So, it is done and it is true what that say, life really does go on.
As the day loomed and time in its relentless pursuit marched on, the smell of my fear became more pungent. Whilst my determination to make middle age an era of opportunity and adventure is absolute there was just something about actually crossing over the great divide that I could not wrap my mind around. A moment in time, a mere second and here I am on the other side of fifty.
Whilst the great event occurred a couple of days ago, I have only now plucked up the courage to recount my thoughts during the dying moments of what has undoubtedly been my best decade. For my fourth decade was when I asked:
Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
and my forty something year old self echoed back a resounding
In line with the great “one day I’ll look back on this and laugh” tradition, I penned the following in the dying hours of my forty-ninth year :
- Sometime overnight I’m going to cross the great abyss. Logically, I know I’ll awaken in the same bed, in the same body, but sometime during the night when the moon steals the light from the sun, time will steal from me another decade.
- Politicians really do write to you on your 50th birthday, on rather posh looking stationary containing a signature that was actually penned by a human. This is not to infer that politicians are human, but apparently reaching 50 is seen by some as a great achievement. I understand at 75 there will be a telegram from HRH. Chances are by that stage HRH will be a him and I suspect that the birthday greeting may come in the form of a tweet. I mean, who sends telegrams anymore?
- I have no need to lament the loss of perky boobs or a thin waist. I never had them during what most people would consider my heyday. My confidence and body have now finally crossed paths and whilst there’s a few things I would tweak, I’m certainly not crying over the loss of my 20’s body. In fact, I’d be crying if I still had it.
- Is there something pre-ordained at birth about being chosen to live a counter-cyclical life? Sure, my life has proceeded down along the conventional route of birth, school, university, marriage, career, motherhood and mortgage. However, emotionally I have never felt better or more adventurous. With the boys getting older, it is now all ahead of me.
- Sometimes I look at people the same age as me and am overcome with the sensation that I am surrounded by old people. Not that age has anything to do it with per se, but I wonder if they look at me and feel the same. I sincerely hope not. Particularly as I’m just regaining some relevance and credibility to my teenaged progeny. Surely it’s about outlook and energy levels, people!
- I seem to be entering the age when it is fashionable to engage in “unwellness” contests. This shits me to tears. I can’t understand why anyone would want to compete to have the most complex health problems or the most famous specialist treating them. Since when did having a health problem become a social status symbol? Don’t get me wrong, when people talk about their health problems I will listen patiently, but I don’t see the need to raise the stakes by out “bad healthing” them. It takes me back to the days of playgroup and new mothers competing over who had the worst labour stories. Ick!
- Patience really is a virtue and I’m getting more virtuous as the years roll on. Another counter-cyclical trait?
- One of the best decisions I made was not to have a big birthday bash, but to make this a jubilee year and have lots of little celebrations over the length of it. From celebrating with friends on different continents to high tea in the mountains, the celebrations will focus on our shared milestone of friendship not about my individual milestone of reaching 50.
- I’m actually younger than Michelle Obama – go figure.
- Zzzzzzzzzzzzz well, by then it was 10.45 pm.
Having survived the fall over the abyss, I’m moving forward smug in the knowledge that there’s another 10 years to go before I have to worry about another milestone birthday and that it won’t involve correspondence from a politician.
Have you ever received birthday greetings from a politician? Do you stress about milestone birthdays?