A few weeks ago at work, it dawned on me that I am now, 'middle aged'.
For anyone 50 and above, I assume you have got over the shock and are used to it but at 38, it's a new thing. It's weird as you really do feel young in your head but certain things mean you aren't.
I feel I am too young to be doing stuff like the green t*tty women to the left but definitely too old to LOL with the OMG brigade. After having 2 kids I may literally PMSL!
I don't remember growing old and I don't think I have ever really grown up. Not properly anyway.
Obvious changes like wrinkles, baggy elbows, not being able to just eat what you want, grey hair, aching more after exercise etc are par for the course. But it's such a strange, uncertain phase.
Some time after 28 - 32 yrs, I slowly stopped getting asked how old I was when buying fags, or alcohol.
The day I actually realised that I hadn't been asked for over a year, was when He came home all cross because he had been refused cigarettes at the local mini supermarket. I felt a pang of jealousy. He was just p'eed off that the staff were incompetant as he'd bought cigarettes in there numerous times before.
I remember being asked if I was collecting 'vouchers for schools' by cashiers and feeling insulted that they could possibly even think I had kids. I was in my late 20's! I was in denial obviously.
In town I'd see young men doing market research surveys and think as they waved their arms at me, begging me to 'just answer a few questions, awww come on love', that bloody hell, they're doing that 'young n cheeky' thing!!!! The sort of side-stepping, skippy, clipped banter you make with your friends parents when you're 15 !!! They think I am old enough to be their mother!
They say if you have a bit of meat on your bones, you look younger and that being thin ages you. Well when I was thin/slim, I was young, so I associate slim with young, pretty me. And now that I waddle, I can assure you that it's fitness and confidence that make you look and feel younger, not meat! Although saying that, a 90 year old lady called Mrs Brown told me last year, ' you don't look your age because you are plump. like your daughter. Plump people always look prettier and more youthful'. Thanks Mrs Brown. Mrs Brown is a beautiful old lady. She is fantastic for her age. She has an aloof air about her that softens her wrinkles that I think comes from being wealthy.
Having responsibilty ages you. Having children is such a huge, life changing responsibility and I do miss the old me sometimes but I think if I had a little more money and time to myself, like Joan Collins, or Demi Moore, I'd still manage to look OK.
I have changed so much in 5 years. I think that is where the change occurs. Going from mid - late thirties.
I find it so much harder to get over things now... like exercising. An injury. A bad haircut. A night out. Hangovers last 48 hours minimum now. I literally am Ozzy Osbournes twin for the entire next day.
Dealing with other peoples regret, bitterness and negativity can age you too. A stressful job, or home life. Not being with the right person and just putting up with it.
On realising that I was middle aged, I cautiously typed, 'middle aged woman' in google and searched images. Do it. It throws back a varied result, ranging from women I can quite comfortably say I look younger than, (not that it should matter but it does) to women that make me think, 'yeah well she's got super genes/cheekbones/hooded eyes/grey-resistant shiny hair', so she doesn't count.
If I can stick to losing weight and toning up, (I still look 6 months pregnant sometimes), I may stick before/ after pics on here. It is a blooming struggle being a woman, (I can't speak for men), so I am honestly just trying to share this with you, hoping some of you identify and maybe share your experiences...I'm not just going 'LOOK AT ME'!
Anyway, things I have done til now are plenty and I am really very lucky to have found, 'The One' and to have had two healthy, brilliant children.
I have had a nice childhood, with a strong, hard-working Dad, funny, clever brother and mad as a box of frogs Mum. I wasn't bullied at school, met my best friends who I am still friends with, travelled, experienced lots of class A's, lived in three countries aside from England, served Keanu Reeves a 'mocha' & a date n ginger cookie in Sydney, (he was very serious & boring and only tipped $5), swam near The Barrier Reef and walked on a tiny island where the white sand was so fine that it squeaked under your feet. I've had two interviews re comedy writing with Talkback productions, worked for my Dad as a labourer, built a York Stone wall, met Him, had two beautiful babies, had botox and become MIDDLE AGED!
My life has changed. My outlook has changed. I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life chilling out and becoming confident again.
I will look after my babies and Him as best as i can and I will read more. I am also, egged on by Him, painting more too. I look forward to those rare moments when we can lay in bed and read the Sunday Times...and the News of The World, with a coffee, just balanced on the duvet. And I relish the other 99.9% of mornings, holding onto my coffee for dear life while a 2 and 4 yr old jump all over us, shouting and laughing.
I'm really looking forward to travelling properly again. Maybe in 15 years time, with Him, when our babies want to fend for themselves. I'll be exploring the world as a different woman. A more polite, less selfish, calmer woman. A middle aged woman.