You do finally get to that age don't you, where you know yourself. For me it was certainly through my thirties. And then in my forties, I started to realise how empowering it was to have a first world life and all the rights and privileges that come with it. And as my forties ended, so I'm in the bit where I'm more interested in the people in my life and the happiness they bring me. I'm old enough to accept that there are people who don't like me, and I no longer work to bring them around. No time. Don't feel the need. Unlike thirty years ago. I'm old enough to know that I make snap judgements, and now wise enough to accept that these are often wrong..and I've learned the art of graciously admitting that.
I am intimate with my faults (and there are many) and because I can recognise them, I strive to make sure they don't surface. I am forthright, but I hope I'm at the least a bit tactful about it. I'm hopeless at staying in touch and I hate that. I had relatives here over the weekend and I realised that I'm more like my maternal Aunt than I thought - she and I share this birthday, perhaps there's more to it than I thought!
I'm all or nothing: sad or happy, quiet or noisy, grumpy or happy. Black and white suits me very well in terms of understanding and I'm tolerant. But not entirely patient. And although I like to think you could teach me some new stuff, and that I'm open to learning, I also know that I'll never read a manual before turning something on and expecting to be able to use it, and I work better to a routine. I also know enough about myself to know that as much as I like to think that I can, I'm probably not going to change much.
So now, onwards and forwards. I may be sentimental but I'm not a backwards gazer, I enjoy the memories and am thankful for my past but don't spend any time trying to recreate it or talking about it. And generally, I have no regrets. Except that I didn't teach my daughter to have an obsession about tidying up. But then I couldn't have could I?
So if you're approaching any sort of big birthday....take my advice. Surround yourself with the people you love having in your life and make friends with yourself. When you've done that, there's a lot less to be serious about.