Despite dreading turning 40 for the past 6 months I woke on my 40th birthday feeling no different than before (other than a whopping cold sore which I’m hoping isn’t an omen for the year ahead!) Loads of people (over the age of 40) have told me that 40 is still young but I can’t believe that I am now at the age that I considered to be “an old person” when I was at school.

Still, I know that there are lots of people who have never reached 40 who would swap places with me in a heartbeat and so for every day of my 40 years and all that is yet to come, I am incredibly grateful. Today, I want to just jot down a few things that I have learned along the way. Maybe you disagree or have learned similar things on your own journey, I would love to know.  Some of my musings may be quite profound, others may be a little bit random but I think that sums me up perfectly. So, without further ado and in no particular order here are just a few of the things I have learned in my four decades (with some photographs of me for your entertainment)…

That the things that matter to me most in friends are honesty, loyalty and laughter.

me, mum and glyn

That the friends who know you inside out and upside down will never judge you, will be there despite the time lapses and are worth holding on to.

That baked beans are rank! Fact

That cheese is life! Another fact

me as a toddler, smiling at the camera

That I have a need to be acknowledged but cringe when I am praised.

That I love organizing people and events!

That being a mother changes you in a way that really makes you understand how hard it’s been for your own mother over the years and how the times you were a pain in the ass or hard to reach must have hurt her.

me as an infant

That the love for your offspring is unconditional (thank God – see the point above)

That some things feel impossible at the start but always get easier with practice e.g driving lessons and using tampons. I swear I could pop one in on a bus stop now without anyone knowing.

That I hate baths – lying in my own filth is gross

me,Andy and emily

That my decisions are driven by my intuition, I follow my heart more than my head which is great in some ways and hard in others

That I adore reading and need to make more time to lose myself in a good book

That cheese is life!

me and my best friend from high school

That standing apart from a crowd and saying no when they are heading in a direction you don’t want to travel is one of the hardest and bravest things a person can do.

That antidepressants are never for the weak and that struggling is so much worse than asking for help.

That my self-worth is determined by how much I earn. This is great when I am having a good month and catastrophic when I am not.

me as a teenager with my brother

That love never leaves us even when people do.

That every experience teaches a lesson if we are only willing to see it.

That regrets are a total waste of energy.

me and my boys in 2007

That my natural Dad failed because he just didn’t know how to parent, not because he didn’t love me in his own way (that took over 30 years to realise)

That I love artwork which appears as one thing close up and something else at a distance (Follow Craig Alan artwork!)

Art work of the Queen by Craig Alan

Art work of the Queen by Craig Alan

That I can respect someone I dont like but I cannot like someone I dont respect.

That my Mum was right when she said that a side ponytail looked like the other one had been chopped off. Gutted.

That who you marry matters so much more than where you marry them.

me and my best friend

That money can’t buy happiness but it is important nevertheless

That flavoured gin is divine

That everyone has a purpose in the world, we just need to find it.

Julia roberts

That I am in love with Julia Roberts

That I absolutely have to learn the lyrics to songs and often get very attached to their meanings

That grief is a physical pain sometimes

That making people proud of me means everything to me

me in a dark wig

That I’m a dog person and not a cat person

That drinking for pleasure and not just to get wasted is an enjoyable thing

That hangovers are horrendous

That throwing up in a waste paper bin when you work in a bank on a Saturday morning is never cool (see the point above)

That sometimes you grow into a name – I hated being called Charlene as a child, now I love it!

me and my boys now

That I love going out in a wig (but apparently I am much quieter as a brunette – go figure!)

That eating asparagus makes your pee smell REALLY funky!!

That you can love someone but not be in love with them

That sometimes silence says more than words and that I don’t always have to have the last word

me and a mojito

That mojito is my favourite cocktail

That mind control would be my superpower of choice (it took about 35 years for me to decide on that one)

That sometimes, when you stop trying to find love, it finds you.

That I bloody love lists

Did I mention that cheese is life?

me looking washed out eating cheesy chips at V festival

Me looking washed out eating cheesy chips at V festival

I’m sure there are more than this and its a list I am constantly thinking about and adding to but for now, this is what I will leave you with. Maybe I’ll write another one when I reach the grand old age of 50 *drinks more gin and takes a bite of cheddar from the block*

Chat soon,

Charlie xxx

me and andrew at my sisters wedding our children

(Disclaimer, there are more than 40 things. I got carried away)

If you are still awake and enjoyed this blog then check out the section on my website called ‘Just Charlie‘ for more of my random musings 🙂




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