Mummy says….Isn’t it strange to think that just over a hundred years ago, the average man didn’t live past his 40s. These days the 40th birthday barely marks halfway through life’s epic journey. My nan is 97 in September, and all me grandparents lived well into their seventies and beyond.
The 40th birthday has become a major milestone. Mature enough and financially secure enough to take your life in the direction you want it to go and still young enough to live life to the full, there’s no better birthday to celebrate. Make it count – you are only 40 once! Dakota Murphey suggests 3 awesome ways to make sure you have a birthday you’ll never forget.
My 40th was a few (ahem) years ago, and I celebrated by renting a gorgeous cottage locally and having all my family around for a big meal and party. It was perfect. There are so many ways to mark the occasion, Dakota Murphey suggests 3 awesome ways to celebrate your 40th birthday.
1. The party
Dress to impress and throw the party of a lifetime. It’s what the 40th birthday was made for. There’s no better time in life than 40 to throw the ultimate party. Reaching 40 is after all the biggest milestone yet since your coming of age. It’s fine to organise your own party. It’s the perfect time to show the world who you’ve become. Throw a glamorous party to celebrate finding your true niche in life and wow everyone with your event organising expertise!
The options are endless, but don’t skimp. This is the big four-oh. A poorly planned and underfunded party will only leave you and your guests feeling disappointed. That’s not to say the people don’t make the party. But come on you are 40!
For a landmark celebration, how about a Bombay themed 40th? The Bombay theme covers everything – it’s got colourful décor and it’s a quirky theme. Bollywood mania is the perfect choice for a celebration of fun and dancing. Practice your Bhangra dance moves and you’ll wow your guests with your dancing, your charm and your brilliance at pulling off the ultimate party.
2. The retreat
If the pressure of throwing a 40th birthday party or doing something in grandiose fashion is getting you down, why not let yourself off the hook? Perhaps it’s time to think about you. Reaching 40 is one of the most poignant birthday celebrations, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw a wild party or mark it with a celebration designed to fulfil the needs of your family and friends.
At 40 we generally feel we’ve grown into our own skin. Our crow’s feet and laughter lines show our passion for life. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve been happy, we’ve been sad, most of all we have lived. We’ve gained a lot of life experience. But, where do we go from here?
Forty is the perfect time for reflection. We’ve lived long enough to have the life experience to reflect upon, and we have enough maturity to make decisions about the future. A retreat is the perfect place for you to take stock. Not only that, it’s the wellness break you deserve.
There are all sorts of retreats from full-on detox journeys to simple relaxation breaks, any of which give you the chance to recharge your batteries and reflect on your lifestyle. Pick your location. You’ll find retreat centres all over the world.
3. The French farmhouse or chateau
A farmhouse in France is the perfect place to spend a weekend, or a week, with your closest buddies or dearest family members. Why France? It’s easy to travel to, and the French have a passion for fine dining and fine wines. At 40 you may be feeling the need for something a little more sophisticated, and a holiday in a beautiful French chateau or a stunning French farmhouse fits the bill. What’s not to love?
France is far enough away to make it feel like an adventure, but doesn’t necessarily involve an arduous journey (even if you’re heading for the south of France, flights are plenty and relatively short). They speak a different language (obviously) which makes the whole trip feel more exciting.
There’s a diverse landscape to choose from. France has beautiful mountainous regions from the Alps to the Pyrenees. There’s also a diverse coastline, from the vast stretches of beach in Brittany and Normandy to the beautiful beaches of the Languedoc region, and the jagged shoreline with small attractive inlets along the French Riviera. There are thousands of pretty villages and interesting historic towns scattered across France.
The Dordogne region is a popular tourist destination and renowned for its gourmet delights, hilltop castles and honey-coloured stone villages. Step back in time in Provence to an era gone by and wander rocky, herby landscapes and drink wine under the stars. And of course in the south, there are the famed upmarket resorts of Cannes and St Tropez in case you are compelled to spend the day feeling like an A-lister and blowing the budget in mega-bucks restaurants and designer boutiques.
Whatever you choose to do to celebrate your 40th birthday, have fun and enjoy every last minute of your celebration.