I didn’t live my 30s to the max. I couldn’t. I was exhausted. At the dawn of turning 30, I gave birth to my first child, my beautiful daughter, who came into this world smiling and has been a source of joy ever since. I then went on to have two more children in quick succession, my rough and tumble curly-haired boys, and I can honestly say my memory of ages 30-35 is a blur.
My house was a mess, I was a mess, my business was a mess, my marriage was a mess. And it was a mess in part because I had been raised, as most women of my generation in modern societies, to believe that as a woman we could “have it all.” Marriage, children, career, success, happiness. So I went after that with the expectation of achieving it all to the high standards that I had always expected of myself. It was a “given” that I could juggle three babies, my own business, my health & fitness and my relationships with 100% success. Piece of cake. Super mum.
But within a very short period of time that 100% diluted and seeped a substandard outcome over every aspect of my life. Everything I had felt I had achieved, the person I thought I was, the capabilities I thought I had, all came undone.
So for me, the overriding emotion that I associate, rightly or wrongly, about my 30s, is that of Failure.
And then an opportunity to move country for my husband’s work provided an “out” from the chaos and a hope for something better. And Singapore has delivered by relieving a number of the stresses (thank you husband!).
Relocation isn’t easy, and as any expat will confirm, there is a major period of adjustment. Making sure the kids are happy and settled. Finding a new community to be part of. Making new friends. Coping with being away from your roots.
What this new life has given me, however, is the freedom to stare failure in the face, lick my wounds, stand tall and get on with fulfilling my potential.
Turning 40 is about reclaiming your identity. It’s about finding what makes you happy. And it isn’t defined by your role as a mother or a father, or a spouse. It is about reconnecting with those hopes and dreams that you had in your 20s, but with the wisdom of experience, and taking bold, decisive leaps into your future.
It is about living 40 To The Max. And that’s what I plan to do.