No, that header is not sarcastic. Those of a cynical disposition who would prefer not read a soppy post, please look away now…
I turn forty this month and I’m absolutely thrilled about it.
For various personal reasons, I have always been aware of how lucky I am to be alive. I mean, we’re all lucky to be alive, but I very nearly didn’t make it out of babyhood (having been born with a literal broken heart, I was saved by a wonderful NHS cardiology department) and, without wishing to be too vomit-inducing, I’m so happy and grateful for my life and that I still get to be living it.
Rather than worrying about ageing (let’s face it, there can be few less-productive things to fret over), I’m truly celebrating. I get to be forty: I’m so blinking lucky!
I adored my thirties and so many amazing things have happened to me in the last decade – both personally and professionally – that it is only natural to feel a little sad at waving it goodbye. However, I have every intention of making my forties just as enjoyable and fulfilling. More time with family and friends, more writing, more travel and fun and nice food and reading good books!
Perhaps I have an unfair advantage; I was the child who couldn’t wait to grow up, the teenager who always wanted to be older, the woman in her twenties who ran joyfully into the arms of marriage, mortgage and motherhood. I have, frankly. always been middle-aged (reading, radio four, comfortable shoes, saying ‘gosh’) so it’s quite nice to be at the ‘right’ stage for my natural inclinations.
Yes, there’ll almost certainly be another rewrite further down the line and, if I’m lucky enough to get a publishing deal, further edits and copy editing and all that, but right now I’m breathing a big sigh of relief.
I finished the book.
Now I can enjoy the fact that my kids are on summer holiday and hang out with them properly (rather than saying distractedly ‘in a minute’), read (yay!), watch films and television, and say ‘remember me?’ to my husband. I may even go outside. Hurrah!
As much as I coveted the workshop, as much as I knew it was perfect timing (why yes, I do have a completed manuscript that I’m trying to wrestle into shape at This Very Moment), and as much as I wanted to invest in my writing in order to learn and move forward… I also knew that I had just scaled back my work commitments in order to spend the next six months giving my writing my ‘very best shot’ and, wonderful though this opportunity is, it comes with a side-order of poverty.
Well, I’m a logical kind-of-gal, but today I feel as if the universe is giving that decision the nod, because I heard that I won a place on the Storywonk Revision Workshop.
That’s right, people: today I am made of win!
Am excited. You may be able to tell… Thank you Lucy March!