The Blonde Child wanted to talk about her birthday the other day – the birthday that occurs in December. No, I told her resolutely, I’m not even entering into a discussion about that until at least October. And then I realised by then I will have had another birthday myself and will be the ripe old age of 45. Yes, 2018 is the year I officially turn middle aged – assuming of course that I last until 90, which I do hope will be the case, although I have my doubts.
For me, I didn’t start feeling ‘40-ish’ until well into my 43rd or 44th year. I don’t think you really feel your decade until mid-way through it. The day I turned 40 I obviously made a big fuss about getting old, but really I spent a fabulous night at the Island Shangri-La and had a great big party the following weekend when I was, let’s face it, only a few days out of my 30s.
I feel it has taken until now for the full day of middle age reckoning to arrive. And this is how things have changed…
- I much prefer lunches to dinners. I am exhausted by 9pm and really can’t be doing with hanging around Soho when I could be tucked up on the couch with a boiled egg and Netflix. Neither my digestion nor my middle aged nocturnal sleeping patterns can cope with late night dinners and alcohol. Lunch, on the other hand, is immensely more do-able. Even – perhaps especially – when it’s French champagne-fuelled.
- If I do end up with an evening dinner invitation, I have to download the menu beforehand to make my meal selection. That or drag out an industrial sized magnifying glass to study it in the inevitably dimly lit restaurant. Which is another reason I prefer heading over to our local Castelo than schlepping into town – it’s light and bright and I’ve pretty much memorised the food options over the years.
- Comfort is the name of the game. I’ve never been great in a pair of heels, but these days I’m even less inclined to try – give me a pair of Old Skool Vans over Christian Laboutins any day.
- Which leads me onto swimwear. I have now officially given up on the two-piece. I have come close to the former glory of my pre-pregnancy days a couple of times, but to be honest it involved a huge amount of non-eating and general effort – and then last summer the Teen Child and friends accompanied us on a couple of junks and I threw in the towel completely. Even Cindy, Kate, Naomi et al would struggle to compete with a boatload of sprightly, taut, dewy-faced 15-year olds who can pack away a huge carb-laden buffet lunch and still remain breezily flat stomached. So it’s supportive one pieces all the way from now on – who am I trying to impress?
- I no longer ‘do’ my birthday. I have been excited about this one day of the year my whole life, but last year started to harbour doubts about the whole shebang. This year I think I might remove the date from my Facebook page altogether and retire to the couch (see point 1).
- My leisure wear wardrobe is now bigger than my going out wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to dress up (especially if a lunch is involved, again, refer to point 1), but to be honest I’m only really starting to feel my best these days in a pair of trackie pants and an oversized hoodie. And an elasticated sports bra.
- No matter how many HIIT sessions I go to, I’m unlikely to develop visible abs. Or biceps. Or any other kind of muscle definition. But I’m happy with that. These days, exercising is all about the post workout coffee and chat.
- The addition of make-up only really perfects my skin if it’s being viewed in a dimly lit room, ideally by candlelight. I can no longer boast dewy skinned complexion perfection at any given moment with a slick of concealer and a blob of foundation. And I’m too scared to go under the needle.
- I am unable to operate most household tech without the help of the Teen or the Tween Child, or even the Blonde or the Boy Child. Seventy billion remotes later and I still can’t figure out how to turn the TV up.
- We have sold the convertible. And I don’t care. I’m much happier with the family-friendly 4WD – it’s higher off the ground which means I don’t cripple my back crawling in and out of it.
Some might call it giving up, but at 45 I’m older, wiser (and maybe even a little bit wealthier), so I like to call it ‘giving middle age my best shot’. Now would somebody please pass the Bolly?