Getting older is something you desperately wish for as a child. Mesmerised by the bigger kids you see a world that can only be accessed by ageing. A world that you want to be part of. Later bedtimes, playing out solo, getting the bus, wearing make up. Older is the holy grail, each year can't come soon enough. Older is cooler, older is aspirational, older is better. Isn't it?
|Stay cool at all times. I am nearly 6 you know.|
After climbing the ladder of life you bid a bitter sweet farewell to your turbulent teens and embark on the magical twentys. Life is fun, exciting, full of new adventures. First jobs, cars, loves, marriages, houses, break ups and make ups. Working hard and partying harder. Holidays soaking up the sun with beach fit bodies. Carefree days and lazy nights. Free to do whatever you desire. If only there was a pause button. Suddenly getting older is not cooler, by no means aspirational and definitely not better. You've seen those thirty somethings with tired eyes, whinging kids and bad dance moves.
|We are the twenty girls|
Too quickly you arrive at thirty, kicking and screaming with an unpleasant taste in your mouth from losing your twenty status.To add insult to injury the arrival of children delivers an almighty unexpected smack in the face. Expectation versus reality = massive difference. So ensues a period of mourning and adjustment for your pre child life, body, mind and sleep pattern. My 30's have been the most testing but also most valuable period of my life (so far). Learning and realisation have featured heavily. Learning about myself, about others. Learning how to be a parent and at times how not to. Realising what's important in life and what I want. Realising my strengths and weaknesses. True ones, not just 'I'm a team player' CV type ones. Not being afraid to say what I think. Standing up for what I believe in. I realise now why older people can be seen as grumpy. They're not. They just don't feel the need to have to please anymore or take any shit. Believe me I'm slowly getting there and it feels great.
|We are the thirty girls|
So from around 35 I've been gradually coming to terms with ageing. Feeling comfortable that I no longer rock a tight twenties body, need the help of a bra and would prefer a night in than out. This years holiday destination was full of thirty somethings. People just like me. People who once were hip, groovy twenty somethings. Aged 37, in my tankini it all clicked into place. I am older and it's fine. My body has made, carried and birthed my two amazing sons so I will wear my not so toned tummy with pride. My eyes may look tired but there's a thousand million amazing experiences behind them so I'll take tired any day. My kids might be whinging, at that moment but there are also a zillion fun, sweet, fabulous moments. My dance moves may be bad but who cares I've got my hubbie and I'm pretty sure he can't divorce me for bad dancing. I'm not twenty and I've finally realised nor do I want to be. I don't envy the twenty somethings anymore. I'm happy for the younger generation starting their journey of lifes ups and downs. I don't mind their beach fit bodies, sparkling eyes (through lots of lovely undisturbed sleep, grrrrr) or in the know dance moves. They need to enjoy every second while they can as what they don't realise is thirty is waiting. Quietly, patiently for them to leave the safety of 29.
|During your thirties sunbeds are no longer places of rest and relaxation just somewhere to keep the dingy|
In April 2019 I'll be 40 and cannot wait. My youngest will be 4 and my eldest will be 8. There will be no pushchairs, highchairs, nappies, dummies or plastic cutlery. Teething nights followed by tiring days will be in the past. I can say goodbye to my oversized bag with changes of clothes, snacks and toys to entertain. I can welcome back spontaneity, bubble baths, relaxing with a book. Socialising and staying out without worrying about sleeping patterns and bedtimes. I'm sure the forties will hold plenty of other challenges and as the memory of toddler tantrums and disturbed nights fade I'll reflect nostalgically about my thirties. But for now I can't wait to join the 40 gang.