Your Beautiful Feathers

In 1973 there were some significant births.

My sister was born, which at the time I was not particularly pleased about, but I’ve since come around. And many of my oldest (pardon the use of that word here) and dearest friends were also born in 1973. You won’t have to remember any of your 9th grade algebra to work out that because it is 2013, they are all turning 40 this year. Congratulations, gorgeous women! 40!! Woo hoo! This post is for you, from your ever-so-slightly-older sis.

What I love about being in my 40s:

In your forties you realise that it is okay that you don’t know it all. In fact, it’s great that you don’t, because who wants the pressure of being the world’s authority on everything all the time? It must be exhausting trying to convince everyone else how wrong they are about everything – just ask the 20-somethings (hee hee).

You learn what you are great at and passionate about and you dig deeper into those things and they bring you great joy. You accept what you’re not great at with less angst than you have ever before. I will never be a professional singer, and I am okay with that (now).

You slough off other people’s expectations of what you should be or do or want. You become a better friend to yourself. You see when you are failing, and you are brave enough to ask for help. And, you learn what a brilliant and powerful word ‘no’ is.

You also earn your feathers. Let me explain: You know the laurels that cup the prestigious awards earned by films at film festivals? They look like this:


Ben and I share a running joke about the laurels. I don’t know which one of us started it, but we call them ‘feathers’. “Look at how many feathers this film has! It must be amazing!!” Well, not too long ago I was playing with my nephew and smiling joyously and I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror.

The laugh lines around my eyes reminded me of the ‘feathers’ – and in a way they are much like the laurels. I earned those feathers with all the laughter, and hilarity and joy that I have felt and shared throughout my 4+ decades.  Cate Blanchett calls hers the songlines of her face, which I also love.

Your forties is when your feathers really come in – and how wonderful that we earn them through the joys of life.

Happy birthday, beautiful women. I toast you and your feathers.

Earning my feathers

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