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- 18 Mar 18

What do Frank Lampard, Usher, Nelly Furtado, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashton Kutcher, James Corden, Katie Price and James Franco all have in common?

Well, like me, they were all born in 1978.

And what a vintage year that was. Grange Hill and Dallas hit TV screens for the first time, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were wowing us in Grease on the big screen and the Bee Gees were dominating the charts.

It was also the year that Sony built its first prototype Walkman and cricketer Ian Botham became the first player in the history of the game to score a century and take eight wickets during one innings in a test match (who knew?!).

A pint of milk cost 11p, a loaf of bread 28p and the average house price was £13,820.

It’s also the year Louise Brown became the world’s first baby born through IVF baby.

Hard to believe, but it also happens that 1978 was 40 years ago.

Which means that me – and quite a few others, including those named above – will be turning 40 – the big 4-0 – this year.

And as I’ve found 40 is certainly quite a thought-provoking number…..

Here are 40 I’ve had so far……

* How can I possibly be turning 40?! It was only a couple of years ago I was blowing the candles out at my 21st.

* I don’t feel 40.

* Well, unless I’ve been sat on the floor for too long, then I’m a bit stiff when I have to get up.

* But 40, it’s just a number, isn’t it? My 40th birthday is just going to be like any another day – except I’ll be just 24 hours older than I was the day before.

* Besides, 40 isn’t as old as it used to be. In fact I’m sure it’s the new 30.

* They say life begins at 40, but it all looks a bit downhill from here.

* 40 is so much closer to 50 than 20.

* Next stop the menopause.

* But on the up side at least I’ve got another 20 years until I’m 60.

* No, I definitely don’t want a party. I don’t want everyone knowing how old I am.

* Actually, scrap that. Yes I do. I want everyone to come and celebrate how fabulous I am.

* In fact no, I’ll have three…

* I wonder how long I can stretch out these celebrations for?

* Maybe we should book a special birthday holiday too, that way I can really celebrate in style.

* Do I need to make some kind of celebratory bucket list of the all the things I’d like to do / achieve?

* Should I be planning a sky dive / getting a tattoo or a piercing or shall I just go the whole mid-life crisis hog and buy myself a sports car?

* Is it too late to train for a marathon? I’ve always fancied doing one.

* How can it possibly be 24 years since the first episode of Friends aired….?

*  ….. and Jennifer Aniston doesn’t look a single day older?!

* While I on the other hand look every bit my age. And then some.

* But do I really look 40?

* On second thoughts, don’t answer that.

* Is that another wrinkle / grey hair?

* Is it time I finally cut my long hair short?

* Perhaps it’s time to go on a diet and lose a stone, or two.

* Can I still get away with wearing skinny jeans / wet look leggings / leather / or any of the things that I’ve had in my wardrobe since the early 90’s?

* Hell, yes – and I can still show the 20 and 30-somethings how to have a good time too.

* As long as I’m home before midnight. I can’t stay out after midnight anymore and I definitely can’t drink once the clock’s chimed 12.

* Hmmmm – perhaps there’s still time for one more baby?

* Scrap that. I enjoy my sleep waaaaaaay too much.

* Is it too late to change career? I’ve always fancied being an architect / fashion designer / author / forensic scientist

* How come time passes so much more quickly the older you become?

* At least I’ve made it to 40 – there are so many who sadly haven’t.

* On that note perhaps I need to seize the day and do all those things I’ve always wanted to. After all, none of us knows how long we’ve got left.

* I need to get cracking if I’m going to get that novel finished before I’m 50.

* It’s quite liberating not caring what anyone thinks anymore – I’m finally confident enough to do things, even if not everyone agrees or approves.

* 40 and I can still fit into my wedding dress. Well I can if I breathe in really tight and don’t worry about the last couple of inches of the zipper going up.

* I may not have a won a Nobel Prize, an Oscar or any other award of real significance, but look at all the wonderful things I’ve achieved – I have a great husband, two beautiful children, a loving family, lots of fabulous friends and a home to call my own. I’m a very lucky woman.

* I may have wasted a bit of time here and there, but on reflection the first 40 years have been pretty good. I’m looking forward to what the future has in store.

* Pass the wine / prosecco / gin / vodka * delete as applicable.



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Kate Chapman

Kate Chapman is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of national and regional newspapers and magazines. Her work has appeared in Woman's Weekly, Closer, Sunday Mirror, Sunday Express, Countryside, Lincolnshire Life and Farmers Weekly. Married to a Lincolnshire farmer, she is mum to Nancy (7) and Peter (6). Her hobbies include running, baking and chocolate (only does the first so she can have the second).

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