40 Things I'm Grateful for at 40

Last Monday I turned 40!  As I write it, it doesn't seem real, I don't feel this old.

Maybe I'm a little scared of this number, threatening to make me old when I don't feel that old in my head.

Life isn't perfect but I don't want to dwell on the negatives so I set myself the challenge of listing 40 things I'm grateful for in my life so far. 

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Then I worry; 40 is a big number. What if I can't actually think of 40 things? I'll have been writing this for nothing! I have to get those 40 things from somewhere. Here goes...

Gratitude, turning 40, achievements, happiness, family, self-improvement, motherhood

Family and Home

1. My daughter - she has changed our lives completely and inspires me to be a better person.

2. My family - I'm grateful to be surrounded by a supportive family; both my family here in Mexico and my family back home in England.

3. My parents' deserve a point all to themselves - I'm so grateful for their unconditional love and support, and all their help over the years.

4. A roof over our heads.  We're very lucky to have this house, thanks to my parents' help.

5. I like the area we live in and love that we can buy almost anything we need at the shops nearby, just a short walk round the corner or across the road.  It's very convenient, especially since I don't drive.

6. We don't earn a lot of money but we always manage to put food on the table, pay the bills and sometimes treat ourselves.

7. Emma has a devoted and loving daddy.  Not all kids can say that.

8. My mother-in-law looks after Emma while I'm at work, which makes working a lot easier for me.  She gives us a lot of help and support with Emma, who is devoted to her grandmother.

9. We've been lucky in that since she was born, Emma has been given lots of clothes and toys from her older cousins in Mexico City.  While we have bought her quite a lot of things,  probably most of her clothes and toys have been hand-me-downs, which has definitely saved us a lot of money.

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10. I have good health in general, I feel healthy and don't get sick very often.

11. My daughter has been very healthy so far and we've been lucky that we haven't needed to take her to the doctor very often.  When we have it hasn't been for anything very serious.

12. Discovering yoga  - it always makes me feel better and I'm trying to stay constant and practice it at least several days a week.  I follow Yoga with Adriene on YouTube so it's also free and I don't have to leave the house to go to classes.

13. I like healthy food in general and try to eat a more or less balanced diet (most of the time!)

14. It was three years ago now, but I'm thankful I had a problem-free pregnancy (I actually didn't want it to end, I was quite comfortable being pregnant and rather scared of what was coming next!).  Even the birth went relatively smoothly, despite having to have an emergency c-section; it all happened very quickly and everything was fine.

Gratitude, turning 40, achievements, happiness, family, self-improvement, motherhood


15. My job - I enjoy it, I like the school where I work and its philosophy and I love the fact that I don't usually have to take work home with me.

16. The fact that I have a job in which they actually make a fuss of your birthday - my kids' mums 
brought a cake to class on Friday to celebrate and I got presents. That's one of the nice things about

17. The fact that I get lots of school holidays!  And we've just  had a long weekend and my birthday on Monday was a day off!

18. Everything I've learnt in my current job. Kindergarten was new for me and I feel like it has been a very rich and rewarding learning experience so far. Lots of things I can apply with Emma, too, as she's just coming up to kindergarten age (in Mexico it starts at three years).  And I still have a lot to learn.

Gratitude, turning 40, achievements, happiness, family, self-improvement, motherhood

Living in Mexico 

19. Being bilingual

20. Being able to bring up my daughter to be bilingual

21. I live in a beautiful country with so much to see and such a variety of landscapes and climates. We'll never run out of places to visit!

22. We get plenty of sunshine!

23. Mexican food - delicious and so varied. I enjoy writing about it, too, something I should do more often.

Gratitude, turning 40, achievements, happiness, family, self-improvement, motherhood


24. My optimism 

25. My adaptability - I've been able to adapt to living in a different country and a different culture, different work situations and many other changes.  I think it comes relatively easy to me, adjusting to 
new circumstances; I'm not resistant to change and I think that's a useful skill in our ever-changing world.

26. I have goals and aspirations, things to work towards and give me purpose

27. I've never lived in a war zone or been affected by natural disasters or tragedies. That makes me extremely lucky.

Gratitude, turning 40, achievements, happiness, family, self-improvement, motherhood


28. Skype and FaceTime, so glad they exist so I can stay in touch more easily with my family back home in the UK, and we can actually see each other, and they can see Emma.

29. My iPad, a present from my sisters a couple of years ago when our laptop started giving up the ghost.  Now I use it for everything and more!

30. My phone - for ages I didn't have a phone, but eventually got one at the end of last year.

31. Music - the fact that through the Internet and apps like Spotify, I can find and listen to just about any music I want, discover new music and artists and rediscover old ones, and all for free, or almost free. It's something that my teenage self in a pre-internet age, would have been amazed and delighted by.

