Hey age, you scurrilous demon, you thief of time and wrinkle-free skin. Could you just stop chipping away at my body, mind and soul?
They say growing old is a privilege afforded to few. And I am very grateful to still be here. But youth is beginning to fade like a setting sun over a cloudy horizon. And I’m sorry to see it go, before I’d really had a chance to befriend it, enjoy it and realise I had it.
Things I hate about drifting into my mid 30s:
I’ve STILL got spots. Weren’t they supposed to be a teenage thing? I’m kind of bored of them now.
Crows feet, or soften the blow and call them laughter lines. For indeed HA HA HA at ageing! It is hilarious. But seriously, wrinkles and spots? Not fair.
Grey hair. A tone bracket into which my brunette locks are rapidly falling.
If you’re older than my 34 years you’re probably thinking oh ho ho ho, you’ve got more coming love. If you’re younger, you’re probably thinking there’s nothing I can relate to here, I’m off to the pub with my mates. Yes, I remember being you.
I have a wonderful friend who puts presents beside my bed whenever I stay over. Isn’t that gloriously kind? Recently, my gift was Cameron Diaz’s new book on ageing, because my friend knows I love Cameron Diaz and all that she is / does / thinks.
Cameron goes into great detail about the science and reality of the ageing process, which only served to remind me I’m not Truman Show-ing this performance, for a big reveal at the end where it turns out you’re all acting and I’m going to live forever, after you’ve all given me a round of applause. No, it’s happening, it’s science and it’s unstoppable. Diaz is cool about it – peaceful acceptance is her vibe. I need to channel that.
My knees crack and ache if I dare crouch. I make pained noises when I stand up, stiff as an old dog. No wonder dogs invented downward dog, it’s the only way to ease movement back into these creaky limbs.
I miss festivals. I miss rolling around in mud with my bestest friends, the smashing group of people the universe decided to bring into my life at that pivotal stage when careers and kids and stuff haven’t taken over, but you’re old enough to go out and sink a load of booze and tell each other you love each other long after the sun’s gone down and come back up again. I miss the freedom we used to have to festival the shit out of summer.
But… wait. I love my 30s too.
I don’t miss festivals. I don’t miss getting a bad back because I rolled around in the mud. I don’t miss feeling sad for days afterwards because there’s no serotonin left in my brain. I don’t miss the mud, the trudging, the cost, the rain. My friendships are evolving. With greater sobriety comes greater bonding. My gin goggles are smashed on the ground and with my coconut water goggles on, I see my friends for their true wondrousness, not their 5am wondrousness.
These days, I’m a little bit more affluent on account of actually working now, so I skip festivals and splash the cash on adventures where I return feeling restored and raring, not buggered and dying. Yoga retreats. South East Asian travels. Hiking in the Lake District. More compassion, less kebabs. More day, less night. My body aches because I exercised, not because I’m not sure what I did last night but look at these bruises!
I’m edging ever closer to retirement, which looks fun. Getting old is better on the inside and being young is better on the outside. It’s better to be better on the inside. But oh to be this wise and this happy AND have elastic skin and zero wrinkles!
At least my boobs are still pert. A consequence of my childfree choice – what a bonus for creaky, achy, wise old me.