Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up – Alexandra Potter

“Dont worry about getting older, worry about becoming dull”

Well, as a forty something myself, I was quite curious to see how other similar aged species thinks, behaves and even writes about this stage in life. Though, written in a light tone, this book has incredible depth. The things that will sound funny, will have most profound meaning behind them. Just because people smile and laugh, you don’t see the pain and sadness hidden behind their eyes.

I loved reading it and relating it to some of my own life experiences. There are people we perceive as ‘happy’ or ‘successful’ and may even feel envious towards but no one can live other person lives. We see the facade that has been put out for the world, what we don’t see is the mess in the background. Sometimes the book did get a bit preachy and sounded almost like a motivational quote my parents insist on sharing on whatsapp, but the good parts are really great.

Just because you are forty and it seems like you have achieved all the goals you had set out for yourself when you were in your twenties or just out of college, does not mean that you are done and that is it. Life still goes on and in its usual ways still insists on throwing curve balls your way, every once in a while to keep things interesting and alive. It’s scary, it’s hard and there are no right or wrong answers, but I guess with good friends, good wine and a sense of humour you can get through most of it alive and relatively happy. “Embrace your sense of humour, don’t ever take yourself too seriously, every day is another chance to laugh instead of cry, and when nothing is certain, everything is a hell of a lot less scary when you make fun of it”

I like the part where author writes about happiness. We are told to be happy but no one can be happy all the time. “We’re encouraged to be our true, authentic selves, but being told to feel happy when you’re just not feeling, only encourages us to be exact opposite. Life can be wonderful but I can also be scary and hard. We should be free to feel sad or gloomy or just downright bloody miserable, without feeling like there’s something wrong with us”

The book is about a “Forty-something” (obviously) who feels like a failure sans job, sans engagement and sans the perfect planned life. She feels envious of friends who seem so put together and ends up finding work as an obituary writer – which is freelance and barely gets her through. The struggle of a single person to (happily) participate in married friends discussions is super relatable. Well, no one enjoys talking about babies and nannies and what not all the time! She finds camaraderie with a eighty year old. It’s almost like a book about coming of an age, just at a different juncture in life. Its beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking but mostly happy and one that will make you smile.

She starts a podcast, I think as a catharsis and ends up becoming inspirational for women struggling with similar anxieties. Old friends and new friends come together in support, love finds its way into her life and life seems somewhat back on track. Happiness attracts happiness – to be loved, you have to first fall in love with your self (of course not in a narcissistic way).

If you are looking for a happy and optimistic read – this is definitely the one for you.

“Remove the filters and the hashtags and the motivational messages and we’re all just as scared and confused as the next person”