“…The world is full of magic things,
patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper…”
— W. B. Yeats
“…The world is full of magic things,
patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper…”
— W. B. Yeats
Yesterday was my birthday. I have reached the grand old age of Forty Four. Which scares me just a teeny-weeny little bit. I still don’t know very much and have very little figured out. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, and I still keep waiting for my Fairy Godmother to grant me three wishes.
Yesterday was tougher than I imagined it would be. I wanted to spend the day on my own, like I did last year, but then felt really lonely and sad about being on my own. Quite a few people forgot it even WAS my birthday and that upset me more than I wanted to admit. I felt fat and old and uninteresting and invisible.
To be fair, it’s quite possible I am hormonal (or menopausal!) and just down in the dumps for no real reason. Birthday or no birthday. I think this year crept up on me and I wasn’t ready. I know forty four isn’t old. I know this.
Things I know, now that I am forty-four years old
Life doesn’t get easier. You just get more tired, so your tantrums are less dramatic.
Bingo wings grow all by themselves. They are an unstoppable force. You will spend the rest of your life in three-quarter sleeves. Don’t fight it.
Elastic waist bands are key.
Music now is rubbish. It’s a totally different thing to when your parents used to say it about your music when you were a teenager. TOTALLY different.
You will begin to lose the ability to understand adverts on television. Are they trying to sell you a car or haemorrhoid cream? And why are they so darn loud?
You used to laugh at women who plucked their chin hairs at the traffic lights. Now you give them a thumbs-up signal and yell “Right with ya, sister!” in solidarity.
Cheese is your enemy and your best friend. Don’t turn your back on it.
That lump you’re feeling could be malignant. Or it could just be one of last night’s cornflakes you had for dinner that stuck to you. You know, the one that fell down your top and you couldn’t be bothered fishing it out because you were watching Will and Grace.
Your underwear gets increasingly more “sensible”. They become less floral/pretty/polka-dotty and become more beige.
You will find yourself worrying about fibre content before sugar content.
You will suddenly realise that if you start dating again, it will have to be with men in their 40s and 50s. Which seems kinda icky. But if you were a man, you’d start dating girls in their 20s and 30s. The irony is not lost on you.
Grey hair grows quicker than any other colour of hair. This is a scientific fact. You will go to bed one night a brunette, and wake up the next looking like a badger.
If you go to work without makeup one day, people will repeatedly ask you if you’re ill.
The fact that you’re old enough to remember macrame the first time it became popular, makes you feel like crying.
You will approach spicy food the same way you would approach a barrel full of poisonous spiders – with fear and trepidation.
You will be grateful for everything you have but still have many regrets and coulda-shoulda-wouldas. Which is ok. You may be forty four, but you’re still human.
Wishing you all a happy day (birthday or not). Thank you for visiting 🙂 x
You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak.
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried.
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home.
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of.
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.
“…Everyone has their own path.
Walk yours with integrity and wish all others peace on their journey.
When your paths merge, rejoice for their presence in your life.
When the paths are separated, return to the wholeness of yourself,
give thanks for the footprints left on your soul,
and embrace the time to journey on your own…”
“…Very little grows on jagged rock.
Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different. Surrender…”
I wrote the following just before I went on leave last month :
…I have some leave coming up very shortly and it feels like it’s been a long time coming. Well, it has. I haven’t had a break for over a year. And I’m a bit tired and over everything so I need to have some time off. This is difficult because I don’t have anyone to cover me at my job. It’s a drama getting one day off for illness, let alone a full fortnight of annual leave. Luckily, an ex co-worker has agreed to come back and babysit the library for me while I am away. Hooray!
14 days is not a lot of time to achieve a great deal. But, of course, I have many plans for the time and am hoping that I will succeed in achieving at least half of my goals. Ok, maybe a quarter. Five things. Look, at least one of the things on my list, ok?
