It's Only a Zero. Right? 

I’m OK. Totally OK. 

I am totally OK with turning 40 in two-and-a-half weeks. That’s what I’ve been telling myself for months and months, for years in fact. 

It’s only a number. 

I am as old as I feel, as old as I choose to believe, or choose to act. (The answers to two of those three are well south of forty, the third depends).

With this positivity in mind I decided to turn 40 with a bang, to look that brand new zero right in the eye, square up to it and tell it I’m ready. I’m not afraid of a new decade.

I booked a venue for a party back in February, I sent out save the date texts and facebook invitations. I was ready. It would be fabulous.

I got emotional when old friends said that they wouldn’t miss it for the world. I got a different kind of emotional when a Bruce Springsteen concert caused Wexford GAA fixtures to be changed, resulting in my celebration clashing with the opening matches for the purple and gold in both hurling and football.

I’ve got the rig-out, the shoes are ordered, the hair appointment made. 

But now, a couple of weeks out, as the clock ticks, I’ve gotten nerves. Maybe it’s because I’ve yet to order a cake for the party. Or finalise the music playlist. *Whispers* Or maybe it’s because I’m a teeny bit in denial. 



What does turning forty mean? It’s just a number, remember?

Here’s the thing: I always thought that by forty I’d have a bit of sense, I’d be responsible, I’d be impeccably groomed and totally in control. And, well, I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Looking around me at the forty-year-olds that I know should have made me realise that there is no magic wand to turn me into that forty year old. 

I’m this one. 

My twenty-one-year-old self, just finished college, if casting an eye to the future when asked where she’d be at forty would probably have made a scarily accurate guess “Married, three or four kids, working as a solicitor, living in Wexford or Dublin, having travelled a bit”. 

I’d  like to pretend that I’ve been working towards those goals ever since but in truth it was all a happy, if predictable coincidence.


I’m fine with being forty. I just need to adjust my expectations of forty-year-old’s accordingly.

It’ll be grand.

But just in case, pass the gin. 




6 thoughts on “It's Only a Zero. Right? 

  1. It’ll be grand. Everyone will tell you that, but you won’t believe it until the day and then the day after, and then you’ll know, it’s actually grand. Plus, I find at every 40th I go to, we all spend the entire time marvelling at how nobody looks 40 – that’s actually a great way to spend a night!
    And I think it’s probably less of a coincidence than you give yourself credit for, and your 20-year-old self would be pretty impressed 🙂
    Happy run-up-to-the-big-day!

  2. Please tell me you’re going to put Janey Mac I’m nearly 40 on your playlist 😂😂😂 have a fab party and enjoy every minute of it. 💖

  3. This is not the fortieth birthday that causes issues really – that’s the one when Ciarán turns 40 – now that’ll get you worried .
    Anyway you look the same age as your twenty- something sisters – really !
    I promise you life DOES begin at forty- if you let it. (Maybe I’m not the model you need!)
    Just enjoy it – we will – in a really good way.
    It’ll be great craic. You’ll see.

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