Hooray, I’m 40!

I can’t believe it, but I’ve done the maths and apparently it’s true. I’m 40 today. It seems outrageous. 40 is an age for grown-ups, surely I’m still – I don’t know – 15? But, no. I’m 40. (40!) Having just read that book of celebrities’ letters to their 16-year-old selves, I thought I’d write some tips to my past self. And I thought I’d write 40. Because I’m, you know, 40. (40!) So here, in no particular order, are 40 tips to the former me:

1. Siobhan Fahey’s name is pronounced “Shuv-awn Far-hee”, not “Sigh-uh-bain Fay-hay.”

2. There are better ways to check if a nappy is dirty than sticking your finger in it.

3. Your hair is curly. Let it be curly.

4. Your eyebrows are blonde. Invest in eyebrow pencil.

5. Big baggy jumpers don’t hide anything, they just make you look big and baggy.

6. When you look into your baby’s eyes for the first time, you won’t be thinking about the profundity and beauty of the moment, you’ll be thinking “Well that was f***ing awful!”

7. People tell you not to hang your bag off the back of your chair in a restaurant for a reason. Listen to them.

8. You can’t scrimp on loo roll, ketchup or teabags. Buy the good stuff.

9. Eleanor Roosevelt was right – no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Stop consenting, eh?

10. Wear sunscreen. Seriously. (And, when you can, get hold of some Clarins Radiance-Plus self-tanning moisturiser.)

11. Don’t bother seeing Vanilla Sky. Life is long, but 136 wasted minutes is not nothin’.

12. Everyone makes a tit of themselves when drunk – don’t beat yourself up about it.

13. The chances of meeting a boy are much higher if you leave your bedroom.

14. While we’re on the subject of boys… you’re wasting your time with George Michael. And Michael Jackson.

15. Don’t take your parents for granted – they won’t be around for as long as you think.

16. Just because someone asks for your phone number doesn’t mean you have to give it to them (and then spend weeks screening your calls).

17. Don’t bother with the lottery. Or, if you must, FFS don’t play the same numbers every week.

18. Take more photos with your parents (and the rest of your family, for that matter).

19. If you want to work in the press office, why not mention it to the press officer? Maybe she’d like you to work there too.

20. People who slag you off or take the piss out of you before saying, “I’m only joking / messing / winding you up!” are, you know, tools.

21. Posh people say “loo” not “toilet” and “stool” instead of “poo.” They may also vote Tory – do not be surprised by this.

22. Don’t worry so much about having an overactive imagination and living in a dream world – you’ll eventually make a living out of it.

23. Enjoy that hot sandwich from FT5K – soon the shop will close and you won’t remember what was on it. (Probably for the best though. Can’t imagine it was anything approaching healthy.)

24. Dream holiday in America? Worry less, enjoy it more.

25. Spend less time worrying about money. You’ll (almost) always have enough. Oh and if you completely avoid credit cards you’ll have more than enough (but fewer holidays).

26. The “pleather” trousers in Top Shop, Ealing Broadway? No.
I know they’re reduced from £40 to £15. No.
I appreciate that they’re a size 10 and yet they actually fit (just). No.

27. Two glasses of wine is plenty. Plenty!

28. When you get the chance to see Wham! live – take it. Bucks Fizz really won’t care whether you go or not.

29. Everyone doesn’t always have to agree with you at all times. No really, they don’t. Really.

30. Another word for a condom is a sheath, not a sheaf. Remember this and your review of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat will not make you cringe 20 years from now.

31. Don’t bother making up boyfriends or holiday romances. No one will believe you anyway.

32. Having children will improve your life immeasurably. Stop fretting about it.

33. Feel like you can’t cope? Snapping at David? Gone off tea? Can’t stop eating? Sore boobs? Yes, it’s PMS, idiot. It happens every month. Pigeons learn quicker than you.

