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View as: GRID LIST

43 Today…

1
As I counted down the days to my birthday, ’one month today!’ I announced to my family on August 11th. ’One week tomorrow! ’ I said to a friend last week… I realised that turning 43 I am as happy for this birthday as I was for birthdays as a child.

The joy of a September birthday is that it is always something to look forward to after the Summer. It is a bonus before Autumn proper kicks in. This year especially it feels an opportunity to celebrate after a summer of lockdown weirdness.

So I am celebrating! And yes, I know a 43rd isn’t

SelfishMother.com
2
typically one to shout about; it neither ends in a zero or a five, but for me that is better, as there is no pressure or expectation.
There’s no rulebook on 43. This isn’t a defined milestone, but simply another year on this planet. Probably the reason why I had a bigger 41st celebration than 40th. Having just had Liberty, I didn’t have the energy to go all out for my 40th, but my 40+1 party the following year was GREAT.

I am not someone who shies away from my age. I do wonder why we celebrate kids’ ages, until we get to 21… and then adult

SelfishMother.com
3
ages are often muttered as if something’s wrong with them.

Although instead of whispering my vintage, I have a habit of believing that whatever age I am is the BEST AGE EVER. This belief hasn’t changed as I’ve grown older. So when I’m 88 I’ll be made up about that, too.

As well as believing my age is a badge of honour, I also used to believe – convinced I was! – that my birth date was the BEST DAY EVER, too. I was sure its numbers held special powers. The 11 the 9 the 77. EXTREMELY SPECIAL.

But then in 2001, my unerring belief in my

SelfishMother.com
4
awesome day took a massive battering when the numbers 9/11 became a landmark for all the wrong reasons. A tragedy so terrible that it became known by its date.

And since that day I’ve realised that my birthday – like anyone else’s – is just a day. A normal day when bad and good things happen. But I still want to make it special for me. In fact the whole week surrounding it gets a little magical upgrade in my mind.

My mum has always nailed birthdays. A card & present reaching me wherever I am in the world, often hand delivered and sometimes

SelfishMother.com
5
with a cake. My dad writes the card, but my mum is the birthday professional.

No wonder then that segueing into adulthood, my birthday featured bouts of crushing disappointment. Often quietly reflected onto my husband Tom, who had no clue when he met me that birthdays required a little forethought.

He didn’t realise that making a birthday great took more than simply prefixing everything that happens on it with the word ’birthday.’ (Eg: Here’s your birthday breakfast! Are you enjoying your Birthday walk? Off you go for a Birthday wee… etc). I

SelfishMother.com
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have never wanted shiny things; just maybe a well-thought out gift, a random surprise, a table booked somewhere or even a cake (not that I love cake, more as a symbol! And an excuse to sing Happy Birthday. To be honest a scoop of ice cream with a candle in will do).

He’s pretty good at birthdays now! A successful one is about simple things well executed. It’s as much about what is not happening as what is happening. I never work on my birthday, I always take it off. It is also a day free of chores or domesticity.

Usually it involves the

SelfishMother.com
7
sea or a swim somewhere, combined with a long lunch out. Always fizz. And often a tasty dinner, too. Relinquishing responsibility and escaping humdrum tasks. Not thinking about serious stuff.

Birthday wishes as adults sound lowkey but a day off responsibility is in itself a celebration. So yes, ‘I’m 43 today!’ – and if I had a badge I’d wear it with pride.

SelfishMother.com
Molly Gunn

By

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- 11 Sep 20

As I counted down the days to my birthday, ‘one month today!’ I announced to my family on August 11th. ‘One week tomorrow! ‘ I said to a friend last week… I realised that turning 43 I am as happy for this birthday as I was for birthdays as a child.
The joy of a September birthday is that it is always something to look forward to after the Summer. It is a bonus before Autumn proper kicks in. This year especially it feels an opportunity to celebrate after a summer of lockdown weirdness.
So I am celebrating! And yes, I know a 43rd isn’t typically one to shout about; it neither ends in a zero or a five, but for me that is better, as there is no pressure or expectation.
There’s no rulebook on 43. This isn’t a defined milestone, but simply another year on this planet. Probably the reason why I had a bigger 41st celebration than 40th. Having just had Liberty, I didn’t have the energy to go all out for my 40th, but my 40+1 party the following year was GREAT.

I am not someone who shies away from my age. I do wonder why we celebrate kids’ ages, until we get to 21… and then adult ages are often muttered as if something’s wrong with them.

Although instead of whispering my vintage, I have a habit of believing that whatever age I am is the BEST AGE EVER. This belief hasn’t changed as I’ve grown older. So when I’m 88 I’ll be made up about that, too.

As well as believing my age is a badge of honour, I also used to believe – convinced I was! – that my birth date was the BEST DAY EVER, too. I was sure its numbers held special powers. The 11 the 9 the 77. EXTREMELY SPECIAL.

But then in 2001, my unerring belief in my awesome day took a massive battering when the numbers 9/11 became a landmark for all the wrong reasons. A tragedy so terrible that it became known by its date.
And since that day I’ve realised that my birthday – like anyone else’s – is just a day. A normal day when bad and good things happen. But I still want to make it special for me. In fact the whole week surrounding it gets a little magical upgrade in my mind.
My mum has always nailed birthdays. A card & present reaching me wherever I am in the world, often hand delivered and sometimes with a cake. My dad writes the card, but my mum is the birthday professional.
No wonder then that segueing into adulthood, my birthday featured bouts of crushing disappointment. Often quietly reflected onto my husband Tom, who had no clue when he met me that birthdays required a little forethought.
He didn’t realise that making a birthday great took more than simply prefixing everything that happens on it with the word ‘birthday.’ (Eg: Here’s your birthday breakfast! Are you enjoying your Birthday walk? Off you go for a Birthday wee… etc). I have never wanted shiny things; just maybe a well-thought out gift, a random surprise, a table booked somewhere or even a cake (not that I love cake, more as a symbol! And an excuse to sing Happy Birthday. To be honest a scoop of ice cream with a candle in will do).

He’s pretty good at birthdays now! A successful one is about simple things well executed. It’s as much about what is not happening as what is happening. I never work on my birthday, I always take it off. It is also a day free of chores or domesticity.

Usually it involves the sea or a swim somewhere, combined with a long lunch out. Always fizz. And often a tasty dinner, too. Relinquishing responsibility and escaping humdrum tasks. Not thinking about serious stuff.
Birthday wishes as adults sound lowkey but a day off responsibility is in itself a celebration. So yes, ‘I’m 43 today!’ – and if I had a badge I’d wear it with pride.

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Molly Gunn

Molly Gunn is the Curator of Goodness at Selfish Mother, a site she created for likeminded women in 2013. Molly has been a journalist for over 15 years, starting out on fashion desks at The Guardian, The Telegraph & ES Magazine before going freelance in 2006 to write for publications including Red, Stella, Grazia, Net-A-Porter and ELLE. She now edits Selfish Mother and creates #GoodTees which are sold via TheFMLYStore.com and John Lewis and have so far raised £650K for charity. Molly is mother to Rafferty, 5, Fox, 3 and baby Liberty. Molly is married to Tom, aka music producer Tee Mango and founder of Millionhands. They live, work and play in Somerset.

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