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 37, 38 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’.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
But then again, apparently 40 is the new 30. I’m gonna embrace that and run with it.
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