6 In Living

Musings From a Woman in Denial About Turning 39

40 is coming. You see, this year I turn 39 and to come clean, I'm knee-deep in denial about being one year off of the big 4-0.

Over the last few years I’ve written an annual post to celebrate my birthday.

In these posts I’ve shared insightful and positive lessons learned and why it’s so ‘awesome‘ hitting whatever number I’ve hit [here’s a taster: 37 reasons why I’m celebrating turning 3738 learnings from 38 years].

That is until this year.

You see, this year I turn 39 and to come clean, I’m knee-deep in denial about being one year off of the big 4-0.

Yep, there’s no denying it. As the weeks and months of this year flew by at an increasingly rapid rate, I’ve swung between ‘forgetting’ how old I am to full on wishing that time would stop so I could take a breather… and not get any older.

I’m quietly freaking out about turning 39

As much as I’ve tried to embrace ‘getting older’, and even written about embracing ageing and everything that comes with it, I gotta admit I just don’t wanna grow older! Yep, I’m well and truly heading into my midlife crisis. Bring on the sports car I can’t afford, the crazy colourful clothes, and yearnings for ‘the good old days’.

Forever 39

Over the last few weeks as my wrinkles have started slapping me in the face  (where the hell did they come from?), I’ve tuned in to my own (and everyone else’s) mortality. I’ve also become very conscious that life is literally flying by.

Where the fuck have the years gone?

When you’re a young-un, everyone warns you that time will fly and that you really should make the most of it. Opting to disregard the ‘oldies’, you spend a lot of time living it up, procrastinating or purely wasting time [personally, I spent a lot of time hungover].

It’s not until you reach a certain point in life that reality slams into you [like now].

“Shit. They were right. Time actually DOES fly!”

And suddenly there’s not enough of it.

Suddenly time becomes too precious to waste, especially on things like commuting and joyless day jobs. The problem is in order to gain more time to do the things you love, you have to make things called choices and decisions.

F#@k. Those things are hard!

My life is a day to day experiment in really bad decisions

The 90’s were only yesterday. Weren’t they?

I’m taken aback by the stark reality that the 90’s were *ahem* twenty years ago. WTF?!

I mean, I’ve had my driver’s licence for nearly 21 years, I graduated University 18 years ago, and I’ve had my fur-child for just over 14 years… I’ve also been with D for near on 11 years. As some would say, you get more for murder! (joke!).

I swear it was only yesterday when I queued for hours for Pearl Jam tickets [that is, in person in an actual queue, with tickets selling out before I got to the front of the queue – damn!], cried over the death of Jeff Buckley [still do], and wrote a soppy [handwritten] love letter to a member of one of my other fave bands in true groupy style [shame].

I f#@kin’ miss the 90’s.

Mortality check

In my side-job at the cafe, we cater to a group of ‘golden oldies’ once a week. I like to greet them with smiles, and send them on their way with well-wishes and a friendly ‘see you next week’. Nice hey? I love to provide good customer service. I think a smile and a friendly word can go along way, especially with the elderly. The problem is with their responses which range from ‘if we’re still here’ to ‘it depends whose alive next week’. And they actually mean it. According to them, each day above ground is a bonus. This thought saddens me.

As people I love grow old, show signs of ageing and become sick – the amount of people you know or hear of who have had or have cancer blows your mind – I quickly burrow my head in the ground like an ostrich. I really don’t want to know, or rather accept, reality.

F#@k. Life really is too short!

F#@k. Life really is too short!

Where did all of my wrinkles come from?

As my natural hair colour fades and the creases set in around my mouth, eyes, brow and décolletage, I’m physically reminded that I am growing older. Those years of smiling, crying, frowning and deep thinking have left their mark on my face.

For me, Botox is not part of the equation, a decision I made a several years ago. Nope, I won’t be injecting anything into my face to flush out my wrinkles, and seriously, if I did, my luck would be that I’d have a huge allergic reaction and end up as a prime case for the TV show Botched.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. – Mark Twain

Rather, I will learn to embrace my wrinkles. As one of my best friends recently said to me, after I came clean about how I was feeling about growing older,

“those lines are the paths of my life, and are a record of a life lived, journey’s taken, and stories to tell”.

I just adore that.

I f#@kin’ love my wrinkles. [I will believe that eventually]

Women over 30 should not do or wear lots of things, apparently

The internet’s a-flood with advice on what women over 30 should and shouldn’t do, wear, act like, be, etc. I started to Google said articles, but quickly abandoned the search after the results returned articles such as ‘Why you shouldn’t date a woman in her 30’s’ and more. You get the picture.

