That's right. on the 19th of November 1969 I was born in St Helen's Hospital, Mt Albert. My mum laboured for 30 hours and we were both lucky to be alive. She reminds me every year of her mammoth effort to bring me into the world. I guess even after 40 years some memories will remain just as vivid.
The funny thing is that after years of wandering all over New Zealand with my family, and all over Auckland in my flatting days, I am now settled in the same suburb I was born in. Funny huh?
Thinking back over the last 40 years (*gasp* is it really that long??) it's amazing to me how fast time has gone, how much I have done and where I have been.
Here I am turning 16 in 1985. Seems like only, well, not exactly yesterday but I can still remember it very clearly. The cake was Mum's special Chocolate Cream Gateaux. Yum. (Mum always made a fuss for us on our birthdays. I get that from her.)
When I was younger I thought 40 might as well be 80. Over-the-hill, boring, no longer an actual person, just a grown-up.
Isn't it funny how your perspective changes?
I knew so much when I was 20. Oh yes, I had all the answers and I was going to make a difference in the world.
Now all I know is that I don't know much at all. Things are not as cut-and-dried at 40 as they were at 20. I think I have made some small difference in the world in my time here, but now that I am a grown-up I know that every dream comes at a price.
When I was younger I found my value in what I did and what I accomplished. Now I know that our value comes from who we are and who we love.
Mothering is the most important thing I have done. All my youth and community work was valuable, but at the end of my life it's how I've done as a mum that will most concern me.
On my deathbed (OK, getting maudlin now) I hope my kids are there around me, maybe even with families of their own (I hope they are still talking to me; that we are friends).
Here is a photoshop version of what I might look like in another 40 years. Oh Man!
Only another 40 years until I'm 80??? I guess I'm halfway there, on the downhill slide... even *eek* middle aged?? Based on the speed at which the last 40 have sped by, it's going to be no time at all.