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Things I love

32. Coffee.  What would I do without it?

33. Chocolate / chocolate cake!

34. Teabags from England! (Thank you!)

35. My blog - It may not be much at the moment but it's something I feel motivated and inspired to keep working on, it's my space to express myself and be myself.

36. Being able to write my last post Three Thoughts for my Three-Year-Old which I was very proud of.

37. The opportunities I've had to travel and live abroad.  

Gratitude, turning 40, achievements, happiness, family, self-improvement, motherhood

Things to look forward to 

38. My sister's visit - very soon!

39. My parents' visit in summer. 

40. Trip to Cancun at Easter with my sister - will be our first time in that part of Mexico and I hope we can make the most of it. I'm definitely looking forward to it!


I did it! 40 things.  

The funny thing is, now that I've finished the list I keep thinking of more points I could add.  It's a list that could just keep growing and growing, and that's another thing to be grateful for.

I saw this quote the other day, not sure who said  or wrote it but I love it and want to share it:

Inspiring quote, turning 40, life, gratitude

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My Petit Canard

Cuddle Fairy

Mummy Times Two



You Baby Me Mummy


  1. Totally agree with this quote and a greatmantra for life. Happy 40th X X #KCACOLS

    1. Thank you! Sometimes we get stuck on the idea of saving things for special occasions instead of just enjoying them.

  2. yay, turning 40 is great, you are all grown up but still feel and look young. I love your list, well done on finding so many things to be grateful for and Happy Birthday.

  3. Happy birthday! what a great post full of positivity and gratitude. #postsfromtheheart

  4. Life is sweet! I love this post.

    Thanks for linking with #KCACOLS and we hope you link again on Sunday.

  5. I enjoyed reading this list. I love how you thought of even more things you could list by the time you got to 40. Happy belated birthday! #KCACOLS

  6. Happy birthday for the other day, what a lovely way to celebrate and remind yourself of all the good things you have in your life - I think we could all do with a bit of that every now and then as it's so easy to forget them and focus on the harder bits! Loved the quote at the end too. #kcacols

  7. Happy birthday and its a wonderful milestone to celebrate. I loved mine and love every achievement that life has brought my way.

  8. That last bit, what a BRILLIANT quote Ruth. And this list! I read the whole thing! Oh gosh I relate to soooo much of this (except the age bit...50 next year and I think I'm still trying to recover from the shock of turning 40 never mind preparing for blooming 50!). I never knew you were from England. Yes the sunshine, I have that too on average 300 days a year where I live. Love my home town of London but they can keep their grey weather thanks. And thanks for the yoga tip; I just got distracted looking up her channel and bookmarking a load of them. You star! Thanks for joining us again sweetie #candidcuddles

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post and the yoga tip - I've lapsed a bit recently and need to get back into it more consistently. I would never have imagined you' ll be 50 next year - you look much younger! Time passes too fast.

  9. Ahhh a Happy Birthday to you - I'm not far behind I'll be 40 next year! I love that your work make a fuss on your birthday, it's totally the way it should be!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday x

  10. What a great post. I love the posts that share what people are grateful for.You sound like you are having a great time in Mexico and are very settled in your environment.Congratulations on turning 40. I hope you enjoyed a few Margaritas with your Mexican Food #Postfromtheheart

    1. Thanks! I haven't had a margarita in years! Would have been a good idea, though.

  11. what a fantastic and inspiring post. I love that you included things about yourself in this list!! #mg

  12. I just realize that as long as we live, there is always something to be grateful for. From the small everyday things to the grand ones, life is magical if we learn to be always thankful.

    You are inspiring.

  13. What a wonderful post full of positivity. I often reflect on number 27 and will be forever grateful. And I'm so with you on 30 and 31 - just brilliant! Oh and always grateful for coffee - all the coffee! A truly wonderful list of gratitude. Oh and Happy Birthday!! #ablogginggoodtime

  14. That quote at the end is great :) It's good to be thankful for even the small things and it makes us remember how lucky we are #thelistlinky

  15. Awww such a wonderful thing to do for your 40th. Happy belated Birthday xx
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime and don't forget to join us again this week!

  16. Thank you for this wonderful article! When I wake up in the morning, I start my day by feeling thankful for the little things, my home, delicious breakfast, a warm drink, my children’s beautiful smiles. There may be elements of my morning that I want to change but focusing on these will not bring the same good feelings and so are not worth my energy.

  17. With reference to your previous post, I am writing in my capacity as manager to say how concerned I was to hear about this. But thank you anyway.