Caroline M's blog: Tempus Fugit
There is a bit of a pinch to turning 40. It’s the age that you think of in your 20s as people having their life organised, and settled, and having disposable income! Now that I am looking down the coalface of it, it is clear that my inner child’s voice is a Peter Pan type character, and it is just the outer layer that is seasoning.
My last birthday in my 30’s has been and gone. I turned the same age my mom was when she had me. This was my first birthday that I marked since she died. I spent the time coming up to it just thinking of how her life was at that same moment 39 years before. How she brought home this new baby to her well established family unit, to the home she had lived in for the last nine years.
It's hard when you have children not to map a given stage of your life against that stage of your parents’ lives. It’s hard not to apply rose tinted glasses or 20/20 vision to a lookback situation. I often find myself thinking ‘how did they do it?’ both financially and practically. It is incredibly hard not to think they had life sussed!
As a family we have had a chaotic year. We walked away from our very settled, aged 40 appropriate life in London to restart almost all of it in Ireland. Although we only moved seven months ago, we had started the process a year ago, and aspects of our settling are still ongoing. I have felt great guilt at lifting my children from that security and life they knew to this unknown.
The upheaval has been immense, and we remain in a small stage of flux. The new school and nursery have exceeded our expectations. The children who have befriended my girls have done so trustfully and sincerely. There is time for hobbies and cheering on from the sidelines. Our new location is idyllic. There is a sandy beach within 5 minutes from our house. Commuting to a wonderful, exciting new job takes 25 minutes. We see extended family on average once week.
For all of those big positives, I have to say I still miss our home. Renting for these last few months has held me back from investing in the neighbours, or adding our homegrown stamp to the decor. Greenshoots are around the corner, and we move …..again… in six weeks to our forever home.
It will be interesting in many many years to come to see what my children will think of how my life looked facing into 40. Will they be sharper than me and see that their mom was a bit of basketcase at that time, treading water, and hoping for the best?
Or will they think back to the day we got the keys to our home-home and wonder ‘how did they do it?’
Caroline M works in Investment Risk at an Asset Manager in Dublin. She recently relocated with her husband, two wonderful and resilient girls age 7 and age 4, as well as their ‘proving to be popular’ dog.