Monday 26 March 2012

Being 50......

I wrote this as a blog on MySpace a couple of years ago, when, having sailed through my 30th and 40th birthdays with ne’er a thought about the passing years, I’d just turned 50 and was amazed to find myself really depressed by it.   At the time I was assured by my older sister and a couple of her friends that once you get ‘over the hump’ and properly stuck into your 50s it’s fine – better, even!   I’ve put this on here for anyone coming up to this age and feeling like I did then, because I am happy to say that she was right!  And it is better, it really is!

BEING 50..........

It isn’t the new 30, or the new 40, or even the new 45.  It’s 50, and my youth is over. 

Yeah, yeah, okay, I know, thirty years ago when my mother was this age you wouldn’t have found her going out to see bands, or getting hammered with her mates, or still assuming an ageing rock-chick hair do; yes I KNOW it’s probably the best time in the history of the world to be this age, but it still SUCKS!!

I have never wanted children, but I can’t help being aware that this window of opportunity has been closed to me now, for several years.  I know I don't look too ancient for my age, I know my tastes and way of expressing myself (ha!) tend towards those of a ‘younger’ person, I have good friends ranging in age from 25 to nearly 60, I still know how to party, I still embrace new relationships with the same zest as ever I did, but ….

 ……oh, just BUT!!!!  My face is sagging, I put on weight in an instant, my hair is greying at an alarming rate (I regularly pluck out grey eyebrows), I get aches and pains and, worse, I TALK about them, I make ooh-ooh-ooh noises when I stand up after being in a sitting position for a long time, and never again will I sashay down the road being eyed up by men of under 40…

 …………… usual, I am sounding more shallow than I meant to.  It isn’t just about looks, or even health.  It’s about the narrowing down of LIFE, the closing down of opportunities, the knowledge that all those things I was going to do, I never did, all those choices I might have made went un-chosen, and now it’s too late, for much of it.  Do not misunderstand me, for I am not moaning about my lot, rather the opposite; I have generally good health, a wonderful family, fab mates and a dear man who loves me, and in this I am rich amongst women.  Yes, yes, I know one can start all sorts of things in one’s later years, and, indeed, should I be of a mind to take up T’ai Chi or learn to Samba/speak Polish, I dare say I will.  Except that all that smacks a bit of being a clichéd ‘jaunty’ 50+ lady, doesn’t it?  I am certainly not ready to have my hair cut into a funky spikey ‘do’, and start wearing witty earrings.  Heaven forbid. 

Look, I know we all go through it.  People older than me tell me that one comes out the other side of it, whereas people younger don’t know what the hell I am talking about, though their time will come, ha ha ha!!!  At which time I suppose I’ll be telling them all the stuff that people tell me…..   yes, yes, I know there are much worse things that can happen, for instance, not having the opportunity to grow old.  Yes, I know all that.  But, oh, how lovely it would be to have a birthday that begins with a 4, once again…


  1. Know what I hate? When I borrow the kid's moped (still L plated) and people say - 'Good for you - trying something new at your age.' I always say yeah - next week I'm taking up sky diving.' Julia

  2. Love it!! Here is my take on age. I've never had a problem with birthdays, until this year. I know I look younger than my age. I have an almost 13 year old son. Many of my friends are much younger than me, so I guess I kind of let the number slip by without too much notice. Until this year. I went to a friend's luncheon, and I was sitting next to my friend's daughter. Her 20 year old daughter. Another women asked if I was her MOTHER. What nerve, the bitch! Surely she knew that I wasn't old enough to be her mother. Oh yeah. Right. I am actually older than this girl's mother. What a slap in the face. Just when I thought I had escaped age's notice, there it was. Sad day for me. I turned 46 earlier this year. I may get older, but I will never grow up!!

  3. oh yeah - in a few years time, Lucy, you'll start to realise that you are just old enough to be some youngster's GRANDMOTHER..... I was having a drink with an old friend of similar age a month back and we were both saying how we cannot even call ourselves middle-aged anymore, we're actually OLD CODGERS. I am 53 in August, but I look and seem much younger, oh yes, yes I do, don't I??? However, if indeed you are as old as you FEEL, I feel about fucking 80 some mornings when I get out of bed and everything creaks....

    In cliched styleee, I will say to sum up that I am happier (in meself, like, though who else's self I might be happier in, I don't know) than I've ever been, but wish I had the face and body to go with it.

    Julia - I hope you smacked her in the chops so she could see that 'at your age' you can still pack a punch!

  4. Today is my 55th birthday (I'm the eponymous older sister of the above blog), and of course if I had a chance I would rather it were my 41st - but it isn't, so I make the best of it. One trick is to hang around with older people! Another is to also hang around with younger people, so then you forget that you're not actually 38 any more. Oh and, as far as men are concerned, just change your target demographic - I seem to be fancied by a lot of blokes in their 60s, whom I privately refer to as my 'Stage Door Jonnies'!