about cosmetic surgery? If you’ve undergone such treatments, please share your experiences.
Personally, I think it’s tragic that youth is held up as the ideal, and age and wisdom (which so often go hand in hand) is disrespected. It may sound like a cliché, but I believe that beauty really does come from within, and radiance is bought with a good heart, passion for life and a twinkle of adventure in your eye. You can’t get that under a surgeon’s knife. I can’t imagine it is ever something I would want to do, but then, maybe aging hasn’t really hit me yet! After all, if I didn’t know how old I was, I’d think myself 27, as that’s how I feel!