Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The ‘f’ word

Well it arrived without too much angst at all. The ‘f’ word being the big ‘forty’ (thanks for the card Mum and Dad!) I was speaking to a friend in Australia recently about my impending significant birthday. She mentioned to me how she and a friend (both approaching 38) had compiled a list of 40 things to do before turning 40. My first thought was “oh gosh,  I only have two weeks to do something significant!” I then thought about it a little more and realised that I didn’t want to treat the impending birthday as a life sentence – with an ‘end’. I recognised that my aim was to treat it as an opportunity for a new start – a time to explore new ideas. Besides, our last two years have involved enough excitement and change worthy of a decade or so! Gabrielle suggested I could have 40 drinks before turning 40 - I didn’t even have time to do that!

I realised that I have achieved several life goals: I have lived for a while in several continents, have worked overseas, completed my Masters, had a couple of children, travelled fairly extensively, am now happily married… all without giving it too much thought. The next start is a new business. But more about that later… 

Paul, my beautiful and big sweetie of a husband (and typically very reluctant party organiser) organised a birthday party for me. He planned this to take place in an independent local owner-operated coffee shop – Lincoln Perk - where we have come to know the owners and where they were happy to cater a private event. 

This was a lovely venue and the owners did some great catering with some classic and very delicious home Italian cooking. We had the largest cake from the Austrian Bakery – yum and made everyone left at the party at the end of the night take some home (including our baby-sitter Lisa). The boys have been enjoying  the left-overs (a little too much perhaps). 

Rowan (Paul’s brother) took the time to fly from Houston for the event – this was great and very much appreciated. It was a shock – although in hindsight, should have been expected, to see several guests leave the party well before 10pm (to feed a newborn, relieve baby sitters, check on sick children, attend school functions, travel back to the suburbs…). Ours is not really a demographic of party animals. True to form, it was the antipodean guests who had the most staying power ;-)

One of our guests, Rina, made it along although she was facing major surgery on Monday. Well done Rina – you rock! We have now found out that Rina does not have the suspected cancer in her cyst and tumor-ridden uterus and ovaries. She is on the road to a really good recovery. In Rina’s words, “It's so easy to get caught up in our busy lives and ignore potentially serious symptoms, or to go to this comfy place I've spent far too much time in; it's called 'denial.' So please, go to your doctors regularly, and go prepared with a list of anything that's been chronic or troubling.”  

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