Since I entered it ceremoniously, this world of the big four-o, I've become more and more aware of a constant feeling of being on the edge - not in a nervy way but in a "teetering on the edge of a very steep precipice" kind of way (think Cathy in Wuthering Heights or the second Mrs de Winter in Rebecca just for that extra, windswept drama effect). Which is a lot more scary and quite a new sensation for me. It doesn't leave me either. Actually it just gets stronger. Things feel decidedly different to me now. Day to day things, they seem much more important, more serious and I have a very definite sense of urgency about me which suggests that I'm watching an imaginary clock ticking away while running at an increasing speed to make things happen. Even my children's comments seem more poignant to me. Probably because I'm referring back to my own childhood when I remember making the conscious and rather stubborn decision to stop counting my parents' ages once either of them had reached 40. When I hit forty I didn't think it would make a blind bit of difference, I laughed at the thought of it: "Bring it on!" I used to shout. I don't shout anymore, now I'm fairly quiet about it. All my determination and nonchalance is nowhere to be found, in its place an overwhelming sense of life and its meaning, and how precious it is and how living for today is paramount and how every second counts. That's what occupies my mind these days. I wonder if all this is normal? Fortunately I am an incorrigible optimist - so while I'm teetering up there on the edge of that precipice, my mantra 'the best is yet to come' is also ringing quite loudly in my ears. Other welcome side effects of being forty (at least for me) are confidence and assertiveness. They make life so much smoother and more enjoyable. Like I said, I wonder whether it's just me...?