HOW OLD AM I?

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!