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Monday, 26 May 2014

Getting Old

Getting old

A children's programme recently featured a dad with the grumps because it was his birthday and he didn't like getting older. But his little girl said she did.

It had me wondering, at what age do we stop wishing we were older and instead start wishing time would stand still?

I don't know if I'm alone here, but I spent much of my childhood wanting to be grown up. My earliest memory is going to school as a four year old and thinking how grown up the children in the year above were. Wow, how much I wanted to be five!

Then of course came the secondary school years. Well, of course, the sixth formers were proper grown ups weren't they?

Adulthood seemed like complete utopia. After all, you could do what you wanted couldn't you? Mortgages, taxes, bills and laws weren't even thought about.

Then at around 25, things started to creak and ache a little more and getting older came with added responsibility. It didn't seem quite so much fun anymore. It was around that time I started conveniently forgetting how old I was every time a birthday came around.

By the time I hit 30, I really wasn't pleased about it at all. It brought a new realisation that there were people who were classed as grown ups, who were younger than me now. In nightclubs I was beginning to feel like someone's gran.

I'll never forget the time my husband's much younger brother said he quite fancied his school tutor, but she was a bit old. I said oh, how old is she?He replied, 23...... Hmmm.

But then there are some plus sides to getting older and I found hitting 30 had some benefits.

I no longer lived my life according to how others expected me to be. I was more confident and comfortable in my own skin.

Getting older seems to bring about a new sense of self assurance. You have more chance of knowing who you are later in life. And I stopped spending most of my time trying to please others.

So, while it takes more work to keep the flab off and a few wrinkles are appearing here and there, I suppose, in a way, I must be happier.

And, after all, as a second time around mum at the age of 34, I'm not the only one doing things later in life.

 Britain has the oldest average age for starting a family in the world and, according to reports, the average woman in Britain starts a family at the age of 30. Years ago, this would have been considered too far over the hill.

Women have different goals in life, careers, owning your own home, seeing the world. People are also living longer and can stay healthier for longer.

So maybe I should be looking forward to my forties? There'll be no nappies to change and hopefully I'll be enjoying the finer things in life, confident in who I am and what I like.

So what if it takes that bit longer to get up a hill? At least I won't be over it!

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