The one about the new bracket.

True story: when I was younger, I was convinced, properly, one thousand percent confident, that I’d die before I was 21.

It made sense at the time. I’m quite an imaginative person, and I literally couldn’t imagine myself being THAT old.

It’s fair to say I don’t deal with ageing gracefully.

It started around 28. I remember spending that birthday in a foul mood because everyone knows that 28 means “late 20s”.

29 was the last year of my 20s. That was a bitter blow to take.

Turning 30 was awful. It was a week or so before my wedding (which, unfortunately, coincided with a miscarriage) so I was stressed and ill, depressed about the prospect of having to wear a dress.. and on top of that I was officially OLD.

Turning 31 was even worse because at 31 you’re “in” your 30s. It’s all downhill from there. And to add insult to injury, I was in labour.

I remember my Mum and my husband getting permission from the consultant to take me into Brighton for lunch, but halfway down the corridor my waters broke and I couldn’t stop crying because, “Everyone’s going to think I just peed myself because I’m so bloody OLD, and I can’t even go out on my birthday.” 

So you can imagine just how delighted I was to log in to the online booking system at my GP surgery today to find that in a matter of months, I’ll be able to join a screening programme where the surgery will do some tests to assess my risk of coronary heart disease. It’s offered to everyone in the surgery aged between 40 and 70.


Later this year, I’m going to be in the same age bracket as a 70 year old.


happy face

Being 40 sucks. And no amount of borderline misogynistic Judd Apatow movies will convince me otherwise.

That 20/20 vision? Yeah, you’ll probably lose that. Say hello to back pain and “niggles”. Old people always have niggles, don’t they?

As for being unmarried in your 30s, you can always aim for an air of “just choosing not to, thanks”. But fast-forward to your 40s, and everyone suspects there’s a REASON why you’re not getting hitched, and it’s only a matter of time before someone buys you a cat. EXCEPT MY BLOODY CAT LEFT HOME, didn’t it?

I hate cats.

So I have done the only sensible thing.

I’ve booked two flights to San Francisco for a week or so before my birthday, arranged a completely inappropriate car to drive down the West Coast of America as far as San Diego, and booked us in for a paddle boarding lesson on Santa Monica beach for my birthday.

What do you mean, mid-life crisis? 


Pics courtesy of Shutterstock 



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:02 pm

      Oh, well, that’s always good to hear! Any things we shouldn’t miss?

      • 18th January 2014 / 10:02 pm

        So much to say, a few things we loved…..
        Meatball sandwiches at Mario’s cigar bar in SF
        Honey Honey for breakfast in SF
        Santa Cruz Boardwalk
        Big Sur River Inn
        Monterey Bay Aquarium
        Hearst Castle
        A mooch around chocolate box Carmel
        La Super Rica and the Cajun Kitchen to eat in Santa Barbara
        Apple Doughnuts at the Solvang Restaurant
        Venice Beach at sunset
        I want to go back now!!
        Katie recently posted..Ode to the summer bornMy Profile

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:02 pm

      Well, quite. I am looking forward to our trip, though.

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:02 pm

      One can hope…

  1. 16th January 2014 / 8:46 am

    I was just about to suggest booking some amazing holidays then read your last paragraph – perfect idea! I actually went to work on my 30th birthday because I didn’t want to celebrate it. I’ll be “mid 30s this year” …bleurgh bleurgh! and I have white hair…bleurgh!
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..15 Places In The World I’d Like To VisitMy Profile

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:03 pm

      Great minds clearly think alike!

  2. 16th January 2014 / 9:06 am

    It’s a number.

    Oh that reminds me I have to buy more hair dye.

    and go to the WI.
    Ninja Cat recently posted..50 Shades of BlueMy Profile

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:03 pm

      haha! The WI is cool again, so people tell me. Old people, probably.

  3. Emma
    16th January 2014 / 9:21 am

    Really? Like, really? You have your health, an interesting job and a gorgeous daughter. Really?

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 10:38 pm

      I really do have my health (as far as I know), an interesting job (some days) and a gorgeous daughter (unquestionably). Why do you ask?

