Albert Einstein was on to something when he said Time is an illusion. I find myself once again asking: Where has the time gone? It does not seem like a year since my boys and I went to Largs for the day in the scorching sunshine. Personally, it's been a fairly good year over all, can't really complain. Politically, it's been an abysmal year and I complain about that regularly, but at least I am doing something positive about that. Joining the Scottish Green Party was one of the better decisions I made in the past year. By all accounts though, 36 is a bit meh! You're not on the young side of 30-35, but not quite reaching the new and exciting decade of your 40's. So yeh, it's just a bit meh. I actually had to think today, am I 37 or 38?
In my early-mid 20's, my 30's seemed like some time in the way distant future; 35 was my 'scary age', the tipping point from young to old. In reality, my early 30's were too busy being elbow deep in nappies, pureed 'food' and the growth of my little person to feel anything other than swings of excessive tiredness and "awww" moments. Mainlining coffee ensured my (and his) survival. 35 as it turns out, wasn't at all scary. Nor was it my tipping point. The blah-ness of 36 has transpired to be said tipping point, but not in the way I imagined. I may be getting older, okay, so there is no may be, but I don't feel particularly older or of a particular age, or feel that I should be acting/looking/dressing my age. For what would that look like? Society's conformist ideals of how one ought to present themselves? I think we have already established that I don't really hold conformity in any regard. I think I don't feel mid-late 30's for 3 reasons :
1. Age schmage! Physically I am 37 (according to the 'How old is your heart' quiz recently on a health page, it did actually return a verdict of 37 years old!), but depending upon the day/the hour/ the events of previous 10 mins, I can feel youthfully energetic or lethargically geriatric. When it is said that youth is wasted on the young, I can agree with it. I think about the stuff I used to do, or used to want to do - and now I can and in some cases, still can! Plus, some things never age - like good music, literature or well made clothes (I still have a jumper in my wardrobe that I have had since I was 15, it has stretched down to my knees now and is only worn when not feeling well or having a day when NO-ONE will see me!)
2. I don't fear getting older. I am actually fascinated by it. My wisdom highlights are fascinating, and while I dye my hair just now, it's not to cover the grey necessarily, it's because I like the colours and my natural colour is really dull. I accidentally over sprayed dry shampoo the other night and got a glimpse of what I will look like in years to come with full grey; I kinda liked it. Wrinkles are also fascinating. I don't have too many but I have clearly laughed a lot! There is also now the added bonus of having the life experience. With that experience though, comes the more lengthy and more informed constant inner monologue and active imagination. My head won't quit!
3. I don't actually care any more. It's been a work in progress for a number of years but letting go of what others thinks is good for the soul. It lessens the load and eases the stress. I know who I am, I know who I was, but I don't yet know who I will become. There's nothing to stop me being me, and if that means embracing my 16 year old ideals or letting my hair go grey, then I can and I will. What is growing old gracefully? Who decided the rules? Who cares?? As long as we are confident and comfortable in ourselves, then if someone wants to be a dick about it, that's their problem.
There is much to be said about living in the present, not dwelling on the past or wishing life away looking to the future. This is what I am working on; enjoying each day, or at least something in every day to be joyful about, otherwise what's the point? And trying really hard not to sound like all the sanctimonious bullshit out there on internet and in Women's magazines, embrace everything life throws. The good, the bad, the wrinkly, the grey, the nostaglic; its all experience, it's all part of life. I have my own wee mantra that is relevant, to me anyway : We are always learning and forever growing.
So, my 37th birthday. It was a low key event; starting with a date with Hubby on Friday (he was working today) to Glasgow. We shopped in the West End vintage shops, with my 'birthday money' I received early from my inlaws, and treated myself to my coveted velvet blazer, a groovy 60's print shell top and a pair of shades. We had fabulous burgers in the place in Ashton Lane (only had burgers because the burrito place wasn't open). We had a lovely evening planned back home once we collected Kiddo from my inlaws as Hubby was night off. But alas our plans were foiled when Hubby unfortunately answered the house phone...sick call at work, and being the only night duty manager, hubby had to go in to cover. I'm sure you can imagine my reaction and choice of language, expressing my feelings towards our employer....
Anyhoos, today I was given a beautiful silver and turquoise ring from my boys, once Kiddo padded through to our room. His first words to me were "Happy birthday Mum, how did you sleep?".
Instead of a tradition cake, I got Mr Kipling French Fancies (and a chocolate orange which I ate for breakfast)
Step away from the yellow ones - they are MINE!!
I didn't just have French Fancies for my cake, oh no, I also had cheesecake. Key Lime no less. Are there any better birthday cakes? Well, yes according to both Kiddo and Hubby - they are both particularly fond of my mother in law's home baked dumpling (the recipe of which I have yet to learn).
The evening rounded off (before Hubby headed back out to work) with the 3 of us watching a film. Tonight's choice was selected by Kiddo and was one I hadn't seen; Jurassic Park 3. He loved it.The most comical part of the day has to go to the telephone conversation with my Mum, who had just returned from her holiday and been in the door about 10 mins before she called me. We were chatting about her holiday for about 5 or 6 mins when she asked: "Have you heard from your sister?"
Me : Aye, this morning
Mum : What did she say?
Me : Happy birthday! (in my ever so slightly sarcastic tone...)
Mum : Well she's a day out
Me : No she's not
Mum : Eh? What day is it?
Me : Tuesday, 16th June. My birthday.
Mum : No, it's tomorrow. We fly home today and tomorrow is your birthday.
Me : I can assure you, my birthday is today (by now, Hubby and Kiddo are in fits of laughter in the background, snaffling the pink and brown French Fancies. Turns out Kiddo doesn't like French Fancies. What sort of person doesn't like a French Fancy?? Maybe he would have liked the yellow ones...)
Mum : (calls to my Dad) : Here, it's your daughter's birthday today
Dad : (from somewhere in the background) No it's no, it's the moarn"
Mum : No, it's today!
Sorry, hen. I was convinced it was the after we came home. I didn't even text you this morning
Me : I know
Mum : (to my Dad) You'd better text your daughter!
Yes, they're not going to get to live this one down! Happy birthday to me!
In keeping with my refusal to acknowledge my age, here's Bob Dylan.