What’s this Decade About then?

I turned 42 on the 1st of January – thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes – but I have to say - it seems really old. While my mind still feels like I’m a ridiculous 18 year old (minus the teenage angst,) my body definitely feels 42. I remember when my parents entered their 40s thinking it was ancient and here I am. Crikey. But I’ve had a lot of fun getting here.

If I look back over the decades, the first was fun, free and predominately consisted of running around the streets of Wodonga, barefoot and unsupervised. Sometimes I wonder how I survived that. Next was the confusing decade of the teenage years, trying to work life and me out, as well as adopting some beautiful styles – including my Mohawk (or Mohican as the rest of the world says), as well as making sure I was the hottest chick in town by taking up body building. I had very decent thighs and calf muscles in those days. I finished university in my early 20s and started with a stint as a musician in the Australian Army. It was at this time I had my first foray out into the big wide world via the Middle East, I started a great career in public relations and then I left Australia – a journey I feel I’ve continued to this day. London happened in this decade, and apart from the weather, I really really enjoyed my London days – personally and professionally.

Then it was time for my 30s, which saw me ringing in the new millennium on my 30th birthday at my favourite pub in Boston. I loved living in Boston – especially during the Summer – which was followed by a short stint in NYC, but the bubble burst, the planes crashed into the towers and it was time to move again. Central America, Fiji, a fabulous year in Sydney, then I was Singapore-bound. Four months later I met the love of my life - an unexpected bonus in my 30s. As a result, I suppose my 30s have been about integrating my love into my life, creating a couple of little loves, and finding some combined direction.

I turned 40 in Noosa with a gaggle of awesome friends, partying into the wee hours of the morning. At that point, I was determined to make Noosa work, but six months later we got some bad news and I knew I just had to get the hell out. Six months after that I turned 41 back in Singapore – the best decision we ever made. And now a year later, here I am wondering what my 40s are all about. You see I went to Holland last October to celebrate my great friend Saskia’s 40th and she stated that her 40s would be her decade of Zen.

When Saskia said that I realized I’ve spent most of my life tearing around, experiencing and seeing as much as I can, always wanting more, but there has been very little long term focus. Heck Steve and I have only recently come to the conclusion that Singapore is where we want to be. There is nowhere else in the world that draws us, we have no backup plan and I have to say, that’s not an easy place to be. Practically everyone we know has somewhere they ultimately want to be, or a settled dream they are working towards – something we envy a little bit - but we just haven’t had that. The “normal” stuff has never appealed to me, and thankfully, Steve thinks the same. Direction, in a conventional sense, has always eluded us.

However I’ve realised, for the first time in my life, that a little longer term thinking may be in order, and the decision to stay in Singapore is just the first part of the equation. But it’s more than that. We know we will remain open to opportunities that take us in new and unknown directions – because we believe that is the way to live – BUT core to all of this now, and my goal for this decade, is to be happy and content. I want to simplify my life - celebrating the moments, being there for my boys while they need me, spending time with my love, travelling, hanging out with great people, and taking and creating opportunities to help me grow.

Being happy might seem like a facile thing to say, but when you are gung-ho all the time, it’s actually quite difficult to be truly happy. When you always have your eye on the next thing to come along or the next thing you want (and I’m not talking material stuff here), happiness and contentment isn’t easy to attain, because frustration tends to be a big part of your lot. Can anyone else relate to that?

My 40s started off all over the place, and we couldn’t make the right decisions because we didn’t know what we really wanted, so we’ve learnt a lot these last few years and now, it’s time for a little bit of peace.

Happiness and contentment – can I get there? Who knows, but at least I know I want to. That’s the plan. Something I ain’t had before.

Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
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