Getting Old(er)

getting older

I am forty one years old. I quite like being this age.

I don’t really understand these ageing celebrities who are desperately trying to cling to their youth. I understand they must feel threatened by the prospect of not getting the attention they once used to, but the ones who make themselves look ridiculous with countless plastic surgeries I will never understand.

But it’s their body and to be honest I really don’t give a hoot what they do, it’s just an observation. When you read the Daily Mail as often as I do, ones eyes are opened to these sorts of things.

A bit like J-Lo. Watching her prance around on stage recently, jiggling her butt alongside someone 20 years younger – same thing. Although she’s not having surgery and she looks FREAKEN AMAZING, it’s irrelevant. She’s still clinging to her youth. It reeks of desperation and I think it’s a little embarrassing.

I am wondering if I’ll ever be like that. Obviously I won’t be on stage jiggling my ass with Iggy Azalea but will I be clinging to my younger self and at what age does it start? Forty one is only just slightly on the wrong side of 40 according to society as a whole and I can still tick that 35-45 age bracket that says you aren’t too old yet but you aint no spring chicken either.

I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything being 40+ but for example I couldn’t go on a Contiki holiday anymore, [sigh], oh dear how sad. Incidentally they’re not that memorable anyway. I did one of those once when I was 23. It was a European tour starting in Amsterdam so we arrived a couple of days earlier to “soak” up the Amsterdam culture. But instead we smoked it and I don’t remember a thing about the rest of the trip.

In fact last year we went to Rome and when we go to the Sistine Chapel none of it was even remotely familiar, even though I’d visited it all those years earlier on that Contiki tour. Clearly Dutch culture had a huge impact on me (or my long term memory anyway).

I would say out of all the decades I’ve lived, the forties have been my favourite. I’m only a couple of years in but I’m the most comfortable in my (slightly sagging) skin I’ve ever been.

Your twenties suck, I don’t care what anyone says. You’re expected to know where you want to go in life even though you’re probably still at uni or earning a pittance in a job you hate, you’re expected to be sort of sensible by your mid twenties, to be perhaps buying a property and for some, babies arrive. If you’re too far into your late twenties and are still traveling and having fun people think you’re a drifter, yet you’re really just a baby fresh out of high school or uni and you should be experiencing life and learning how the world works. Regardless, in your twenties you are almost always flat broke.

Your thirties are a bit better except then biological clocks come into play and let’s face it, for me I was pretty much pregnant the entire decade so I was either fat, breastfeeding, fat, sleep deprived, eating cake and chips, fat, thinking about losing weight or cleaning up a small person’s bodily fluids and reading books on how to keep a human alive.

By your thirties you’ve probably got a mortgage that if you’re lucky you’ll pay off by the turn of the next century. You wish you were in your twenties so you could go out and get plastered and forget how much debt you’re in but you can’t anyway because you’re probably pregnant or your partner is and you’re too busy doing servo runs in the middle of the night for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or pickled cucumbers. Sometimes both.

By the end of your thirties some of your friends will start to get divorced and when you’re not squeezing a baby out of your hooha you put your marriage counselling hat on to act as therapist for your friends. It’s exhausting I tell you.

Then forty comes along. With it comes a big party and for most of you it involves a week or so of heavy drinking that will destroy some of the brain cells that contain memory of how much your thirties sucked. Your kids have started school, some are finishing school, but whatever it may be – that little light you used to think was total bullshit, although it’s still not in sight you now believe in its existence.

Over half of your friends are divorced by now and some are on to round two of marriage. People are starting to work out that happiness is crucial and we all begin to offload the crap in our lives we don’t like. Or we make changes to our lives that make us more happy.

Cue mid life crisis. Sports car, expensive watch, buying a Harley Davidson – whatever it is – it’s all about trying to make a change to bring happiness.

Your forties are when if you have never been into exercise now is your chance. If it doesn’t happen now it never will. We all of a sudden realise life is getting better and we want to cling to that a bit longer. Wives start sending the husbands they like off for colonoscopies and heart scans to make sure their partners are going to hang around longer. Those who don’t like their spouses start thinking about a new one.

Women start to work out that mean women aren’t nice to have as friends so we cull our friendships in half and we nurture the ones worth nurturing.

Men start jumping out of planes at ridiculous heights for the thrill of it and they buy a bicycle worth more than their car and a tonne of skin-tight lycra.

You’re still in a crap load of debt but you’ve made peace with that and made a lifelong commitment to your mortgage lender who you are most certainly on first name basis with by now.

Life is good ….

I can’t really tell you anymore from there because I haven’t got there yet obviously. But I’m not sure about the fifties so I’ll take a stab at it.

It’s when your kids usually become teenagers and then I guess you spend a decade wishing you were twenty again so you could make the choice never to have kids.

Or maybe that’s just when you start thinking about plastic surgery.


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