In My Forties

I turned 50 recently. Crikey, even writing that phrase feels weird. I’m still 23 in my head.

Yep. I reached the half ton (if you’re a cricketer), the half century (if you’re an historian) and I can no longer deny that I am middle aged (if you’re an anthropologist).

So I have used this somewhat significant milestone to do a bit of an analysis of the previous decade.


I’ve just been through possibly the most life-altering time of my life since puberty.

In my forties… (in no particular order)

I had my nose pierced. (Since given up.)

I travelled with my husband and three boys to 15 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

I coloured my hair for the first time and proceeded to dye it a rainbow hue of various colours over the next ten years.

I went back to theatre and found lifelong friends.

Bearded Outlaw

The wickedest (and funniest) outlaws ever to appear in Two Gentlemen of Verona.

I found a new community singing group and a musical home and family in the process.

I took up running and ran in three half marathons and the Scotland Run in Central Park in New York City. And I got to train with Olympic marathon runner, Steve Moneghetti.

I began writing my own songs. (You can check out some on my Songs page.)

I completed two community projects with World Expeditions, building a bridge in Peru and a school in Nepal.

I bought and learned to play a banjo and ukulele.

I took up crochet for the first time since my mother taught me how when I was a kid.

I became a special education teacher, a job for which I was not previously qualified or experienced but that I found I was good at. And I love it with a passion.

I discovered I can draw. (There’s a whole gallery here.)

I broke six ribs and punctured a lung falling off a wooden box after trying to kill a tiny moth. (That story never gets old.)

I completed the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km challenge twice – in 2012 and 2014. And raised thousands of dollars for Oxfam in the process. (That’s what it’s really all about.)

I took up rowing and then dropped it again.

I lost my father to mesothelioma.

I learnt that I can sing. No, like, really sing.

I became a Great Aunt. (Not that I wasn’t already one but now it has capital letters.)


Joy and sadness. My late sister’s first grandchild.

I started a blog.


I’ve already started building a bucket list for the next decade because I know anything is possible.


Related posts about some of the things in this list that may be of interest:

(Re)Living The Italian Life

Living The Dream

Hope is a Beautiful Dream

When A Bad Day Turns Good

Getting a Grip 2: A Dose of Perspective in the Third World

It Takes A Village

Master of the Speaking Circuit

Move Over Etsy….

Is This The Real Life?

Delay In Service

A Popup Nomadic Community – Oxfam Trailwalker 2014

When A Night Owl Meets The Dawn

How To Get Better At It

My Dad Died Today

Saying Goodbye

Run Forrest, Run!

The Flying Beetroot: Scotland The Brave And The Fast

The Flying Beetroot: Crossing The Finish Line

(Plus any post starring the Flying Beetroot. Use the Search function.)

A Sister Lost – Remembering Keryn

Nothing ventured…




48 thoughts on “In My Forties

  1. WOW !
    … . . . …… . . .. …… … …. [that’s me thinking]
    I simply can’t come up with anything sufficiently ,,, ahh … bloody RELEVANT !
    This is Some Post.
    Beats most others into a cocked hat.
    Faaark, as they say. Well, *I* do.
    No point writing “You go, girl !” because you GONE !
    Goodonyer, H: that’s the best I can do.
    Love yer.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Phew, what an impressive list – well done, except for the broken ribs. That you could have done without. I did some of those things too. No, not a marathon…other things. 🙂 I started two blogs, became a great aunt to three little ones, learned to crochet and became a Special Ed teacher.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, I dunno. I think I look on the broken ribs adventure like a bad travel experience. Terrible to experience at the time but gee, it gives you a great story to tell for years afterwards. 😉
      How funny that you also became a Special Ed teacher. I think it’s great. You’d have done a fair bit of travelling too, I’m guessing. (And I get Great Aunted again next May. Can’t wait!)

      Liked by 2 people

      • There must be easier ways to get a great story! I have no SEP training either but when the opportunity came up I jumped at it. I figure 30+ years of experience and four years of Reading Recovery teaching gives me a good start. I’ve been teaching in SEP now for three years and I love it too. The most rewarding part for me is when I get non-readers reading. Yes, we’ve done plenty of travel over the years and I hope we get to do plenty more as we head towards retirement. 🙂 Oh, and I get Great Aunted twice this year too. It’s all happening!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I did a Grad Dip Ed in secondary science and maths in 1993 but didn’t end up going into teaching. I used it to get into IT doing training development (it paid a lot better). So I walked in with a 20-year-old unrelated qualification and no teaching experience! It’s been a steep learning curve! But I love it and I think I’ve found my place. (Must thank the friend who kept pestering me to come and work at her school as a CRT. She knew…..)

