Monday, August 14, 2006

How old do you feel?

Now, this probably sounds as if I'm going to start with, "Well, this morning I woke up and I felt like I was ninety...", but actually, it started with a conversation with my husband, yesterday evening.
There we were, sat sitting in front of the television, watching Four Weddings and a Funeral for the umpteenth time, when I suddenly turned to my poor, long suffering husband,
Me: "David, do you feel 44?"
David: "No. How should I feel at 44?"
Me: "I don't know."
David: "How old do you feel?"
Me: "About 18!"
Giggle, end of conversation.
Nothing earth shattering, no setting the world to rights, just a silly, Sunday evening conversation.

However, later that same evening, having gone to bed early, (David had to be up at 5.40am this morning, a shade early for me...), I was still struggling to go to sleep and my mind was running riot. It settled on that very question and this is what I decided.

I can't feel thirty-eight, I simply don't feel middle aged, I don't feel nearly forty. I'm not frightened of being forty and I won't shy away from admitting it when it arrives, but I don't feel nearly forty now.

So, do I feel eighteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty?

I certainly don't feel eighteen. Late teens were not a good time for me, I was miserable and lonely, with a terribly low self esteem and no confidence, so no, I don't feel like that anymore, definately not.

Twenty? Well, not a lot better really. I was in and out of hopeless jobs, was in a slightly dodgy relationship and still fairly unhappy with life, so I don't think that fits either.

Twenty-five, perhaps. Maybe. I had been working in a reasonable job for a while, spending a lot of time doing my favourite passtime and I'd just met David, again, so things were certainly looking up!

Thirty. Hmm, well, that was quite dismal again, but I'm not sure why. I had two children and a third on the way, but at that time David was away an awful lot and I felt I'd had to grow up so fast, changing from being young and carefree to a responsible mother, missing out the fun, courting bit. We kind of skipped that.

So, what conclusion did I come to at midnight, (when our youngest daughter 'fell' out of the top bunk onto our eldest daughter, sleeping on a mattress on the floor. DON'T ask...) you may well ask. I concluded that age isn't the number of years since you were born, but the knowledge and wisdom you've gained. Some people never grow up, they never gain the knowledge, they just take a wild ride by the seat of their pants and everyday is an adventure. Sounds a lot of fun, but I prefer to consider and to be considerate, to be able to make well informed decisions and judgements, but mostly, to live and let live.

I suppose I really do feel my age and I'm working on being old and wise!


Ruth said...

Another thought-provoking one! I feel everything from 5 - 95, depending upon many things. Today I feel about 55. The children have been a little demanding (well, one of them anyway - I wonder if she's going down with something).I am frustrated that things that I didn't like about myself aged 10 are still there as part of me. Damn it.

have you changed a lot over time?if so, how and why?

I tell you what - I might be back again on this one. It's a real corker of a thought-provoker. I have enough trouble getting to sleep at the moment as it is. The only thing that's succeeding in getting me to nod off at night is my book on the life of Elizabeth 1st - and I'm not sure that's what the writer had intended!!!!!

Louise said...

I don't know if I've changed really.

Still have that slightly warped sense of humour, but I think that maybe a part of me my good friends appreciate most. I have an unnerving nack (nak?) of being able to make an off-the-cuff remark that makes people cry, with laughter, at some of their blackest moments, so lightening the mood without detracting from the issue. At least, I think it's a talent?

I don't think I'm as bossy as I was as a child. I sometimes wonder how you, Laura and the like put up with me, I was sooo big for my boots! Still have a temper. OOohhh yes indeedy. Ask the children.

Can be a shade obsessive, I like to be in control of certain things. I like to be in control of my obsessions! Like the washing and peg thing. There by hangs a tale. For another day.

Can be terribly naive, which I think I always have been. Very trusting, but I seem to be getting more wary of late. Better late than never!

What do you remember about 'me'? Maybe I shouldn't ask that.

I remember you were... well, you. Great fun, so enjoyed your company, simply didn't want to spend time with anyone else and could be quite selfish over you. Ooo, I do that now too, I'm VERY selfish over my time with David. I HATE sharing him, even, or especially, with the children. SUCH a bad mother! Easy going, happy, smiling, quiet and thoughtful. Am I over-egging the pudding?

I don't remember anything bad or unpleasant, but I do remember I could be rotten. We were adventurous and got into some scrapes together. Do you remember running down that hill in Cleobury at some unearthly hour one morning? And paddling up a stream in wellies? The water came over the tops, ooops.