Yes thats me, just in case you haven't been on one of my websites!
So on the 1/2/14 I'll reach a milestone, a milestone I'm moving towards with great trepidation, yes I'm going to be 40!
I love being in my 30's, the best times of my life have been during my 30's, I think your 30's you become confident in your own abilities, you stop worrying so much about what people think of you and as you surge onward you get more and more comfortable with your own self.
So why am I scared of 40? Well I know it's not exactly old age but I think it makes me feel like I'll have to suddenly become a grown up and I'm not old enough to be a grown up yet!!
So, everything I have set out to achieve in my life so far I have done, even some of the things I would never have thought possible, my Business Mandy Charlton Photography was 5 years old last week and it's been a ride akin to being on the biggest fastest roller coaster of your life, lots of huge ups and a few real lows but you know what, you just have to ride them with your hands in the air screaming at the top of your lungs. I'm the first to admit that I'm not perfect, part of being in business is making mistakes and learning from them but I truly love what I do, I'm so proud of what I've achieved, I've made so many friends because of what I do and I've shared in so many bride and grooms most important days, I suppose I never want to get to the point where I'm too old to photograph weddings and you know we have so many beautiful venues in Newcastle and the North East of England and I still haven't photographed half of them!! 5 years, over 30 awards and 150+ weddings, long may that continue!
So, anyway, I have around 18 months until the big 40 so I'm trying to compile a bucket list of things I want to achieve before that particular big birthday and this is what I have so far.
1. Get my passport so that I can explore the world with my family - well I'm pleased to say that my passport application went off on Wednesday and I shall soon be allowed to leave the country.
2. Learn to drive and get a teeny tiny car - well as soon as my passport comes back the next thing to do is apply for a provisional license. The thing is that I always have assistants when I'm working and I'm the master of buses, trains, taxis so it's never really been an issue and mostly I'm completely phobic of getting behind a wheel but I'm going to conquer it and then world domination will be mine, muahahaha.
3. Sing in public and not on Karaoke, you see I love music so much and I love to sing but it's very much a nerve thing, I must do this though because otherwise I'll end up being an old lady with one of those old lady singing voices and it'll be too late. I also want to write a musical but I figure it might take more than 18 months so I'm not going class it as a fail if I don't manage that!
4. Be thin, well you see I've never really been one of those thin ladies so starting 3 weeks ago I went on the Weight Watchers Online plan and I've so far lost around 9lbs, only 2 and a half more stone to go, it's not that I hate myself or feel hideously ill or unattractive but I figure once you get past 40 your body makes it even harder for you to lose weight so I better do it now, I have a physically demanding job and let me tell you after shooting 2 weddings in the last 2 days carrying a rucksack weighing who knows how much and sitting here with aching calves and tired toes I reckon that fitter is definitely better and obviously as I get older my old knees are going to start failing, haha, yes I know 40 isn't 100, it just feels like it might be sometimes!
So thats it really, 4 not so hard things to achieve, I reckon with the things I've already achieved so far in my life that I should truly be able to look back on my Big 40th birthday and happily exclaim that I did everything I wanted to do and more.