I've decided that it's time to treat my latest age-related milestone as a project. I am, after all, a bona fide project manager. I should, therefore, be able to manage a number, a day, an event such as this.
I've never been great at birthdays - my eighteenth was a disaster, my twenty-first lost in the mists of time and I pushed my two week old son around the local park on my thirtieth.
40, though, seems a little different - is it because it's the new 30, the new 20, the new 12? Is it because it's fairly close to mid-life? Is it because our expectations are so high now because we see enough TV and magazines to compare ourselves with everyone from from Hollywood 'A' listers to 'Wife Swap' contestants?
I'm sure I'm more aware of my flaws, my failings and failures than my mother ever was just because I know about Madonna's daily yoga, Elle Macpherson's fabulosity and Emma Thompson's marvellous work-life balance.
The fact is I know I need to do a bit of tweaking to sort some aspects of my life out. My skills at creating and developing all the projects I've ever worked on have never truly been applied to anything that relates to my actual life.
On a purely shallow, physical level I'm not as groomed and elegant as I'd like to be nor as fit and spritely as I'd like to be. I need a bit of tidying up to make myself look and feel like I want to. I know that if I wake up on my next birthday looking like I look now, I'm going to be furious with myself.
On a deeper, more touchy-feely level, I've never really had a career that I actually wanted, I've often compromised my own choices for the sake of other elements of my life and I've ignored some of the things I've always wanted to do so that I can pay the bills, do the mum-thing and generally get on with stuff.
So - I finish paid work at the end of July. I've got a month from today to get projectforty off the ground and then a couple of summer months to really concentrate on myself and how I want things to be. Sounds like a plan to me.
I've started this blog because I think a bit of public scrutiny will get me to do the things I always put off. There's nothing like a few mates heckling from the sideline to get things going. I'm also sure that there are friends of friends out there who've been through this and have felt the same. I want to learn from them. I need all the help I can get!
So - if you've been sent this blog by a friend, get in touch and let me know what you think. Suggestions will be gratefully received but not necessarily accepted especially if they just say 'get a life, you whingy, middle-aged biddy!'
Be nice(ish) - I'll try to be.