Ideally, I would like to lose 10 pounds, become super fit and healthy, decorate my entire house, create a fabulous garden, write a business plan, organise my life and secure my financial future, all in the space of two weeks. But, unless I also turn into someone else in that time, these things are possibly not really realistic. So, I am aiming for a few smaller achievements. Things I should have already achieved, to be honest….
Now, several weeks later, I can predictably say I did not achieve all of these things. I tried, really I did. But two weeks is actually not a very long time. And things get pushed aside for other, more fun, things. I did clean my house and it is fit for visitors and doesn’t embarrass me now. I am doing my dishes every night (well, almost) and I put my laundry items away as soon as they’re off the line. I even did a basket of ironing the other night! Crazy! But good-crazy.
I did cull a lot of my wardrobe. Skirts that were too short or tight – gone! Pants I can’t button up – gone! Jumpers that are just plain ugly and make me look like some sort of sack creature – gone, gone, gone! I also turfed (ie donated to charity) shoes I can’t walk in and belts I can’t wear unless I refrain from breathing. I filled my car with bags and bags of stuff, including bed linens and blankets, pyjamas and underwear (un-used, let me just say). It felt good, but I know I could have culled more if I was less of a hoarder.
Sleeping – hmm, well, I have done a bit better on that front. I have been going to bed a bit earlier some nights and I am definitely getting up better in the morning. I now put my alarm so far away from my bed that it is practically in another room. I HAVE to get up and out of bed in order to switch it off. This works 90% of the time. Other days, I still hit that snooze button and go back to bed. But not as often as before. I have been having horrible nightmares again and so I am not sleeping well but, on the whole, I am doing the best I can to get a good night’s sleep.
Catching up with people – I achieved this one. I went out for coffee and walkies and had people over to my (newly-cleaned) house. It felt good to catch up with friends and family – I need to make more of an effort to not let the time slip by in between seeing them all. And I need to stop being such a damn hermit. I’ve even agreed to go out with members of the opposite sex. Not on “dates” as such (Lord knows I am nowhere near ready for THAT) but just coffee catch-ups etc. So I can get better at being in the company of blokes again and not be so anxious about it. And just be out there. Like a normal, healthy, adult human being. Instead of some kind of spinster/loner/weirdo/hermit hybrid.
My finances are ok and the wolf at the door is having a little rest and looking less savage. I just need to not provoke him by overspending or being unprepared for things. Christmas is tricky because I really love to buy gifts for people and it is difficult to rein it in a little. But I have kept to my lists and not strayed into gifting overload.
Exercise. Um…..next! I am a big slug.
Paperwork. Erm. Fail. Actually, I did start culling it and sorting it out a bit but there is still loads of it and I can’t face it right now. It scares me. So it is just sitting there in piles, quietly mocking me.
Garden. We are still dealing with a Children of the Corn scenario. There could be anything living in there. Tramps. Herds of wildebeest. Lost civilisations. Who knows? All I know is that it still looks bad and now the weather is heating up, I am even more inclined to just ignore it and hope it dies off by itself. I repotted plants and got rid of some that were really not going to make it. I did do a little bit of weeding but it was a bit pathetic and half-hearted, to be honest. Lots of sighing and whinging about my aching back. I’m sure you can picture it. Let’s move on.
Practicing my drawing and writing skills. Um, no. This did not happen. Another fail.
Decluttering. I actually did get some stuff out of the house, which is an achievement for Miss Hoardypants. I had to think “Will I ever use this? Does it fit in with my life/house/values/décor? Will I miss the darn thing if I get rid of it?” And, more often than not, the answer was a resounding “No”. But it is still hard though.
It’s funny how most people have time off of work and they think about travel and relaxing and maybe seeing some movies or doing lots of shopping. Me, I use my time for mundane things like folding towels and repotting my plants. But hey, that’s ok, right?
Hope you are having a happy, uncluttered day – thank you for stopping by 🙂
— The Buddha