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Peonies in the office – closing in on forty

Peonies in the office

There is now an odd excitement about the summer.
Firmly grasping the milestone of forty l’ve decided to leave the country.
Unexpectedly my 39th year has been as calm and peaceful as it has full of the promise of change.

I say the promise of change. At one point last Autumn I fully expected that June would see our home on the market and a 200 mile move on the cards.
It’s still hanging over us, but whilst we’ve decided we would welcome any change with open arms, we’ve also had the chance to take stock of everything we are fortunate to call home. And question more deeply the cost of change.

My 39th year has had unexpected welcome surprises. Whilst my bucket list has given some focus, I realised early on it was more of an ongoing to-do list, nothing to get hung up on. It has made me appreciate what keeps me, and my family, happy. Fortunately the children have discovered they love buying me flowers. And although I am away all week, I currently have peonies in the office, so another box checked.

Much excitement has been caused by a good look at our finances. Rather than ‘just’ ticking off passports for the family we are hoping to be leaving the country for my birthday. There’s really no conclusion as to who’s most excited.

The kids went to Edinburgh with my parents earlier in the year and are looking forward to getting on a plane again. I’m looking forward to getting away from everything and Mr J is trying not to get too excited about all-inclusive food and drink.Edinburgh Fringe Festival Credit: Eoin CareyAnd, of Edinburgh. I’m over-the-moon to be going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Network of Independent Critics. CM will be joining me as we take in all that the Fringe has to offer for older children. I wasn’t sure I’d achieve this one from my bucket list as theatre really isn’t Mr J’s thing. Fortunately I’ll not only have time with CM but she’s really enthusiastic about embracing her inner critic on social media so I think we’ll make fantastic memories.

Before that I’m getting as involved as I can in the Festival of Voice in Cardiff over the next couple of weeks. So they’ll be lots of theatre content over the coming months to keep work from completely taking over my life.

And of course, we continue to thrive. The boys and CM continue as the best of friends and worst of enemies. I continue to despair of their independence and intelligent responses mid-meltdown. I couldn’t be more proud of them as they absorb all the opportunities the world has to offer. 

So, forty. It’s fair to say I’m not fearing you. Whilst some days I’d welcome reliving my twenties or thirties, I’m not sure I’d want any other life than the one which has landed me where I am now. Fortunate but not too fortunate, happy in moments of tears, offset with those of despair. But grateful. forever grateful. After all, what’s not to love?

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