I’m very lucky to still be in touch with a group of my gorgeous school friends. These are friendships that have seen me through the roller-coaster of my twenties and thirties, and this next 9 or so months will see each of us celebrate a very special birthday. This one is dedicated to The Girls. Approaching 40 was always going to be a bit “What the actual?”, but I’m thrilled and privileged to be doing it together with you.
As I stare down the barrel of age 39
I’m increasingly stunned by the passing of time.
I cannot be a grown up!
I’m just not that tall!
I still feel like I’m hardly an adult at all?
But now bits of my body are starting to creak?
When I open my mouth I can hear my mum speak!
The scary 4-0 is a moment away.
And I worry that maybe I’ve had my best day.
That I’m leaving the most precious milestones behind.
My big life events left to fade in my mind.
I approach middle-age with reflection and dread.
I’m expecting a ‘crisis’ and some sort of ‘spread‘.
My colleagues remind me how old I’ve become.
When they ask me what gifts they should buy… for their mum!?
My evenings are more sofa-centric for sure,
And a trip to the shops has now lost its allure.
There are times when it takes all my vigour and drive.
Just to get out of bed and do being alive.
My Sundays could now be considered quite drab,
As my house smells of candle instead of kebab.
I’m much less overwhelmed by my skin-care regime,
As I swerve past the make up and head for hand-cream.
I’m no longer inspired by the pages of Vogue,
And the fashion police would insist I’ve gone rogue.
A broken nail won’t put my nose out of joint
And I don’t give a shit if my ‘brows are on point.
I still try to look good. I would love to impress!
But as this decade closes – I care a bit less?
My get up and go-ing spontaneously,
Is now checking weather apps.
I have traded adventure for routine and clocks,
Swapped brunch and stilettos for coffee and socks.
My nights of Sambuca and cheap sticky booze ,
Are now those of Prosecco with comfortable shoes.
But there’s joy to be had in an afternoon tea.
A good garden centre’s a sanctuary.
I’ve a new-found respect for my own voice within,
And I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin.
I’m a bit bigger fish in a more mature pond.
Less inclined now to shout for the world to respond.
There’s a calm reassurance that comes with the years.
And a wealth of experience gained through past tears.
I look up to the 40-plus women around,
With their heads held so high and their feet on the ground.
With the utmost respect for their poise and prowess.
…My age-apprehension requires some redress!
There’s a lot to be said for the chaos of youth,
But life has more bite when you’re long in the tooth.
I’m a self-confessed dinosaur, with no regret,
But I’m not bloody ready to fossilise yet!
The fabulous forties now show me their door,
And I hope that their club still has room for one more.
So I stare down the barrel of age 39.
I’m here. Locked and loaded.