On a family trip to Paris in February this year tiredness had crept over me like a blanket.
I certainly looked my age.
Wrinkles caused by ageing and anxiety clearly to be seen marching across my face.
To make me feel even worse, my beloved happened to remark ‘you look really old’.
I had the chance to leave the boys sightseeing one morning and decided to spend the time doing a spot of window-shopping.
There is only one place a woman must go when visiting Paris and that is the Galeries Lafeyette.
This was the first time I had ever been into such a beautiful department store and I have to be honest my intention was to go shopping for something affordable and under €250.00, I didn’t want to leave empty handed and without a designer carrier bag. I browsed the designer stores even though prices made me draw breath.
I looked at the various cosmetic counters and the array of beauty products as I searched in vain for the elixir of life – anything to halt the ageing process or at least slow it down a bit. I admit that I would have facial enhancements if there weren’t other financial priorities.
The nearest I come to corrective facial surgery is the cucumber face pack I apply on my face when I can remember to find time or the occasional standing on my head, apparently gravity helps with the wrinkles.
I am finding the ageing process challenging and seeing the changes to my face even harder to ‘face’ up to.
Classified ‘as middle-aged’ but really 38 years young, in mind, body and soul, I do wonder what there is too look forward too?
As one friend said to me ‘you look great from behind, you might even get a wolf whistle, just don’t turn around without wearing your sunglasses’.
Thank you G-I-R-L-F-R-I-E-N-D.
In the film, Steel Magnolia’s, Dolly Parton’s character says ‘these thighs haven’t left this house without lycra on them since I was 14’. My face hasn’t left my house without something on it since I was 14.
My personal trainer is working on the body beautiful honing and toning me to near perfection in order that I don’t end up with thighs that look like they’ve been hit by a meteor shower.
The ageing process is a dire business for a woman like a tooth extraction, it is prolonged agony.
I am beginning to see my body parts move at different times despite my protestations. My belly has a definite mound and I can no longer see my sagging vagina, which I hasten to add is definitely heading south.
I have been assured by my personal trainer that I look damn good for my age but I think she might be lying.
I’ve noticed that the inside of my thighs aren’t quite so tight and although I do my best to exercise them I can stand in front of the mirror and shake my inner thighs and my chicken wings to Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie-Jean’.
The heart palpitations are the killer though suddenly creeping up on you like a horror movie that makes you jump right out of your skin. As a friend remarked recently it’s the menopause.
I hate the word menopause almost as much as the word ‘v-a-g-i-n-a’.
Why can’t we call it something else like sometimes, but not always cessation of period, or end of life as we know it.
Getting old isn’t just about age and wrinkles.
I know I am suppose to be well behaved and set an example but that’s impossible how can I do that when I swear at one of the mothers blocking the school car park entrance with her spangly X5.
Move out the f**k**g way I shout as she looks at me horrified but my professional work appearance doesn’t match what comes out of my mouth.
I wear boyfriend jeans with holes and VANS shoes and I love those t-shirts with ridiculous writing on them my recent acquisition being ‘I hate Mondays’ and my favourite ‘I’m famous but nobody knows it’.
I wear my Nike air max with my pencil skirt or a suit when my heels and feet ache. I listen to loud music when I collect my boys from school and deliberately open the window in order to try and look cool. I occasionally let off bum wind, I can’t always control what my bottom does, much to the disgust of my children.
Don’t misunderstand me I am uncomfortable performing this bodily function openly it just so happens that my children are often in ear shot when I do.
I can’t follow rules or stay off the grass, quite the opposite, I jump on it. If it says ‘don’t touch’, I have to touch it. I pick a fight with traffic wardens because they deserve it and I argue and disagree with anyone who thinks they know it all.
I tell people what I think when asked and don’t always think of the implications of what I say. I love the idea of a book club but can’t stand the women who go to them, they are old before their time.
I am more aware of death and am acquainted with it because at least twice a year an elderly friend or distant relative bites the dust. Death happens, it’s not nice but do we really think we can live forever?
With age I’ve found a different level of confidence it ebbs and flows depending on the company I find myself in. A room full of women scares the heck out of me, yet networking with business professionals whom I’ve never met holds no fear.
I find myself saying hello and smiling to complete strangers in the high street even if I get the two fingered salute. There is not enough smiling in this country no matter what is happening around us a smile costs nothing.
And I complain. I’m not afraid to complain about food in a restaurant and send it back. I am more than happy to argue with a retail assistant about an unsatisfactory purchase and ask for a refund.
I love technology and laugh when my kids say mum we’ve got to get this. Unsurprisingly I am ahead of them. If new technology means it speeds jobs up or makes me more productive I’m all for it.
I’m waiting for the humanoid robot that can clean the house, cook dinner, hang out the washing, give me a foot rub when required and then my husband and kids will be obsolete.
I hate it when someone I know deliberately lies to me about their age. What is the big deal about admitting your age. It’s on your driving licence, birth and death certificate so why not say your age and be proud of it.
Middle age does have it’s downside. I regularly forget where I put things, I go upstairs and forget what I went up for. I suffer with C-R-A-F-T (can’t remember a f*****g thing).
I can be in a business meeting and trail off during a sentence because I’ve forgotten what I was talking about and have to be reminded by those present.
I laugh when I am with friends who are in their thirties or early forties and they are chatting quite merrily only to say something like, ‘middle age is when you are old’. They refer to the 50+ brigade like it really is old age.
Talking to young people is a laugh. I remember exactly what I was like when I was their age and no matter how cool you try to be you know you just aren’t.
In spite of this I find myself using their slang when I talk with their friends, ‘that’s well sick’ I say or ‘that’s safe’. I never use this language and I scratch my head afterwards, what am I thinking? They look at me quizzically has she gone mad, is she taking the p*ss?
If Mick Jagger and Courtney Love can grow old disgracefully and have fun why can’t I? I may not be an ex-rocker wife but I do admit to a wild, mischievous and rebellious streak.
I act my age when the occasion demands but until then bugga bugga bugga.