      Or if you’re asking do I really feel very sad about the idea of having the amazing gift that is life, and being one big step nearer to leaving it all behind when I die, then… yeah. One of my brothers died at 27, another at 40. Life’s short. And days that remind me of that make me sad, in some ways. Is is really so surprising? Like, really?

  4. Georgie Harrow
    16th January 2014 / 12:43 pm

    Haha I love this post! Turning 30 was the worst one for me – GREAT idea booking that holiday though!! I’ve started making a bucket list of things I want to do before I hit the even scarier 50 number – I would recommend, then when we get there it hopefully won’t seem as bad.

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:03 pm

      Actually, I sort of love the idea of a bucket list for my 40s.

  5. 16th January 2014 / 12:45 pm

    Like you I HATED being 30, loathed it. But 6 months in I found a new lease of life. Approaching my 40s I was single but felt like I had the world at my feet. Entering my 40s I had a massive party and am now thoroughly embracing it. You are going to be absolutely fine – good idea on the holiday 🙂
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    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:03 pm

      Hmm. We’ll see – I’m not sure I’ll feel as you did. But we can hope.

  6. 16th January 2014 / 5:49 pm

    I had a similar melt down about my 30th and made my husband take me to Las Vegas for the week so that at least I could be 30 and fabulous for a few days!

    40 is officially a cool age to be though, don’t all the papers say that (yuck), I reckon an awesome holiday is by far the only way to celebrate as is lying profusely about how old you are at every opportunity 😉

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:04 pm

      Agreed – travel is the only sensible option.

  7. 16th January 2014 / 9:59 pm

    Great post, and what a fantastic way to spend your birthday. I’ll have to plan something for next year because I’ve go a ‘big one’ coming up and if you think 40 is old, just think how I feel! I remember thinking I was real old as I approached my 40s, but then I decided that it was no age and went and had 3 kids!!!
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    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:04 pm

      Thanks Anne – let me know what you plan for your big day!

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:04 pm

      Oh dear. Ben Folds is NOT Dad music. Tell your Dad to stop listening to it immediately.

  8. 16th January 2014 / 11:15 pm

    I actually loved turning 30 and celebrating it. I felt much more confident than in my twenties. But now, at 34, it’s beginning to feel like old age is just around the corner…

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:05 pm

      Really? That’s quite lovely that you loved 30. It’s all downhill from here, mind…

  9. Lisa Edwards
    17th January 2014 / 9:49 am

    Age is just a number, if you don’t feel old you’re not old! The holiday sounds fab!

    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:05 pm

      I have a sneaky feeling you’re 24.

  10. 17th January 2014 / 11:17 am

    That sounds absolutely perfect! That age bracket thing bothers me a lot these days – I’m now in the 46-55 box on questionnaires and that is not nice! However, whilst I’ll admit that 40 does seem unpleasant, 47 is awesome – I’m totally past caring any more, especially about what anyone else thinks, which means all sorts of fun…
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    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 2:05 pm

      The upside for you is that you still look 30, though 🙂

  11. 17th January 2014 / 5:01 pm

    I think that all sounds totally reasonable. I don’t have a problem with age exactly (helped by the fact that I basically look like a child) but the stuff that comes with it can hurt. I was thinking just last night for example, that although I think seven men in my life time have told me that they love me, NOT ONE has ever proposed. What does that even mean?? That’s I’m lovable, but you wouldn’t want any sort of legal obligation?? Where they all lying?? (I suspect so in several cases…)

    It’s a bit depressing though. I sort of imagined I would get to this age and have had to turn down countless proposals.

    *sad face*
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    • Sally
      17th January 2014 / 8:22 pm

      Proposals aren’t my problem (although there are many, many others) – I just don’t want to get married again or cohabit while Flea is young. But being decrepit just carries with it the stigma of “that batty old spinster with the cats” somehow. A bad proposal is just as bad as none at all. I mean – it’s just awkward. Because there’s no coming back from a ‘no’, is there?

      On the upside, once you’re 40 I bet people stop asking if you want another baby…

  12. 18th January 2014 / 10:33 pm

    I had major issues turning 30, major! I cried for ages leading up to it as I hadn’t met my life plan criteria!

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday.