It’s that time of the year again. Time to gaze into the navel of my birthday and give thanks to the past year. This isn’t quite as epic a milestone as last year obviously but it’s still been a pretty sweet ride.
40 has been good to me. I’ve done a lot of cool things, including two trips, fallen in love with Margate and spent a lot of time with a lot of good people. I’ve made some great new friends, enjoyed time with old ones – I’ve had fun at work, put myself forward for a new role which didn’t work out (but I’m quite pleased about that). I’ve been creative, I’ve been lazy – I’ve spent a lot of money, faced some fears, cried some tears. It’s been a well-rounded year and I’m grateful for it.
I love my life and even when I put myself down for being old (every single day of my life), I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a wise woman with a wealth of life experience and better still, I’m still learning every day. I might be who I am but there’s always room to undulate and grow.
Here’s to reaching Level 41 tomorrow. I can only hope that it’s as eventful and as fun as the last.
I often think about fear and how it affects me. All my life I think I’ve been afraid to try too hard. Sounds pretty general (and maybe relatable?) but if I’m honest, if I’d pushed myself harder in certain areas, things could have been different. Higher education for instance or my so-called talent for spinning a sentence – I’ve been scared to put myself out there in such a way that I actually get some of the things I want.
I am content with what I have though, and I’m genuinely happy with my life. We could always do more or have more but it’s important to appreciate our lot too – so I’m not lamenting anything really, or wishing I’d done things differently. I was meant to be a underachiever and that’s okay, I’m alright, kid.
The one thing that truly terrifies me though is getting older. On one hand we gain wisdom (supposedly) with every passing year but I’m genuinely afraid to get to a point where I’ve lost all my teeth and my knees don’t work anymore. The world is still so obsessed with youth and beauty – and even though I barely have either now, the complete loss of it is very hard to come to terms with. One day I will be a real and true elderly woman with a blue rinse and there’s nothing I can do to stop the process.
I once read an article by a woman who wrote that being middle-aged was the hardest thing to get used to because nobody sees you anymore. I thought at the time this sounded stupid but turns out to be true. You hit 40 and you’re suddenly invisible, the see-through best friend to all your hot younger pals. I am sort of joking, but only because if I don’t I will cry.
So if right now you asked me what my greatest fear is, after sharks, I would say it’s getting older. I’m scared and it is inevitable: I will age. I’m ageing now – every second of every single day I am getting older and I can’t slow it down – so I have to accept it. I can’t let the fear rule my life – I have to remind myself that with every thing I lose, I gain something new. Experience, wisdom, wrinkles.
Since I can’t beat the passage of time, I’m going to have to own it.
I posted this on Instagram late Saturday night in a moment of candidness and it got quite a heartwarming response. So I thought, why not share it here? It’s one of the things I think of the most at the moment, the relentless passing of time and how it affects my self-esteem.
I know it’s not something I can stop and I know we all feel this way from time to time, or will feel that way, it’s just a subject close to my heart. So sue me.
You know something? It’s hard getting older. It’s nice getting older but it’s also incredibly hard to come to terms with the fact that you’re not the young sprite you used to be. I’m insecure about being over ten years older than a lot of the people in my life but I like the variety and I feel more energetic and lucky to be able to learn from them too, I would never change it.
I mention my age a lot like a proper grandma but I wouldn’t change it. I’m mostly comfortable in my own skin and it’s so important to embrace who you are. I got to this place via a hundred funny stories, some loss, hardship and good old-fashioned love. Not to mention with (a lot) of help from my friends. Life is amazing and beautiful and it’s mainly down to the people you surround yourself with.
I wouldn’t change a thing, for all the tea in China. And I really love tea. ❤
You know how you can tell who’s old these days? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
I’m such a prime example of this. I tell people all the time that I’m 36, and then remember that I’m actually 38, 39 next month. I need to stop doing that because nothing makes a person seem older than when they’re focussing on the one thing that shouldn’t matter. It’s a number after all, just an indication of how long a person has been on the earth, nothing to do with their character, their achievements or how they should live their lives.
I need to stop worrying about how much younger the people around me are and just be happy they want to spend time with me. I’m cool, right? And cool comes with experience (sometimes), with acceptance of who we are and with just being gifted, I guess.
What so bad about old anyway? Being old doesn’t stop us loving or experiencing the beautiful pain of life, of laughing and getting fucked up on a Friday night. It doesn’t stop us buying a leopard print coat ‘cos we saw two women on the way to work absolutely rocking theirs.
It doesn’t stop us hating the gym but smashing it anyway, make us immune to the appeal of office gossip, or stop us reading a Daily Mail article about Kristen Stewart’s love life over the shoulder of a colleague while scoffing that we’d never read the “Daily fucking Mail”.
Old is whatever we choose it to be and I choose to be cool with my age from this day forth.
Today, this second I am older than I’ve ever been. I’m younger than I’ll be tomorrow. In ten years I’ll maybe read this back and think, what this fuck was my problem?
I’m loving for the moment now, innit? Surrounded by younger people who think I’m cool.
Just lately I’ve been feeling like an old lady, with an old face to match.
It might sound ridiculous to most that a 38-year-old may feel this way but I feel like it’s natural to be looking at yourself in a new light as you approach significant junctions in life.
As a result of my navel (or rather ugly mug) gazing, I’ve taken a few steps towards skin care with a view to waking up looking like a wee baby one day soon (or Cara Delevingne, I’m not fussy).
My friend Darren is a skin care and product aficionado who’s only too happy to share his favourites so, based on some of his recommendations (and some of my own finds), I’ve put together a very simple skin care regime. All I have to do is stick to it, sit back and wait for people to start commenting on how goddamn radiant I’m looking.
For the purpose of this post: I think I have normal skin with a propensity towards dryness around the edges. My routine before this involved Simple Facial Wash and a no-name cleanser. If you’re lucky, I might remove my eye makeup before bed but it’s really hard to do as all my products are waterproof (and therefore would survive the Apocalypse).
If I’m honest, my lacklustre complexion may have kicked off this new campaign but a night of heavy drinking last week brought me out in a horrible alcohol rash (anyone else get these following a binge drink?) and that did not help my self-esteem one bit!
It’s been a week now and I’m really trying to stick to it. What I’m using at the moment:
I usually stock up on these bad boys when they’re on offer, which thankfully they seem often to be. They might be hard on sensitive skin but for me they seem fine. I like how they clean the skin but also seem to leave a slight sheen on the surface, which is better than it sounds. I feel clean when done, and do this before bed and first thing in the morning.
A couple of these products contain acidic properties and this one contains Hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin, making it plumper (funny how plump is acceptable when it comes to the face and mouth!). I likes it, though, I likes it a lot.
This one sounds a bit scary but I love the idea of my skin working overtime as I sleep. Again, this contains some heavy-duty acids that work together to exfoliate (I don’t get how without me physically helping it along – it’s a beauty miracle!), hydrate, purify and resurface my tired old skin.
This has a sort of grapefruit-y smell to it which I enjoy but when I first used it it really warmed the skin, almost to an uncomfortable degree. It’s not been quite so bad since so I’ll put that down to getting used to the acids. Sensitive skinned lovelies might have to exercise a little caution if they try this product.
This is Darren’s pick which came after he read this article. Apparently it’s something of a miracle for its tiny price tag and that couldn’t appeal to me more (I’m cheap, what can I say?).
I apply this in the morning before primer and make-up, and I’m counting on this to change my life. I definitely have less dry skin around the nose and chin now and its lovely and light, so the skin drinks it up without too much effort. I like that. Providing it doesn’t disappear again (due to insane demand), I’m happy to give this a permanent place amongst my essentials.
I should admit that I got a sample of this free with a lipstick when I popped into the Big Boots on a week day off. The sales girl persuaded me to buy a matching lip scrub for the free moisturiser and she was nice, so *why not*, right?
I love the name because it implies exactly what my skin needs, a lovely nourishing drink of something cool for the face. It’s a nice consistency and isn’t so rich that it causes breakouts, which is what I get from heavier night creams. Although I tend to pop it on after the serum in the morning and before the rest of my face (is over hydration a thing?).
So there you are, my current recommendations. I’m really no expert in anything beauty but I know what I like. I’d also like to be better educated – perhaps this is my time and my late thirties and beyond will be where I finally start to shine!
Anyone else been having a tough couple of weeks? I know a couple of my nearest can attest to the bullshit of the last fortnight or so and I’m right there with them.
I’ve had some shitty tax themed worries hanging over my head (now sorted thankfully) plus the usual work stress but… it’s nearly November and that for me means ‘Birthday Month’, so I’m going to try and enjoy it.
There will be lots of nice things going on towards the end of the month but also next weekend (not this one, as I’m spending it cleaning, eating and sleeping), as Glynn has got us tickets to Brighton Film and Comic Con of all things!
The main draw for me is definitely George A. Romero, King of the Zombies (I can’t imagine him wandering around the hallowed streets of Brighton somehow) while my husband is excited about Spike from Buffy (I’m afraid I’ll lose friends when I admit I never really got into it). My dorky brother, meanwhile is beside himself about the appearance of Carl Weathers (of Predator/Rocky fame). So there’ll be something for everyone here.
Needless to say, the whole day is going to be a hoot. Sadly as a collective we’ve failed to agree on a theme for cosplay, so we’ll be going as civilians this time. If it’s really good, I fully intend to get into a costume for 2016.
Birthdays have always been a bit weird for me, I never really enjoyed them until I was with Glynn. He gets more excited about other people’s birthdays than they do and it’s so sweet. So now I can’t help getting carried away with the excitement. Work’s always a massive crack too, thanks to my amazing colleagues so hopefully we’ll have a good one this year.
I’ll be 38 fucking years old. 38 – nearly four decades, count them. That’s rather a good age I would say, so I’m going to enjoy it and embrace who I am because well I’m not going to change any time soon now, am I? I might be a clumsy, over-apologetic stumpy fingered sugar addict but I am mine.
So that’s me today. Feeling a bit better after those horrific weeks, no longer worried about taxes, forgetting about work for a long weekend and just generally staring at my navel thinking about being old again.
Sometimes you’ve just got to spend £27 in Superdrug on new make-up then come home and put it all on, despite having nowhere to go to show it off. I could find somewhere obviously, but Netflix.
I’ve been feeling pretty shitty about myself lately. I won’t lie, despite my vow to stop worrying about ageing, I still have the odd wobble. I sometimes look through pictures of myself, for instance and wonder if my eyelids have got extra baggy.
Today I feel fucking fabulous* though, hence this picture of my moon face. I personally love the phenomenon of the #selfie. If a person is feeling amazing why the hell shouldn’t they share it? Yes, even the people who share 1,2,3 a day, even those in contorted positions, skimpy outfits – all.
All #selfies are beautiful because it means the taker is feeling great about themselves.
*My friend Panda says this when something is particularly fabulous, and when she bought herself a Mulberry handbag last year, she asked them to include a card saying “To Panda, you’re fucking fabulous”. They didn’t, but it’s still makes for a FF anecdote.