For weeks leading up to my 40th, I composed my speech in the shower, and added to it here and there, writing things down as soon as I dried off. I rehearsed it over and over, convinced that I could be present when speech time came around, and would deliver it with feeling, eloquence and all the love I had for everyone who was at my party.
It didn’t exactly happen that way, and although I have no regrets, I do wonder if it would have even been possible to have been more present at the time. I was so overwhelmed with joy and love and gratitude and all the feelings, and I just couldn’t quite find the words to do those feelings justice.
I do hope that you all know how much you mean to me and how much fun I had on the day. Which brings me to the two photos. Some of you may not have realised, but I had a professional photographer there for a couple of hours over dinner/speeches, and the photos are incredible. The two photos I want to share with you, in my mind, capture the essence of my party, for me at least.
Here’s the first one:
These two wonderful people had never met before my party, but found themselves sharing a drink and a laugh together; this moment in time captured forever. I just love it so much. It means so much to me that my friends get to know each other and realise how awesome they all are. I know that friendships have been formed over the years at my parties, and I hope that at my 50th, or sometime before, these two people will be there again, drinking, laughing and having a grand old time.
And then this one
Captured during the most epic rendition of Happy Birthday I’ve ever heard, and surrounded by my four gorgeous kids, and many others. I was honestly overflowing with joy at this moment, and it was a hard act to follow.
There are so many things I want to say to you all collectively, and individually, but I will end this post with the end of the speech that never eventuated:
Two years ago, I was in a fog, and I just had to put one front in front of the other, hour by hour, day by day. Nearly everyone who is here today, was there for me then, helping me find my way. Some of you helped in incredibly huge ways, many of you will never know how you helped with a kind word, a timely hug, spending time with my kids or some words of support and encouragement.
Last year was all about survival. I added to my army of support, and I had to start finding ways to bring some normality to our lives. Day by day, week by week, I had to not just survive, but for my kids sake, and for my sanity, start finding joy again.
The future, surrounded by you all here today, and so many who are elsewhere, is looking pretty incredible and for that, I thank you.
I’ve had so many conversations with people so far this year about the promise that 2020 will surely bring. I am of the same opinion. 2020 is going to be a big one. Let’s do this 🙂