family · Humour · Poem · Rhyme

Approaching 40: A Poem

I’m very lucky to still be in touch with a group of my gorgeous school friends.  These are friendships that have seen me through the roller-coaster of my twenties and thirties, and this next 9 or so months will see each of us celebrate a very special birthday.  This one is dedicated to The Girls.  Approaching 40 was always going to be a bit “What the actual?”, but I’m thrilled and privileged to be doing it together with you.

Image shows cake and bunting with a pretty, vintage white background.

As I stare down the barrel of age 39
I’m increasingly stunned by the passing of time.

I cannot be a grown up!
I’m just not that tall!
I still feel like I’m hardly an adult at all?

But now bits of my body are starting to creak?
When I open my mouth I can hear my mum speak!

The scary 4-0 is a moment away.
And I worry that maybe I’ve had my best day.

That I’m leaving the most precious milestones behind.
My big life events left to fade in my mind.

I approach middle-age with reflection and dread.
I’m expecting a ‘crisis’ and some sort of ‘spread‘.

My colleagues remind me how old I’ve become.
When they ask me what gifts they should buy… for their mum!?

My evenings are more sofa-centric for sure,
And a trip to the shops has now lost its allure.

There are times when it takes all my vigour and drive.
Just to get out of bed and do being alive.

My Sundays could now be considered quite drab,
As my house smells of candle instead of kebab.

I’m much less overwhelmed by my skin-care regime,
As I swerve past the make up and head for hand-cream.

I’m no longer inspired by the pages of Vogue,
And the fashion police would insist I’ve gone rogue.

A broken nail won’t put my nose out of joint
And I don’t give a shit if my ‘brows are on point.

I still try to look good.  I would love to impress!
But as this decade closes – I care a bit less?

My get up and go-ing spontaneously,
Is now checking weather apps.

I have traded adventure for routine and clocks,
Swapped brunch and stilettos for coffee and socks.

My nights of Sambuca and cheap sticky booze ,
Are now those of Prosecco with comfortable shoes.

But there’s joy to be had in an afternoon tea.
A good garden centre’s a sanctuary.

I’ve a new-found respect for my own voice within,
And I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin.

I’m a bit bigger fish in a more mature pond.
Less inclined now to shout for the world to respond.

There’s a calm reassurance that comes with the years.
And a wealth of experience gained through past tears.

I look up to the 40-plus women around,
With their heads held so high and their feet on the ground.

With the utmost respect for their poise and prowess.

…My age-apprehension requires some redress!

There’s a lot to be said for the chaos of youth,
But life has more bite when you’re long in the tooth.

I’m a self-confessed dinosaur, with no regret,
But I’m not bloody ready to fossilise yet!

The fabulous forties now show me their door,
And I hope that their club still has room for one more.

So I stare down the barrel of age 39.
I’m here. Locked and loaded.
Dear forties.
You’re mine!

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94 thoughts on “Approaching 40: A Poem

  1. Amazing as ever my gorgeous friend! I consider myself very blessed to have friendships that have spanned all seasons of my life so far and to be facing 40 with such a fabulous group of girls ready to take it on with me.
    You are very talented Sweetie and as always bring a smile to my face (more often a full blown bout of giggles), looking forward to heading in to the fabulous forties with you xxx

    1. I couldn’t choose a lovelier group of people to be bouncing into our forties with Cara. I’m so pleased to still be in touch after all these years. Thank you – and here’s to the next adventures. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us all next ? xx

    1. Ooh happy birthday for Friday! I’m one of the youngest of our group so I’ve got a few more months before the big one. I firmly believe that flatpack furniture poems are to be enjoyed at all ages! ? I’ll pop over for a read once it’s published. Thanks Alistair!

  2. I’m still a few years away from 40, but I can totally relate – Prosecco and comfortable shoes all the way! I also check my weather app excessively – I mean, you wouldn’t want to risk going out in the wrong coat, would you? #dreamteam

    1. Thank you lovely Fi! I’m feeling quite positive about it all for now, but then I still have a few more months to go as I’m one of the babies of our school year with a summer birthday. It’s all very easy to be composed when you’re still in the thirties I suppose haha. I might be back with a mega-wobble when the time comes but hopefully not. It’s all a new adventure ? Thank you as always for your lovely comment and share xx

  3. I remember being a little girl and thinking 40 was sooooo old! However it’s only a few years off for me and I have to say although the creams and aches are starting to set in i’m much Happier the older I get. Yey to Gardens and prosecco xx

    1. I literally find a trip to my local garden equivalent to a spa break now Helen. Give me a nice scone and a cuppa over a shot and a kebab any day haha. I’m still not quite sure where the time had gone though? Thank you and yey indeed! ? xx

  4. Aww well the good thing is you really don’t look like you’re approaching 40! And there’s definitely nothing wrong with socks and candles! I hope you’re doing something big to celebrate?? xxx #DreamTeam

  5. Omg I love this! Such talent Dawn. From a lady who well into her 40’s you are in for the time of your life… 40’s have been amazing so far… just have more of everything…..more time, more wrinkles, more money, more wisdom, more flab due to more cake ….it’s all good!

