So, it's been just over a week since I hit half a century, and I’ve been thinking (possibly over-thinking) what future birthdays might mean to me.
For a start, should I change my blog tagline? Does fifty still count as post-forty, don’t you have to be at least 51 to be ‘post’ fifty, etc etc… does anyone really care!? Also, having recently been warned by a so called friend “be careful you don’t stop looking after yourself now you’re middle aged”, I am determined to dispel any chance of becoming frumpy fifty, and over the months and years ahead will look to explore my hidden 'foxy’ fifties side instead!
I guess as we reach a certain time of life it’s easy to become less excited about our own birthdays, and perhaps not quite so enthusiastic in our ‘celebration’ of becoming yet another year older. Though as I write this, I’m scolding myself... what are you thinking woman, you’re 50 not 90 - that said, I shall be highly delighted if I get anywhere near such a grand old age. And, the more I think, the more I ask myself why do we so often see growing older as such a negative. Isn’t having avoided the alternative for yet another year in itself something to be thankful for? In fact it should be argued that actually, the older we get the more there is to celebrate!
I read a quote once which went something like “If you didn’t know how old you are, how old would you be?” and yes, some days the answer to that question may well be 65 plus, but in all honesty most of the time it would be a figure considerably younger than I am. All things considered, I reckon far more good than bad comes with age, and it’s just a matter of seeing our birthday-tipple-glass as half-full as opposed to half-empty.
So, accepting I can do nothing to slow the passing of time, and realising I am in fact super lucky to have survived and experienced the joys, trials and tribulations of yet another year, I’ve decided that all future birthdays will go something like this…
They will be at least a day (more if I can manage to drag it out) of pure, unashamed, indulgent ME time. Perhaps I’ll sip champagne and eat cake (lots of cake), and if I so wish, spend all day in a onesie curled up in front of a log fire with the pets, watching my favourite movie (one problem, I don’t actually own a onesie at this point in time, but maybe a pressie idea for my next birthday). If I’m feeling a little more adventurous I may decide to disappear with my lovely hubby for a whole weekend (longer if the mood takes me) to enjoy some kind of mysterious romantic escape - all paid for by him of course ;-). In a nutshell, I shall be unashamedly selfish and do whatever my heart desires.
Also, in my perfect birthday dream, I will be inundated with birthday well-wishes from loved ones; and cards of the hand-crafted, cute, sentimental, humorous and pure filthy variety will drop through my letterbox and adorn my mantle-piece. If I’m lucky, my birthday celebrations might also include parties, evenings out and, of course, pressies! And I will remind myself, that I may be a year older, but I am also a year
wider… erm wiser! What’s not to love?!
Harsh (but true) I am fully aware that post 50, too much champagne sipping will result in needing the loo in the middle of the night, being unable to get out of bed in the morning, puffy eyes, and raging heartburn. The oh so sweet and completely decadent birthday cake will leave me feeling bloated, guilty, and will almost certainly lead to tears the next time I step on the scales. I will prepare myself for the fact that birthday surprises at this time of life might also include a few extra fine lines around the eyes, age-spot mass multiplication, and the odd addition to my growing collection of silver highlights. I accept that I may also notice an increase in my short term memory loss (although, that may possibly be more to do with the excessive champagne sipping than age, in which case it’s absolutely worth it!).
And finally... the Ugly
Well, I reckon this will only set in if I don’t spend my fifty plus birthday celebrations enjoying the good and
accepting the bad. My plan to avoid any ‘ugliness’ is to embrace my
so-called maturity, along with the knowledge and experience that come with it.
I’m going to celebrate the fact that yet another birthday means I’ve been lucky
enough to have spent a further year taking pride in my wonderful family;
forming new relationships and seeing existing ones deepen; I’ve been afforded
the time and opportunity to travel and see a little more of our amazing world,
to discover all kinds of weird and wonderful ways to have more fun (please
don't read too much into that!); to continue to learn and develop in all kinds
of ways; and to experience things I thought (or actually in some cases hoped) I
never ever would. Any potential ugliness... dealt with!
And so, age-related deep thinking aside, I can now begin to embrace the adventures and challenges of the year ahead (good, bad and ugly) whilst looking forward to my next wonderful birthday!
Many happy returns one and all, whatever your age.
Wow! It's been quite a while still I last posted... really enjoyed that.
(Adapted from my original post ‘Birthdays, the Good the Bad and the Ugly, Dec 2013)