I’m sitting writing this at my dining room table looking out over the valley in front of me. I’m surrounded by the people I love and my heart is happy. The last few months have been a hell of a ride and I can honestly say I’ve been hanging on for dear live hoping not to fall off the roller-coaster called life. I’m so grateful to be able to sit here, in my happy place, to take a break from it all and spend time away from work to focus on something a little different – a sabbatical if you will from the ‘real’ world.
Thankfully with the company I work we have the benefit of a paid two month sabbatical for every five years of service [over and above our usual annual leave] to do with as we please. I’m actually almost at the end of the 11th year of service and as the time to break away has been moving closer so has my anxiety over what to fill this time with. After a busy year with trips to Paris with my bestie, sick doggies, moving home and a generally expensive year I’ve decided to take the first month of my allotted sabbatical to spend at home in Cape Town playing tourist in my new home town.
The strangest thing is that other than being anxious about what to do with myself for a month, I’ve also been pondering the fact that I’m one more birthday cake away from hitting the big 40… surely I shouldn’t be wasting this time before a big milestone to tick off stuff on ‘my bucket list’??
I’ve never understood why people (and especially woman) seem to cringe at the thought at turning 40, in fact up until now I’ve thought they were rather silly to fret about a number like that! Of late I may have changed my perspective on this – I’ve been feeling my age, I can’t explain what that means or how it feels but I have. I’m not saying I’m about to hit up an application for the frail care section of the local retirement village or invest in a Zimmer frame (although I’m quite sure I would benefit from the assistance up and down the stairs from all the ‘young gentleman’ wanting to carry my groceries to the car), but I’m feeling old(er) than my years.
Through all of this my rational mind is arguing that “I’m only as old as I make up my mind to be” and I realize that’s true…. But in my heart I feel there is something more I should be expecting of live that perhaps I need to make up my mind to pursue. I Googled ‘midlife’ this past week and the range of ages that came up to define this period of our life starting is anywhere between 40 and 45 (*gasp* my suspicions confirmed). Fortunately the ‘closing date’ for a midlife crisis seems to be around 60 years of age, so I’m quite relieved that I have +- 20 years to figure this whole midlife thing out! There it is folks, I’m at the precipice of this whole thing called ‘midlife’ and I’m hungry to ensure this whole trip is as comfortable as possible… quite frankly I just want to be prepared so that when I realize that: LIVE BEGINS AT 40 I’ll be all set to tackle the challenge.
It’s a little over 2 years ago that I encouraged a friend who was approaching 40 to put together a list of 40 thing she would want to do before turning 40 (her first post was actually on the 17th of November 2015) and now it’s my turn to take up the same challenge and think of what I’d like to wrap up in my 39th year of existence on earth before moving onto the next big milestone.
I realize I’m a little premature because as I mentioned earlier I have one more set of candles to blow out before my big day, but those of you that know me I’m a planner… so planning I will do. Stay posted for the list… I have a feeling it’s coming soon, but for now a little context to this month’s photo: my little girl fell ill two weeks ago and through several vets’ visits, and losing a kidney, she is on the mend and healing beautifully. She is just 7 years old and when she took ill I honestly thought a piece of my heart was going to die – I’m not ready to lose her yet. I guess her and I are starting again… possibly for the zillionth time for me, and a second chance for her, but we have a chance to give it our best shot. This photo was taken on a trip we took up the east coast of South Africa to Stillbaai in July and as you can see I have all three fur kids with me (my little girl Talullah is the one on the left).