Yesterday I had one of those blinding moments when I was confronted by a truth that somewhat shook my view of myself. I realised that I am older than both David Cameron – the new Prime Minister in the UK and his deputy, Nick Clegg. What? Yep, both men are younger than me… and I sure as hell don’t feel old enough to run a club, never mind a big country with an economy and millions of people! Is it time for me to accept my middle age? With the benefit of my accumulated years, here are some things to watch out for, if you too are heading for ‘mid life’.

* You meet someone socially, who you automatically consider a peer, until they mention the year they were born. It is the year you left school/college.

* You are driving on the motorway and begin to wonder who owns the spotty, saggy hands on the steering wheel.

* You go to your child’s parent-teacher meeting and you look like the Teacher’s mother.

* You have to attend a medical consultant and you spend the entire appointment fighting to the urge to ask him/her if they are sure they are qualified, ‘cos they look way, way too young.

* Your ten year passport (or driver’s licence) expires and you actually seriously consider phoning up to ask if they could just amend the text and leave the photo in place.

* You realise that you are booked to go out two nights in a row and are filled with dread at the thought of just how tired that you will make you. And you realise that you will miss two nights of long bedtime reading.

* You catch sight of yourself passing a window and begin to smile in preparation for greeting your mother!

I have experienced all of the above and each event left me feeling slightly off kilter. So let me now share with you some things to balance the feeling of getting older with some of the definite benefits of reaching middle age!

* You finally realise why long scarves were invented – they add instant glamour and hide a multitude.

* You appreciate good coffee and have the patience to wait for it to brew.

* You now know that it is not a luxury to visit the Hairdresser every month for colour. It is as essential as buying milk and bread.

* You know that simple things make a huge difference – fresh bed linen, a lavender bath and a good book.

* You have learned how to say No – gently but firmly.

* You are no longer overly concerned about other people’s opinions of you.

* You understand the value of making great memories which will sustain you on long, dark nights.

* You know that life will always have highs and lows – it’s how you react to the lows that will dictate your sanity.

* You are no longer afraid to fail but very afraid of never trying!

So, whatever your age – embrace it as a positive. But beware of those sneaky moments when you are suddenly confronted with the fact that you are no longer in your twenties. And when such moments knock you off balance, re-read the list of positives and enjoy your seniority!

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers. Debut book out in Spring 2022

15 thoughts on “HOW OLD AM I?”

  1. Hi Barbara, brilliant, witty and so true.
    Isnt it said about the wanting to stay in with a good book?
    We must have overdone it in the Pink Elephant and Club Nausea (Club Nassau, i think was the real name) in the 80s.
    Agree about the teachers and doctors.
    Have a rest now, dear, after all that strenuous typing, I have added a note to Capricorn for you !!

  2. LOL a great list! I will have to remember it for when it's “time”. Although, I'm in my 20s and sometimes make plans and then dread them because I'd rather be at home relaxing/reading/cleaning/sleeping LOL! It's early onset I guess!

  3. What a fun and true list! I'm not there for some of it. Some years ago, I remember seeing a police officer and thinking if something happened, he looked too young to protect us.

    I can relate to the top of your list. I forget I'm no longer in my 20s and so when I realize someone probably thinks of me as NOT their peer when I thought we were practically the same age.

    When baseball and basketball players hit my age, they're retiring or getting ready to. Regardless, they're past their prime.

  4. Oooh Barbara, I am there with you! lol

    Especially on the meeting people who I too consider peers, and realising that in some cases I am old enough to be their mother!. . . Doctors, Dentists and Policemen too!

  5. Hi Brigid : so you mis-spent too many nights in the Pink too…. explains mucho! We may have danced within feet of each other in the 80s! Ha ha

    Hi Maureen: you gave me all this material – years ago!!!!!

    Hi Almybnenr: don't stay in too much! You will have nothing to write about and no memories to sustain you when you reach the heady heights of your late 40s!! Go out lots now and you will be ready for PJs, books and baths!!

    Hi Theresa : looking forward to our 20something coffee in Avoca when you get here!!!

    Susannah: my youngest had to have a dental op last year and I just could not get over her consultant.. he was a mere baby. I had a real difficulty in trusting him with my own baby!!

    Thanks all for dropping by and commenting!!

  6. Hi Barbara, definately agreeing with some of those! Edging to forty now and the thoughts of two nights out in a row have me already making excuses why I def can't go. Lavender baths, fresh bedlinen and a good book have become much more inviting! I've also noticed the music in pubs is too loud and all those young ones must be freezing! I'll find myself one night giving out earplugs and cardigans. The thing about aging is that it seems to creep up and at the same time happen overnight!
    I completely agree with your last point, the fear is no longer of failing, but of never trying at all, and its so liberating not to care what people think. All the best!

  7. Hi Barbara, What a laugh! Just had the second night in a row experience this weekend! Bowed out early taking to my bed with book tightly in hand. The passport and drivers licence photo scenario have also crossed my mind. Just hate that photo thing!!!

  8. This is a wonderful post, Barbara, and so true. When you get to be my age, though, you'll give up on the hair color too. Too much trouble, and nobody believes it anyway. 🙂

    When you have time, please stop by my blog. I have something for you.

  9. Just wait until you think you look like someone's GRANDMOTHER!!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.

    It was fun reading through this list. I'm printing it out. I think I've passed through most of them!!

  10. This is a great list. I live in a college town, and it's always a shock to realize that I'm not the age of the students anymore, I'm the age of (some of) their mothers!

  11. Good post – I like the way you end up on the positives! You know, I also did a slight double-take at the age of David Cameron and Nick Clegg. They are both a little older than me, but not by many years, and I was like oh. Oh!

  12. Thanks everyone for the comments – glad to know that we all more or less feel the same way… and I think that is all proves that the old adage that says “age is just a state of mind” is very true. We might look a bit saggy and baggy but inside we are all still in our twenties!

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