Monday, 11 April 2011

Growing Old Gracefully

In two weeks time I'm going to be 42!  I'm heading full on into the wrong side of the big 4-0!  The number itself doesn't really bother me...I don't feel old.  My mental age didn't really extend beyond 19.  I still giggle at double entendres, can't behave myself in public places and do silly things that border on the immature.  On one hand, I am responsible for my children, a house and  all that that entails.  But on the other hand I still behave like a child...I mean I can't hear about the planet "Uranus" without dissolving into hysterics.

The only problem is, someone forget to tell my body that I am still really only 19!!  It's the grey hairs that get to me the most.  They sprout out from your scalp mockingly.  Their texture is so coarse and they grow at right angles to the other darker hairs.  They make themselves so obvious!  They don't discretely blend in with your other hair in a lovely salt 'n' pepper arrangement.  They are not subtle.  It is cruel.  I refuse to start dyeing it though.  My mum battled with her own hair for as long as I can remember.  The roots always had the upper hand, edging through within days of a DIY dye.  It was only when she caught her reflection in a security mirror in a post office that she realised how unflattering the stark contrast of dark brown locks to white roots was.  She made the brave decision to grow out the dye and go au naturel.  At first she looked like a Piebald Pony with patches of black, white and browny orange.  But with regular cuts and perseverance, she has now got the most beautiful soft, snowy white hair.  I am hoping to cut out the middle man and avoid the six weekly treatments and let nature do its thing.  I just wish it wouldn't do it in such a mean way with the wiry, white curlies!

The whole diet issue has changed with age too.  It's not too difficult to shift a few pounds but the second I so much as look at a cake, the shrunken fat cells ping back to their former swollen glory.  As the overstretched belly once more hangs over the waist band of my jeans I wonder if surgery is the only option!  That is...getting my greedy mouth sewn shut!  It really does astound me that my weight can fluctuate +/- 7lbs across a week.  I don't remember this phenomena when I was younger.  My fat cells have given up after two decades of being stretched and shrunk.  They are schizophrenic, flitting between their fat and thin personae at their own whim.  I am left in varying degrees of overhang, depending on their mood!  The skin on my body stretched by five pregnancies struggles to hold it all in place.  Sometimes I contemplate attaching a row of dog clips down my spine pulling my flab taut in a temporary DIY nip and tuck!

My other bug bear regarding my age is the appearance of skin tags and other random outcrops of epidermal overgrowth.  They pop up overnight for no reason.  Coupled with this I still get spots!  I thought I'd outgrow the indignity of hormonal break outs.  It was going to be one of the joys of ageing...instead it's just another way of my body to spite me.

Bunions are my body's way of punishing me for years spent in silly, pointy, new romantic shoes in my youth, followed by red stillettos in my latter teens.  I've not been able to get on a pair of girl shoes for years.  My metatarsals have splayed, my arches have dropped and my big toe has given up any effort of trying to be straight.  As I do battle with toe nails that want to ingrow, I wish I'd worn Hush Puppies at that time when all the damage was being done!

The knees ache after a lifetime of being "the tall one"...we were so not designed to be bi-peds!

My under eye bags need more than caffeinated roll on products to shrink them.  Having a baby at my age, then making the decision to be an attachment parent means I have not slept through the night for 21 months and counting.  *yawns*  One night when I get 8 hours uninterrupted I won't know what's hit me!  Till then I'll bed share and breast feed like a mummy doggy with her puppy.

All that 42 I am happy, healthy, loved and so,so lucky!  I wouldn't want to be anyone else or anywhere else.  I may not be a size 10 anymore but I'll shake my size 14 backside with pride.  I won't be running a marathon (good luck to all those about to take on 26 miles in London...RESPECT!!!)  I'm not going to win Britain's Next Top Model.  But Hell...I'm me and life is pretty damn fabulous...celluite and callouses and all!!


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