The trend of ‘news’ sites to present information in what amounts to glorified slide-shows drives me bonkers. Perhaps, I admit, that is simply a sign of my advancing age. Perhaps, it is a sign of my impatience and my desire to get to information instead of waiting for pages to load.

Anyway. That’s not really my point here. . . .

Every now and again one of those ‘you must, must, must look at this!!!!’ headlines does catch my eye, and I do click, and, much as I hate to admit it, I do actually – I don’t know – ‘get’ something for the effort.

A couple of months ago, I came across this: 24 people who became highly successful after age 40

So, being of a certain age myself, I ‘clicked’.

And, you know what, I ‘got’ something from it.

For reasons I’ll not go into here, I sort of discount my years between 15 and 33, so, in terms of personal success, I’ve always felt like I was playing ‘catch up’. It’s not that I did nothing before I was 33; it’s more that I never felt I was really achieving. I never really felt successful.

On paper, of course, that’s bullshit. I’ve done just fine. And, there are many people who would say I’ve done very well ‘considering. . .’.

But, me, well, I didn’t feel it.

I would never say that one year was a ‘turning point’ for me – that ‘XX age’ was the year I ‘saw the light’. On my 40th birthday, I had just started the best job I’ve ever had and I had convinced the man that hiking Ben Nevis was the right way to mark this momentous occasion. (It’s possibly worth noting here that my birthday is in September and Ben Nevis is in Scotland and that is quite a volatile combination. We made it halfway before we were almost washed and then blown off the mountain. One of my best birthday celebrations ever. 🙂 )

The truth is, though, I’ve hated being in my 40s. Okay, maybe not hated, but. . . .

I don’t feel wiser. My body is, well, it’s changing. My skin – my beautiful Southern Belle skin that once was my ‘thing’ – my skin is beginning to look its age and it’s a little harder each day to ignore decades of sun, followed by 15 years in London, topped off with a fairly harsh mountain climate (and that’s just the environmental stuff!).

Becoming 40 didn’t bring this inner peace that all those women’s magazines promised me.

But then again. . . .

Being in my 40s forced me to acknowledge that the man is now in his 60s. Which forced me to acknowledge that what I want out of life is time with the person I love most in the world, doing the things we want to do – together and separately.

So now, in my 40s, I don’t have the best ‘job’ I’ve ever had. I don’t live in the best city in the world. I don’t make loads of money or wear stylish clothes or go to galleries or the ballet.

I have a dog. I have two cats. I have three chickens. I have a very messy house in the middle of some of the most beautiful landscape in the world.

I try (and often fail) to take each day as it comes.

And, you know, I’m feeling fairly successful.