42 is the natural number that succeeds 41 and precedes 43, and I am now it.

Last week I turned 42 and I have to say it was one of the best birthdays EVER. Go 42! I do believe it’s a special number, if you have read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy you will find that 42 is the “answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything” – calculated by a very big computer over a very very long time.” “42 with its infinite majesty and calm” quite a bit of pressure innit?

After my fabulous little girls night escape I was quite happy to maybe have lunch with Rob, have a quiet night in with the girls watching a movie and then a family lunch on Sunday with Mum. It was going to be simple and easy and while it was ALL those things…it was so much more. Let me show you what went down.

There were balloons for a start that Lucy bought me…every 42 year old needs a lunch of balloons with your initial, and let’s not forget the fact that my orchid decided to bloom for the first time in 2 years bang on cue. See? Infinite majesty! I also had a new jumper that I bought myself that finally enough was PERFECT for me. See what happens when you buy for you? No NAIL IT is what happens.

Even popped the falsies on despite just going for lunch in Bowral because I’m worth it (although they lost their stick as I have worn them too many times and I think I am meant to chuck them out now)

There was lunch at Berthas Meats in Bowral which I have been wanting to try for some time now. Think meat: smoked meats: briskets and fried chicken and smoked sausages and bread and fire and mac and cheese. Nothing healthy, but just what the 42 year old wanted.

We shared this mixed platter along with some gravy and mash which had me in a state of wooze and delight.

And then in the evening a little home made birthday cake (Anne, of course) with a peppermint crisp twist, and Emerald city of Anne’s if you will. Sprinkled with mint aero, mint balls from Darrell Lea (they are nailing their new range at the moment are they not?!) and it was a delight and perfect and I wondered why I had never made my own birthday cake before? SEE? New wisdom. I’ve got it baby.

It was early to bed (wise I tell you, but mostly just tired because: 42) and then we were into Saturday. Now I thought it was going to be a regular Saturday with nothing much in it except a couple of sporting fixtures (dear GOD when will the winter sports finish?!) but little did I know it was going to be a LIFE CHANGING DAY.

You see, Rob had snagged some last minute tickets to FLEETWOOD MAC you guys. I was given them on Friday morning and I had no clue. NONE! What a surprise. Fleetwood Mac has been the soundtrack of my life. As a child, and then when Rob and I started dating almost 16 years ago, it’s been the soundtrack to our life together. When we travelled in Ireland with Lucy and Chris for Rob’s 30th (13 years ago) we had one CD in the hire car that we listened to over and over again: Best of Fleetwood Mac. It’s on every playlist I have. Our girls can sing the lyrics to most of their songs as they have learnt it by osmosis. It’s been the songs of joy and grief, happiness and sadness and I have tried to see them in concert 3 times before (once in Sydney and Adelaide that were both cancelled and then again Sydney a few years ago that we couldn’t go to for a family funeral back in Adelaide) and never succeeded.

So Saturday afternoon we hightailed it up to Homebush and saw them. WHAT A SHOW. I spent the entire 2 plus hours in a state of joy (with SO many tears). Hearing all those songs ACTUALLY THERE. To see Neil Finn sing harmonies with Stevie (he was brilliant and I loved every moment of him being there which I did not think I would). It was spiritual you guys. What a gift!

It was also very hard to hold in a wee for 2 hours because I did not want to waste a precious moment of seeing them. Note to self don’t drink at concerts.

I am still smiling thinking about it and I know I will for many years to come. Even moreso when we came through and ran through the playlist with the girls and Daisy could sing every single one of the songs. Our work is done. I just still can’t talk about Landslide and Don’t dream it’s over because I just can’t without crying. It’s my infinite wisdom leaking you guys.

Sunday afternoon Lucy and Chris hosted lunch at their place with Mum and my step dad and it was perfect and lovely to have everyone there together. Mum trotted out a perfect pav, the kids played, we drank icy cold butter chardonnay and I felt just so happy. And lucky.

So I think 42 is going to be alright you guys. It’s going to have a little more of me #takingmattersintomyownhands because it got me a great birthday cake and a great night away with my friends. It’s going to have me reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing family who love me and do anything for me – look how much they all spoiled me!

Maybe it feels a little bit like the lyrics to Landslide, where you feel like by 42 you have climbed a bit of a mountain. You have grown so much from a young (and well rested) person into marriage, into being a Mum, to being a proper grown up with work and life and family pressures and by 42 you climb that mountain and you stop and look around.

I want the child within my heart to rise above. To do the things that make me happy. To be silly, be creative, be free of worry about what people think of me. Time does make you bolder and I can’t wait to see what the next 40 years will bring (heaven help you all as I start to give less of shit about stuff that matters and more about the stuff that does). I am getting older and I am entirely OK with it. What a privilege.

As I sat there listening to Stevie sing those words on Saturday night and the tears were pouring down my cheeks I couldn’t help but think about all the people who have left us, friends and family, people I don’t know who would give anything for one more birthday, one more Sunday lunch with people they love in good health. We get so caught up in stuff that doesn’t matter that we so often forget how good we have got it. It’s pretty simple isn’t it? I always rabbit on about it: to be loved and be loved . I think that’s the meaning of life you guys. SEE? INFINITE WISDOM.

I’ve seen my reflection over the last few days, and from where I stand it all looks pretty good to me.

Comments

  1. Rach aka stinkb0mb says

    It sounds like you had the perfect birthday, the birthday you were meant to have perhaps, with everything lining up and the Universe speaking to you via the sublime Stevie?

    Here’s to 42 goes around the sun and hopefully many more x

  2. Bev….I discovered the secret to not having to wee at a concert a few years ago.

    Drink WINE!

    I was at the Hollywood Bowl seeing Keith Urban and we got a bottle of wine. I noticed I never had to ‘go’. You don’t have to go when you drink wine like you do with a beer or a cocktail. Life changing!!!

  3. Karli Lancaster says

    Gorgeous post, Beth! Happy 42nd! Sending you lots of love for this year xx

  4. Happy Birthday Beth – gorgeous post. Glad you had such a special week! I saw Fleetwood Mac also – Stevie + Christine = #hairgoals right? Stevie is my new poster girl for aging gracefully, can’t actually believe she is 71!!!!
    Happy 42 lovely xxx

  5. You hit me in the feels Beth. Fleetwood Mac for life xx

  6. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Beth! Your blog and Instagram are an absolute delight to read and follow.

  7. I love this post. Isn’t it great to be happy just where you are x

  8. happy birthday. sounds like you had a lovely weekend.
    Fleetwood Mac is the soundtrack to my teen years, so many memories.

  9. That was one of the things read out at our wedding: “to love is nothing, to be loved is something. To love AND be loved is everything!” Happy fellow August Birthday.

    I also took matters into my own hands and we’re off to see Tom Gleeson on Saturday night at the Opera House – Hubs was supposed to book a hotel but an early morning rugby grand final (he is coach of our sons team!) put paid to that!! So I’ve booked lunch for Saturday instead. Although a few dads said that they’d put in to get us a hotel on the Sunday night – ha! If we win, as if he’d want to spend the afternoon and night with me!!

    I do hope they win though – they deserve it and there’s always next year for the hotel, right? x

  10. Wasn’t Fleetwood Mac just the BEST ever concert?! So many goosebump moments for my daughter and I and I actually recognised you entering the stadium along with us! Happy Belated Birthday!

  11. wow – what a birthday. I looked at my 42nd birthday as the chance to have my second 21st!! not sure what to do about my impending 45th….urgh!! Wishing you a Happy birthday for a few days ago
    JS

    • I didn’t even think of that but you are right…this was MUCH better than my 21st! God I am such a different person to that young girl! THANK GOODNESS x

  12. Linda Jenkins says

    I’m so glad you had such a HAPPY BIRTHDAY !
    I must add Fleetwood Mac to my spotify list ! None on there atm !
    I took matters into my own hand and booked tickets for “Come from away” – I love going to live shows but rarely do it ??

  13. What a fabulous and full birthday you had Beth. Here’s cheers to your infinite wisdom and being 42!
    When I turned 40 (nearly 5 years ago now, eeek!) I too started to give less than a shit about the things that didn’t matter and really embrace the stuff that does matter. Stuff like my little family, good friends (you know the type I mean), simple pleasures like having all your family over for a meal, kids running around hooting and hollering, walking for me just me, turning your face to the sun. I could go on and on.
    40 brings more lines, and grey hair (or as a friend of mine calls them, “wisdom highlights”) but it also provides a clarity that has not come before. Embrace and enjoy these moments Beth. Love big and laugh hard, drink that glass of wine, eat that cheese, all with a side of a good walk in the fresh air thrown in and your cup will be full.

    Big hugs,
    Manda xo

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