Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Breaking news

As it turns out turning forty has prompted some unexpected soul-searching. I've watched many of my friends approach the big "four O" with dread over the years and seen them become unsettled by the attainment of this milepost, as if somehow life were from now on an inevitable downward spiral of reducing horizons. I wondered whether it would be the same for me.

Not, as it turns out.

Becoming 40 has had the opposite effect, sweeping out old outdated things and releasing the future.

In the last couple of weeks I've made some major life-changing decisions: I've sold my horses, cleared out my cupboards, got rid of useless stuff I've been carrying around for years, thrown out clothes, packed stuff off to charity shops, put things I don't want on ebay, cleaned the house (now that is startling) revamped finances, thought about changing the car for something less expensive and started looking at university courses for this autumn.

I want to study Ecology and Conservation Management with an emphasis on wild birds, although part of the point here is to begin and see where it takes me.

I am fortunate to be married to someone who is a bundle of energy and has a "go gettum" attitude to life that refuses to accept ordinary limitations (he's a marathon runner which says it all). He supports making changes that are beneficial even if they are momentous and that helps me enormously. We are currently enjoying a robust debate about who will attain the highest academic qualification if I return to uni. M currently leads with a Masters; I am countering by threatening a PhD, something that is unfinished business for me from twenty years ago and now seems possible again. I'm sure he won't let it rest at that but that is good for me- it spurs me on.

So I'll keep you posted. If it's to be this autumn I need to enroll by June. 

It's all rather exciting- life has opened up again. It has a habit of popping these surprises when you're least expecting them and I appreciate the salutary shake up. It's easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same things the way you have always done them and not noticing when the thing or the doing of it no longer suits you.

To anyone reading this contemplating change but feeling uncertain or nervous about it I would simply say take your courage in your hands and see where it leads you.

CTx

16 comments:

  1. It sounds pretty wonderful - I'm about to turn 60 and I'm finding that things are clarifying - there are a lot of things - objects and activities - I'm letting go of that aren't really worth the trouble or time, which means I can now focus my attention on the things that are worthwhile to me.

    Sounds like you're in a similar place - can't wait to hear where your journey takes you!

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    1. It's very exciting Kate. I feel blessed. The chance to do more and different is really welcome after a decade plus of raising children (which brings its own trials as well as rewards!). I'm lucky I think. I also think that things happen at the right time and these decade markers do seem to be more pertinent than other birthdays. Maybe we just have more courage to let certain things go and do others when we're older- I mean, what's the worst that can happen, right? CT x

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  2. It worked for us - when Mike decided to take early retirement and we moved down here. Life is different (very) and busy. It was a risk but neither of us would want to go back.

    Love the subject you've chosen to study and look forward to seeing how it works out. Well done!

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    1. Your blog is absolute testament to that spirit of embracing life Jessica. It has become one of my favourite reads. I love the humour in your writing and always look forward to your next post. Will def keep you posted on how things progress- come Autumn I will (hopefully) be boring you all silly with the new country-side/ tree and animal related things I've learnt!

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  3. Good for you following new challengea and new directions. I hope you will enjoy them.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Maybe marine ecology systems will feature in the course and I can share interesting sea-related pieces with you! :-)

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  4. Congrats on the big 40th! I just turned 57 and never thought I would make it here. Life is good and my motto is "wonder never ceases." Each day is fresh, for which I am thankful, each view from the same window - new. I know from your blog that we see through the same glass. Many thanks, Happy Birthday and best wishes. Mark

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  5. Ah, a kindred spirit Mark. Congrats on your birthday too. Keep those fine photos of yours coming...

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  6. A belated but very Happy Birthday CT :-) and all good wishes for your prospective future studies which sound exciting and interesting. I read somewhere that 60 is the new 40 so that must mean 40 is the new 20!! :-)

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  7. I enjoyed being 40
    Now I. Am 50
    Everything knackers me!

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    1. Tee Hee Mr Gray. It's all those animals and people you look after....

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  8. Congratulations! I had a two month old baby on my 40th which rather took the heat out of the whole thing. I hardly noticed it but I guess you could say I changed my life. I really hope you do exactly what you want. As I'm now approaching 49, I wish I'd done more stuff when I felt slightly less creaky!

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    1. You have good reason to feel creaky Em. I am full of admiration for your recovery. Really liked that pic with the sheep on your blog- it should be a postcard for Dartmoor.

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  9. This sounds very exciting for you and I think your subject will be fascinating. And beyond that... a subject like that can lead to so many interesting careers if you want to pursue them.

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    1. That's what I'm hoping Wendy. Whatever happens it's going to be interesting...

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x