  6. Awww, I found that both moving and funny. I’m now 42 (I know) and have found the 40s so far somewhat of a mixed bag! It defo feels like a time to take stock (unfortunately not the wine cellar per se) and do things that we may have put off for a while. The 40s will give you loads more inspiration for your poetry too! You’ll ace it xx

  7. I loved this! I’m in my 30’s and already see a lot of this in me! Getting older is fun and a privilege really (even though it fills me with dread). You give less time for the stuff that you quite frankly, no longer give a hoot for.

    1. I think we definitely get more selective with our time and we’re confident enough to be a bit less obliging which can be a really good thing. I love that you see it as a privilege and you’re so right. Growing old is a gift and we should be grateful that we have the opportunity. ? Such a powerful way to look at it. Thanks Emma xx

  8. Another amazing poem and so funny too. I can’t believe you’re approaching 40, you just don’t look it at all! You’ve been doing a great job, especially with 2 little ones!! #DreamTeam

    1. I’m with you on that. I’ve no desire at all to go back, but still each milestone feels a bit “gulp” on approach doesn’t it? It’s just another day really and I’m all about the grace. And the garden centres. Grace and garden centres. 😉 x

  9. What a lovely post. A good friend of mine has just turned 40 and I will send this to her right now! Loved this one the most”I’m a self-confessed dinosaur, with no regret,But I’m not bloody ready to fossilise yet!” Hallmark card worthy.

  10. This is just class Dawn. I’m hitting the big 4-0 next June and The Stented Missus was 4-0 this year (as were a lot of her school buddies!!). I genuinely don’t think I’ve come across anyone who can put a poem that rhymes together like you. Brilliant stuff.

    1. Big virtual double celebration next summer then as our birthdays must be quite close! I’m still not entirely sure how this 40 thing happened but it has so let’s celebrate! Happy belated birthday to The Stented Mrs too! ? Thanks for such a lovely comment Ross.

  11. I’m turning 29, and I kinda feel everything you wrote…is that odd? Lol. After the 20’s are done, or you become a mum, whichever comes first. It all seems to change. But embrace it, and love yourself. #dreamteam

  12. Hey love! Another RWW Classic! You look fab for it – what’s your secret?!

    Left a comment on #DreamTeam but may have done something wrong? It muttered something about celebrating with you in the future 😉

    Also, that I love how now I can read your poems in your actual tone of voice. Hooray!

    All the love x

    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

    1. Hey lovely MMT!

      Oh please don’t read it in my Squash and a Squeeze voice. All I’d got going through my head was advice to “Slow down!!”. Showed my hub the vid after and he said “Why are you taking like that? You sound weird.” ??

      Yep yep and yep to us celebrating in the future!! ? Oh and thank you ??. I think it’s all the cake. Cake is a vitamin to me hehe. Thanks for hosting honey. Hugs xx

  13. This made me smile! I’m quite a few years off yet, but I have a bunch of friends who all turned 40 last year and this sounds very familiar! I’m still waiting for the day when the age-related confidence kicks in… #dreamteam

    1. I think it definitely happens. I’m never going to be ultra confident and I’ll always have the wobbles about certain things, but I kind of have more inner belief in myself if that makes sense? I think it’s definitely an age thing for me and one of the bits I’m enjoying the most. Thanks Lucy xx

  14. I’m headed to mid-fifty (55) and WTF! This side of above the earth is a good sign! Happy Birthday lovely Dawn. It all just begins at 40, really. Enjoy. BTW, Laughed so loud during this one, nearly wet myself. Yes, that still happens… #dreamteam xxoxo

  15. Ha ha, brilliant. I have 2 and a half years to go till the big 40 and I have to say, I’m not dreading it as much as I thought I would be. This past year I have definitely started to feel more comfortable in my own skin (even if it could do with an iron and some WD40 in places) and that’s something that can only come with age I think.

    1. … I’ve just popped by to read. It’s a great post and I can really relate. Struggling to comment in it for some reason though hon but I think that’s my phone! Hopefully you got the comment. Thanks again for reading xx

  16. Brilliant poem and oh my goodness, no way are you 39!! I can’t believe that having met you recently <3 Plus, I met my other half when he had just turned 39 and he always tells me it felt like his life was just beginning…so age is definitely just a number 😉 Thank you for hosting #dreamteam with me xxx

  17. I felt physically sick at the prospect of turning 40…I really didn’t understand how it was happening as I still felt 24! Now I’m 43 I can safely say not much has changed! I still feel 24 I just have a lot more wrinkles and a load of excess weight that I’m pretty sure will never leave! Don’t they say life begins at 40?! #dreamteam

  18. Hahaha I’m a couple of years shy of 30 but seem to have it stuck in my head that I’m much older! I certainly tick a lot of your boxes, but I think that just means we are cool. I agree with the sentiment in the comments, age is just a number (and you look absolutely gorgeous darling)! #dreamteam

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