It's my birthday today, and now I am well and truly a woman of a certain age. It's not a milestone birthday this year, but it is 20 years since a memorable conversation I had with an older friend who pointed out how wonderful it was to be in your mid-20s with it all ahead of you (I think she must have been in her 50s when she made this observation).
So rather than think 'yikes, I really am middle aged now!' today, I'm going to focus on how much I've done in the last twenty years.
Since that conversation, I've...
1. Had the strength to say goodbye to a boyfriend who was completely wrong for me
2. Fallen head-over-heels in love
3. Married that man, and celebrated 17 mostly-happy years of marriage
4. Become a mother. I've had three beautiful babies; the best thing I've ever done, or will do
5. Moved to the other side of the country
6. Found the profession I'm really good at
7. Completed a second degree
8. Had jobs I've loved and jobs I've hated
9. Been made redundant (much to my joy)
10. Bought my first flat
11. Sold that and bought a family house
12. Survived three renovations
13. Lost my beloved grandparents
14. Maintained a wonderful relationship with my Mum
15. Became great friends with my sister after years of mutual agro
16. Made some wonderful friends
17. Let go of some not-so-great friends. And worked out that this is actually a good thing!
18. Become a good home cook, and learnt something about gardening (and accepted that I'll never be someone who sews)
19. Been to several Italian cities, London, Bath, Paris, Budapest, Vienna and New York
20. Kept my sense of humour (for the most part)
Not bad. May the next 20 years be as eventful, and essentially fulfilling.