Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Age is just a number, but

I have six months a little over half a year until I leave my Twenties (the latter sounds like longer- so I'll go with that). I'm not sure I like this. I'm pretty sure I don't like this. Oh- its weird. I've always looked quite young, I still get IDd (and did before the 'challenge if you suspect they may be under 25' thingy), yet the thought of actually getting older in number worries me. I was the only one of my friends who was actually old enough to see the '12' when we went to see Mrs. Doubtfire- and the only one that they suspected was underage. I've got used to comments about my young-ness, and people passing judgement about me being a 'young single mum' etc. I got IDd with a 37 year old last year, who was buying wine in Marks and Spencers, because I happened to be with him. So yeah, I look young. 

  Sporting the Obligatory-Allotment-Pigtails. 
17? Try 26...

I feel young-ish too. I have clear memories of what it feels like to be 3, 6, 10, 15, 18, 21- because of significant things that happened at these times (be they 'A' level celebrations or the receipt of a Superted pencil case for my Birthday- all vital milestones!) But beyond 15, I didn't feel like I aged... and that was half a lifetime ago. I was a girl getting married and having babies and making houses, in her twenties who definately felt as though she was no older than 15. I didn't feel I'd learnt, or changed or grown. I was not immature, but young at heart- I was wearing mittens and bouncing, pulling silly faces and loving the swings. Well I still do these things if I'm honest.

 Being little.

Just recently, because I suppose I'm looking back on the twenties and all of the things that have happened, and all of the things that I wish I'd done, I've realised that inside, I am 29- I have definately had my fair share of 29 years of life- so much has happened. And physically- I cannot expect to drink so much cider without the side effects any more! And I need to accept that I will have to exercise to keep trim, after years of sporting the 'in need of a hot-dinner' look without trying. I still suffer witha couple of health issues after the birth of my children, and I ache badly, have cold hands and feet a lot, and get coughs, colds and headaches, because I can't expect to cope so well without sleep as I once did. Oh I realise I'm not an old lady by any means- but I make no apologies for stating that physically, I am no longer a spring chicken. I think this comes from years of not taking care of myself and my diet, and spending too much energy on people that aren't myself, and worrying far too much... about fair enough things, but it takes its toll.

 At one of my skinniest and saddest (and 
just out of the shower- please excuse the hair!)- with the 
whole world on my mind.

I am not particularly depressed, so please don't mis-judge the tone of this! But I do need to turn things around- I need to make actual effort to enter my thirties proud and happy. I'm really getting there, I think in a sense it would be a very good idea to leave my twenties behind! To be frank, the bad stuff that happened totally mars the good in my eyes. I really want to say 'I came out brighter- and look what else I achieved...' (I'll do that list of good-twenties-moments another time) but really, my twenties were pretty terrible- so in a way, I finish them cheerfully, and in a reasonable position to enter the next stage of my life, simply because I've lived through so much emotionally. If I was any older, my hair would have turned white in the process!
But hey, here I am, not naieve enough to think that I've had all of my bad luck and unhappiness now, ofcourse life will have its challenges and unpleasant surprises, but strong enough to want to say 'come on thirties- I'm ready!'

Snuggles with my Little Guy, feeling strong.

I want to do something between now and then- I'm not going to make an unachievable list- I don't have the money to travel, much as I ache to do it, and I don't have the strength or the time to train for something like a marathon, but I probably need a couple of goals- say one-a-month for six months? Things that will remind me of 'that nice time, in the run up to my thirties'. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask for more advice nearer the birthday, but for now, with the list of goals, between now and September, this is where you come in- any ideas?...



  1. What an honest post. I do wish I could give you a hug. For many reasons my twenties haven't turned out at all how I imagined them and it's only now that I feel like I can get to grips with sorting it out. Wisdom and hindsight are a great thing.

    What could you do in the next six months? How about learn a new recipe every month and then you'll go into your thirties with six more meals you can confidently cook. Variety after all is the spice of life! x

  2. This struck a few chords with me - I've just turned 29 at a time when my life has been turned upside down and is not going to be what I though it was going to be - big identity crisis and I'm trying to take one day at a time for now but I certainly hope to be in a 'better place' by the time I turn 30.

    I don't know why we place such emphasis on age though ... it IS only a number after all and life's not a race.

    As for what your goals should be - could be anything! Learn to knit, visit a nearby attraction you've never got around to going to, decorate your bedroom ... have you seen the Day Zero Project? It's where people publish lists of 101 things they want to achieve in 1001 days - longer than your 6 months but browsing the lists might give you some ideas?

    Good luck with it and look forward to hearing how you get on :) xx

  3. I've always looked younger than I am too. Believe me the older you get the more you'll appreciate it! I didn't have any fear of turning 30, in fact I hoped that now people would start treating me as a grown up even if I still looked 10 years younger than that.
    How about doing one thing a month that you've never done before? It doesn't have to be anything dramatic or even cost much; sleep under the stars - tent optional, go to the cinema alone, get up early in the summer to watch the sunrise, do some volunteer work, visit a museum or art gallery you've never been to.

  4. We all feel like this - epecially at milestone birthdays. I look at the pictures of you and see a beautiful woman - age doesnt matter so much. I'm now 53 -oops!! how did that happen? only yesterday I was young wasn't I? That is how it seems, but truly inside I'm still me - not an number - an age, I don't feel any older. - I look in the mirror and sometimes think - who's that? but mostly I'm comfortable with who I am. For me that has only come with age - a realisation that I am who I am. My dear husband has always been uncompromising and known who he was and what he wanted - lucky him, but I have drifted sometimes happy with who I am, sometimes far to critical. Make the most of looking younger - it is a great sense of pride with me that I have always been told I look younger than my years and while I appreciate the self realisation that comes with getting older, I will stil be dragged kicking and screaming into old age:D

    P.s Thanks so much for your lovely email. xxx

  5. I wrote a reply yesterday and got an error message when I tried to post it, so will try again!
    I'm dreading my 30th in November and would like to spend it hiding under a rock! Can't believe we're going to be so OLD!! Everyone else just laughs and says "wait til you get ot my age" etc. but like you, I still feel like I'm 19.
    I think for you, embracing your 30s is a great idea, as they will be much better than your 20s. You look so skinny in that pic :(
    Goals are a great idea, I need some myself!

  6. I'm still 29, even though the dreaded birthday took place last November and I will still be 29 when November rolls around again! In my head I'm 19, so claiming to be 29 is already a big step up.

  7. Not really sure what to suggest, but you should do things that leave you smiling when you think back to your 20s. A lot of stuff, bad and good, has obviously happened, so it be good to wave it goodbye with a smile on your face. How about little things, like making a list of days to spend in the park having a picnic when the sun is shining, walks in the countryside, reading some books you've meant to read for a while, that kind of thing!

  8. oh sweetie....what a post...feel quite moved. They do say you are more content and happy with life in your thirties so I hope this comes true for you. As for travel - don't worry - little by day you'll get there and there is so much to see on one's doorstep anyhow. I think things will work well for you - you've come so far and learnt so much and you know what? I think it is a wicked attribute to be young at heart - keeps you feeling alive and like life is exciting and new and healthy. Big bouncy young at heart hug to you! xxx