Truth is, who cares what a woman over 30 does, acts like, is, or wears. What right does anyone have to make a woman over the age of 30 feel inferior because she doesn’t have or want kids, a man, a house… And why wouldn’t a man want to date a woman in her 30’s anyhow? Are we really any different from women in their 20’s, aside from being on this planet a little longer and having a bit more life experience?

My mind still feels like it’s 20-something. My body, well, I’m told it look 28-31. Sometimes it feels a hell of a lot older though!

I love this article by ‎@warning_curves summing up exactly what women over the age of 30 should wear, which is, in a nutshell, whatever the f#@k they want!

All about Janine Ripper

Who said women in their 30’s can’t wear band shirts?

If I was single, I’d be considered a cougar

When I envision a ‘cougar‘, I picture a fake tanned, leather looking, blonde 40-50-something with pumped up lips and boobs, all dolled up in a sparkly dress whilst swilling bottles of champers and perving on the muscly 20-somethings down at the local cougar den. Blame it on too many episodes of The Real Housewives…

I certainly don’t picture myself or any of my single friends as cougars. Sloths maybe, in a good way, because sloths are cute. And they look damn cuddly. And because we like to chill and stuff. After we’ve worked real hard. Over wine. Or beer. With chips and chocolate. Whilst watching superhero movies in our active wear.

F#@k the cougars. I’m a f#@kin’ sloth, baby!

The future

I’ve started thinking more seriously about the future. And by future, I mean the future when I’m a whole lot old-er.

This whole living by the seat of my pants, taking one moment at a time, and not making a 5-10 year plan – where has it gotten me? Perhaps I’ve left my run too late? What will my nest egg look like? Will I even have one, or will I have to work till I’m 75? And how does one survive on the pension these days? Should I start browsing the cat food aisle? And who the hell will look after me if I can’t look after myself?

Okay, apparently I should have taken the whole ‘saving for the future’ thing a lot more seriously then I have, especially back when I was earning 3 times more than I am at the moment.

F#@k. Hindsight can be a right bitch.

40 is coming

Shit.

But then again, apparently 40 is the new 30. I’m gonna embrace that and run with it.

40 is coming Shit. But then again, apparently 40 is the new 30. I'm gonna embrace that and run with it.

 

Liked this post?

Read these:

Life in Your 30’s

Getting hitched and spawning babes from my loins was never part of the plan

Love From a Height

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  • Mackenzie Glanville
    August 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I got this card for my birthday, it read 40 looks good on you, 39 was so last year! It cracked me up! You know what I was freaking out a bit, not about being 40, but saying I am 40! But I am forty and fucking fabulous! Honestly I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin, I have awesome friends, and I love my life. Yes my anxiety sucks, and some days are a struggle, I want to sink under the covers and disappear, but mostly I am happy because I am being ME, my authentic self and that was something that took me until my late 30’s to find and embrace. So don’t fear it, just f’n embrace it!

    • Janine Ripper
      August 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Haha I love it! Im so glad you have embraced it. I’ve noticed a revitalised you over social media / your blog (yes I still follow when I can!). So frickin pleased!

  • Marie
    August 10, 2016 at 5:05 am

    You look amazing! And I had a dermatoligist suggest I get my face lazered to look more youthful. Fuck the lazer. I got a new dermatoligist.

    • Janine Ripper
      August 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Argh just found your comment in SPAM! Glad I found it!!! Hmmm I think you look pretty damn fine and so not ‘your age!’. Good move on the dermatologist too!

  • Overcoming Body Image Issues and Learning to Love Yourself Again - Reflections from a Redhead
    August 12, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    […] As I near the big 4 – 0 I am experiencing somewhat of a crisis as my hair turns white. It’s a shame I wasted so much time hating on it – to think of all the lost time. Time I could have spent loving the colour, trying new hairstyles, flaunting my long red locks! So now I search for the perfect shade of red to cover my whites and match my natural red colour – a harder task than it sounds! […]

  • Joy
    August 13, 2016 at 3:03 am

    What I hate most about getting older is not that I’m changing but as you said, that I’m also seeing the ones I love get older. I have trouble accepting other people’s mortality more than my own. I think aging is harder because of how we also change and get more ‘restricted’ physically. Because of certain things I’ve inherited, things I’m just biologically /genetically predisposed to, aging is becoming harder and harder for me (e.g. aching joints). But really all we can do is enjoy each day ‘above ground’. 🙂 P.S. Be grateful you are aging with much wisdom, Janine. It’s not true for a lot of people. xoxo

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