34. You’re never going to be as thin as Geri Halliwell, no matter how many photos you stick to the fridge.

35. Your skin does not accept tan. Accept this fact.

36. Thinking you’re too fat is not a good reason not to do something. (Also? You’ll always think you’re too fat and no one cares anyway.)

37. Don’t be put off so easily. You can do anything you want.

38. Enjoy trampolining. Once you’ve had a baby, it will no longer be possible (unless you WANT to wet yourself. You don’t, do you?).

39. That friend of Susan and Sarah’s who doesn’t speak? He’s shy, not rude. And he’ll make you very happy. I know, I was surprised too. (But he’s totally lying about how many books he reads.)

40. By the time you get to 40, your life will be pretty amazing. Promise.

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49 thoughts on “Hooray, I’m 40!

  1. Happy Birthday Keris.
    Thank you so much for that fabulous and absolutely relateable post for anyone not only those of us that have hit 40 😀 Welcome to the club *hugs*

  2. Lovely! I read that with a smile on my face but also had a lump in my throat (PMT!?) Have a lovely birthday and here’s to the next 40! Xx

  3. A very, very happy 40th birthday Keris! I hope you have the most wonderful day and a magical year. I love your blog and your tweets – and you’ve written two amazing books and you’re a great mummy- you’re a bit of an inspiration to me. A lot of the advice spoke to this almost 22 year old heart. Wee tear for you 🙂

    Happy Birthday! Xx

  4. I’m two years shy of this age but I absolutely loved this! And try and take it on board.
    Thanks to @LisaJewell for tweeting this otherwise I ‘d never have seen it : ) x

  5. Why am I crying*? It’s not my birthday and I’m way over 40.
    Wishing you a very happy day, Keris, and also a very happy life, always! xxx
    (*I DO have a cold…?)

  6. Happy birthday 🙂

    I have to take issue with the loo thing though – I was brought up to say loo, and I most definitely do not vote Tory!

    And loved your fat comment – I need to be in that place!

  7. Great post, Happy Birthday lovely lady! I will be 40 next year and am celebrating by getting married, and probably having a cuppa 🙂

  8. Wonderful post, Keris. Like Chris, I grinned all the way through it, and was actually nodding along at some of your points – I think our younger selves would’ve got on!

    Happy birthday!

  9. There is a photo of you with a Dalek in it! And FT5K, omg, they did do amazing sandwiches, why did they go away?

    See how I zero in on the profound bits of your totally brilliant post. Happy Birthday, you wonderful thing.

    1. Ha! I know! It was from the Garden Festival in Liverpool in about ’86, I think. The other half of the photo has my sister and the TARDIS!

  10. Happy Birthday, Keris! Fantastic post – imagine knowing at 15 that your writing you could move people to laughter and tears at 40. Enjoy your forties and don’t worry, I will always be one year ahead of you! Linda X

  11. Happy birthday! What a wonderful post, like so many others who are commenting there are tips here that I could and will take on board. xx

  12. Lovely post, had me grinning all the way through. Hope you’re having an excellent day
    xxx

  13. Happy Birthday (again!!) Hope you have had a great day. Loved the whole list but number 39 especially made me smile 😉

  14. Loved these. I am thoroughly enjoying my 40s – having read these, I have no doubt that you will, too. Have a very very Happy 40th Birthday, Keris!! xxx

  15. Lovely, thoughtful post but also tinged with sadness. How hard we were on ourselves as teenagers. Hope you’re having a wonderful day.

  16. Happy Happy Birthday to one of the funniest people I know. Hope your birthday is wonderful, filled with every good thing.

  17. Totally forgot that we share a birthday. Except somehow the math comes out that I’m 50 today instead of 40. Hope you had a wonderful day! Your post is hilarious – and oh so true.

  18. How did I miss this?

    Belated Happy Birthday.

    Hope that this decade is the best yet.

    And make sure you spoil yourself and be spoiled rotten by your loved ones for at least a month:-).

  19. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments. I kept reading them throughout the day and they made me smile.

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