The idea that most popped into my head on my 40th b’day (while walking 40km in Indonesia and getting my arse sunburnt off – not literally my arse but certainly my face, neck and arms) was GRATITUDE (in capitals since I’m allowed to do that because I’m not in Uni anymore!).
My points of gratitude:
- Health – being able to walk 40km at the age of 40 – just because I have good health to do so and somehow survived accidents, fatal health issues and good fortune that not everyone gets to make it to 40.
- Travel / Privilege – I was in Indonesia for my 40th birthday just one of the more than 90 countries I’ve been privileged to visit in my life to date. That privilege is called luck and birth but I’m grateful for it.
- Love – surrounded in it from my partner, Serafina, my family, soooo many colleagues, friends, acquaintances, students, audiences and almost everyone I come in contact with around the mission I’ve made for myself.
- Purpose – how lucky to have found a purpose and consolidated it by now at 40. I love waking up every morning to pinch my skin and do exactly what I love to do each day: participate and learn from the world and do my best to have a positive influence on it for access and opportunity for everyone, everywhere.
- Freedom – I absolutely have total freedom to do as I please, where I please and how I please (within some laws and rules of respect with Serafina and needing to make a little money every so often). I lacked some of that freedom while doing my Master’s so it is sweeter than before and Serafina and I have made a plan where I can travel but be back in Adelaide at least every 6 weeks – isn’t see ridiculously wonderful!
- Participation – I’ve been playing a certain type of game – global citizenship / social justice / active citizenship – long enough now that I can really carve out a space for myself to be requested by schools and opportunities and engage in certain circles of influence and participation.
- Life – I’ve been handed one of the best deals you can get in life in terms of privilege and I’m endlessly grateful that I get to live the way I like to live, that is nuts in a world where very few people have the same opportunity to do so.
As for my 30’s and in the past 10 years a lot has changed – I don’t feel like I should be something or doing something others expect of me, I live from my heart not my head. I’m comfortable in who I am and what I do, despite mostly a lack of mainstream acceptance. I’ve gradually been getting recognition for pretty much the same things I was doing in my 20s but now that it has been for 18 years and the numbers are bigger the recognition is stronger (note that I don’t think I deserve the recognition, but it is a bonus to have).
With that kind of lead up to my 40s I’m really not sure what this decade will provide and circumstance will have a say in that but I could not be in a better more exciting position if I tried – I’ve just completed a Master’s in Peace Studies where I’m no longer accountable to anyone else, I have a dynamic and invigorating relationship with Serafina and a constantly growing one with her son, Noa and I have ultimate choice in what I do next knowing that the harder I throw myself at the world the more it tends to catch me.
In January thanks to Serafina and the work and support of others, my concept of Teaspoons of Change become a company. I’m not sure where it will go and what it will exactly do but lastly, I’m grateful to have something in the world that represents who I am, what I believe in and that can be used to contextualise and contribute small but significant ideas and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet.
I have a lot to be grateful of on my 40th birthday and I know that gratitude will continue to extend into the future…
I’ve also just done a revamp of a count up of my birthdays each year which are often in different countries and usually include a sunrise. If you are interested check it out here: https://lunny06.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/birthday-count-up-with-pics-2018