          Liked by 2 people

  3. If only there was a “love” button here.

    Heather, you may want to change the name of your blog to “Master of My Life,” because you certainly have lived a full one. Many people, myself included, would be thrilled to visit 15 countries and do all of the things you accomplished in your forties. You are an inspiration in achieving goals, like running, and building schools and almost killing a teeny tiny moth (yeah, it never gets old). I’ll keep shaking my pompoms for you and your achievements.

    I know what you mean about knowing that you’re 50 and thinking 23 in your head. I am a decade older and still at 23 in my mind! It’s all in how you feel about age and life. I am choosing to embrace it and keep going. Now, if spring would come early so I can get on my bike and ride again…

    Liked by 4 people

    • One thing that is not lost on me is how incredibly fortunate I have been to have these experiences. I realise it’s not something afforded to everyone or even many. I’ll always appreciate the freedom I was given by my husband and boys to pursue these goals too.

      I’m a firm believer in the idea that age is in your head. Notwithstanding that at some point the inevitable physical deterioration will come into play, I do believe you can achieve more with a young attitude. Some people turn 40 and turn into a 60-year-old and some turn 40 and turn into a 20-year-old. I was definitely the latter. Dyed my hair, pierced my nose and it was the beginning of the great Converse sneaker and nerdy t-shirt decade. And I expect to keep on keeping on. We’ll both be young olds! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  4. OMG what a decade you had! My head is exploding with all the awesome things that you did (although I was sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I basically spent my 40s anchored to my desk although I did start the first leg of my sailing circumnavigation at 49. I can’t wait to see what you do in your 50s.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You did a lot of living in that decade. The two community projects are huge highlights in my opinion – something too few people do. I hope you continue on and make your 50s as eventful! Well, starting them with a marathon, I guess you have a great beginning!

    I am sorry about your dad and sister. I know there were bad with all of the good of your 40s.

    (I need to go back and see what I did in my 40s. I know I missed starting a blog by about 20 days…)

    Liked by 4 people

    • The community projects were absolute highlights. Doing another is definitely on the bucket list for the next decade.

      Part of the reason for doing the marathon was to kick off this decade the way I mean to continue. Who could feel sad about turning 50 when you’re about to run a marathon?? 🙂

      It was a good exercise sitting down and listing all that had happened in the past decade. Stops one from going “What have I done with my life??” because it’s all there in front of you. Otherwise we tend to forget.

      Liked by 2 people

      • We do tend to forget. I have kept all of my personal/work “to do calendars” for almost two decades thinking someday I’ll go back, and back through the 2 decades of digital photos (so far) and be able to say I did xyz during these years.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. You have filled more living in one decade than most people have in a lifetime – no, make that 10 people combined! Although I knew all this, it’s still mighty impressive to see it all summarized here like this.
    Best wishes for the next decade, Heather. I have every confidence that you will continue to build on what you’ve already done … and it will be amazing!

    Liked by 6 people

    • My 30s was a tough decade culminating in something of a breakdown at 39 which landed me in 9 months of therapy. Turning 40 was like a fresh start and I guess I got on a roll! And I was incredibly fortunate to have a financial and family situation that allowed me to pursue all these things. I’m very grateful.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Well I knew you’re amazing, but when you put it all together like this …..
    Congratulations on entering your 6th decade. May it be filled with even more adventures and learning and fun and family. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow, Heather. Just wow. Just reading your list I feel exhausted. What a decade you had and it sounded like so many things at breakneck pace. I still remember reading about your lung and the moth…good that you recovered but I had a chuckle again 😂 Hopefully more times you can laugh at…not injuring yourself of course!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Yikes MOSY, you were a busy bee weren’t you? I think my best decade was probably my fifties as I remarried on my 50th birthday and was lucky enough to travel a lot with the OH, my teaching experience on the other hand was the worst part of my fifties. During my forties I felt torn between two generations – elderly and ill parents and troublesome teens. I like your way of analysing your forties though (must be the IT geek inside you) and I wish you a sensational and wonderful decade ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You brilliant woman – for doing all this AND for telling us so that we can have ambitions too. All people in their middle decades (I am past these) should read this. I have young friends who dread forty, but it can be the beginning. Most of my achievements (from a worldly point of view) have happened from my forties onwards.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Mmmm. Maybe next decade can less eventful in some ways. I too wanted to use Love and Laugh icons when reading through. There’s a lot of living out there yet! Answers questions re “what have I done for the last ten years” beautifully! Love this post – and rereading some of the others.


  12. Heather that is one jaw dropping, gob smacking, you are a super hero list! That’s more than most of us could imagine in two lifetimes. Wishing you much happiness in your fifties. I’m well into the second half of it now and I quite like this decade. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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