So this is 40: time to take stock

I had a small birthday on Sunday. I turned 40.

I didn’t think it would bother me. But all last week, I was like a bear with a sore head. A bear with a sore head who was about to turn 40. Cranky arse.

140206 40 with 22 years experience

I wasn’t so cranky that I was getting old – it was more that I had a different vision of what my life would be like by now. I thought I would have my shit together. I thought I would be living in a beautiful renovated Queenslander with an open-plan kitchen and bi-fold doors leading out to my large deck, which overlooks the sparkling pool and frangipani trees.

I’m not.

Instead, I am in a shitty rental house in a crappy suburb that I really don’t like – largely because I spent my entire thirties being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding, then starting again. And then I decided last year to change careers. So I’m very, very poor.

But you know what? I woke up on Sunday morning to the kisses and cuddles of a loving family. My darling Champagne Husby occupied the monsters children while I slept in and read the papers in bed. Then he had the children bring me French toast with bacon and mango (odd, sure, but delish, and the mango was from our very own tree). Then some of the most beautiful people in the whole world helped me celebrate. And Champagne Gillian even baked a cake and painted me the most beautiful picture ever – how freaking special do I feel!

140206 40 gifts collage

We headed to A Day On The Green at Sirromet Winery, drinking Moet all the way, where I got to catch up with more great friends.

140206 40 friends collage

And I got to see You Am I – my absolute favourite band.

And they did this Bruce Springsteen song, with Paul Dempsey from Something For Kate, which made my freaking day.

And this career thing? If I stuck to what I was doing before – working as a communications adviser for big business – I would have the house and the deck and the frangipani tree by now. But I would never get to see them because I would be in meetings or travelling interstate all the time. I would never see my kids and I guarantee I wouldn’t be happy.

Milestone birthdays are useful because they help us take stock of our lives, but what I have discovered is that I have a beautiful family, some fantabulous friends and, although times can be tough right now, I feel like I’ve made the right career move for me. There are more important things than money – stuff like following your dreams and spending time with people you love – and I am glad this is something I am living and passing on to my kids.

Money will follow later. Surely. Right?


If you took stock of you life right now, what would you think of where you’re at?

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


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