|Photo via Wylio: Bùi Linh Ngân
Actually it should be ‘On being Over 40’ because yes, I am now officially 41 (not because I have an official birthday, although that would be nice, I just happen to have celebrated my birthday recently). I can no longer pretend that I am just out of my 30s or ‘just 40’, I have now completed an entire year of being ‘in my forties’…
You know, I’ve never been someone who worries about age and getting older, in fact I used to joke about being someone who would grow old ‘disgracefully’, I have said in the last few years, I love my age, and I am not someone who looks back with regret, I actually love how I am growing with age, learning more, getting closer to God, growing in wisdom (I hope!).
But, the thing is I now actually feel like I’m getting older, a few years ago it didn’t phase me because I didn’t really notice it. And yet now? Well now, it’s almost like my body has flicked a switch and it’s resigned to the fact that it is getting older. Each morning there is another ache or pain, a wrinkle that appears – even when I’m not frowning – I get invites to friends parties who are now turning ’50’, and what’s more, I actually find myself enjoying Radio 2 (sometimes…)
So indulge me for a moment whilst I have a bit of moan about it all. Here’s 10 things I really dislike about being 40.
Ok so they gradually appear over the years but it’s like suddenly I have woken up and looked in the mirror and realised these ones won’t disappear when I’ve been awake for a while (no matter how much I try and rub them away). And there’s only going to be more…
2) I have bags under my eyes which just don’t disappear!
Ok so I’m always tired but I’d rather people didn’t say to me quite so often ‘oooh, you look tired, are you getting enough rest?’ in that slightly patronising tone that well meaning people have…
3) Being “Middle Aged”
What is it about that term that makes me want to vomit? Middle aged? half way through my life? If there’s anything that will strike fear into your heart about age it’s being called ‘middle aged’. In fact my Mother in Law first called me that a few years ago at which point I was in denial, well now I am 41 I can’t deny it any longer. I feel the need to accept it, like some kind of addiction. My name is Jules and I am middle aged.
4) Aches and pains
Oh My Gosh… what is it about getting older that makes you hurt so much? what is that about? I feel like my body is literally giving up the ghost. Few are the mornings where I don’t wake up stiff or in some sort of pain. I had a problem with my hand recently and the doc told me I am now at the bottom end of the spectrum for arthritis. What? arthritis, oh my gosh I am 40 not 70… (well 41, see I’m still in denial…)
I once wrote about having a love affair with my bed. I think this was misinterpreted by a dear friend to mean something else. But I do love my bed. I love to sleep. I go to bed hours before my teenage daughter, when once I was the one being up half the night reading or watching trash on the telly (and it seems like it was just yesterday!). What’s more I sleep on any car journey more than about 10 miles. I even fall asleep on the train on the way to college, which, let’s face it, is just plain embarrassing.
6) Awkward conversations
Really, why do women (and it is largely women) as they get older, talk about the awful, embarrassing things that start going wrong with your body as you age? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, I do not want to be part of any conversation that includes the terms ‘bladder control’, ‘perimenopause’ or ‘ovaries’ (and there are some vastly worse ones too that I can’t even type without shuddering). ugh. If or when I have to deal with these I shall not be striking fear into the hearts of younger women by discussing them.
And what’s more, it’s sad that people even think I am old enough to be included in these conversations…. *sigh*
7) No more babies
Not that I want another one, and to be fair there is no reason why we couldn’t actually have one, but the reality is I think we’ve gone beyond that point. The youngest is 9 and in reality another baby would simply exacerbate no’s 1, 2, 4 & 5!! And this makes me a little bit sad.
8) Thinking Doctors and Policemen are young
OH WOW, I am my mother.
Seriously though, I spent a night in a&e recently with one of my kids and we saw 2 senior doctors, both of whom looked like they should be out clubbing not checking my daughter’s bloods. Why on earth I have suddenly started noticing this? Doctors and police have always been this age, why am I suddenly noticing it now? What is happening in my brain?!
9) Walks are a joy
More than getting some exercise or having any particular purpose, I find that I just love walking. There are not many things that I can think of that I find more enjoyable or relaxing than going for a nice walk, even in the rain and wind. So, now I am my Father too…
10) Tick boxes
And possibly the worst thing, don’t now why, just is: In most general surveys or application forms you get those boxes where you have to tick your age. Some of them change at 40 it’s true – you know the 35-39 age bracket? Well there’s no denying it now, none of them stop at 41 sadly. I am now in the category that goes up to 55.
Saga brochures will be next…