A few years’ ago, the thought of writing something that could be read publicly would have terrified me. Firstly, as a lawyer, it’s generally assumed that your job is your persona: professional, intelligent, unforgiving and exact. That’s not to say I’m not all of those things (I am good at my job and so display those traits) but – here’s the thing – I am not just those things.
I hit forty after what in anyone’s terms could be described as a ‘rocky’ year. I had had ups and downs but that year was especially tricky. But, like the old saying goes: ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, and so I stopped, and I properly looked at my life. I’ve been successful by traditional standards: good job, lovely house, amazing husband and kids. But I was in danger of becoming a caricature; the merry-go-round of stress, keeping up with the Jones’s, climbing the career ladder then staying at the top of it. And when I stepped back and looked at it all, was I really happy? Yes, I was happy in the sense of we enjoyed lovely holidays and ‘things’ but, at the heart of it, was I really happy?
And so began ‘do stuff in my 40th year’. I resolved to embark on things I would remember in the year I turned forty. I achieved quite a lot that year and it was the catalyst to the journey I now find myself on, a path in which I am closer to finding, and living in tune with, my authentic self. And guess what? It’s so incredibly fulfilling.
I’m now 46 and have carried on with my ‘do stuff’ goals.
The thing is, I love my job, it’s a big part of me. But it is not all of me. So, ‘do stuff in my 41st year’ involved starting this blog and sharing some of the life I’ve built outside of work: growing veg, keeping sheep, health and fitness, motherhood, cooking, women’s issues, my various hare-brained schemes and peccadillos but mostly, it’ll be an authentic snapshot of life as a middle-aged woman who’s not quite ready to pipe down. Grab a cuppa, let’s see where this goes…