13 Jul 2014

Let's Talk ... Growing Old(er)

Today is a 'contemplate your navel' sort of day, one I'm devoting to a topic relevant to everyone: growing old(er). If there's one thing to make you navel gaze avidly it's the prospect of turning forty combined with your first hen do experience. In a stunning display of youthfulness, my friend and I both left the girls partying at 11pm to drive home from Bath and fall into our beds, you don't get much more Rock n' Roll than that in my book. Consequently, today's navel gazing is taking place on my comfy bed with the odd moment of relocation to the couch for a change of scene, illustrated by scenes from a girl's bedroom (mine, in case you were wondering) because I've been playing with my camera again and thought they were pretty.

I'm not going to lie, I'm getting a little self-conscious about a number of things the rapidly approaching big four-oh has brought to my attention. Little things that no one has ever mentioned to me, that probably would have been nice to know in advance. Like middle aged spread is a real thing, and is really rather literal. My weight has started to increase, as have the number of bits that wobble that I'm pretty certain shouldn't, despite my diet getting better (marginally). Middle aged spread has hit, starting just under the boobs and increasing exponentially. If I can figure out how to crack on with my exercise videos without being pounced on by a six stone wolf, or without having to hoover the lounge rug to get rid of Bear's left overs before I get my dance groove on (I ballet beautiful, or I will once I get my act together), maybe I can get the jiggly bits to jog on.

My skin has also undergone a rather dramatic transformation, incredibly noticeable all of a sudden, and prompting the sudden stop of all commercial moisturisers: dry, flaky skin all over my face. So I've switched to plain old olive oil, at a lot less per bottle of organic oil than a commercial moisturising product, I'm laughing that dry skin away ... just without the actual laughing cos, y'know, laugh lines and all. Actually I'm all about the laugh lines, it's the frown lines I've suddenly developed that are freaking me out. Those and those horizontal lines that run across my throat and just under my collarbone, what on earth are those about? Thankfully the oil regime seems to have helped with the skin on my face, and the recent tightening of muscles around my mouth have meant my face is a little more defined this past year, despite the additional weight. All those forty year old actresses I'd thought had had botox or surgery? Yeah, probably not so much.

Otherwise, there's the usual suspects like hair growing in new and unexpected places. Thankfully I've just purchased a retro safety razor (replacement blades are around £2 for a pack of five, if that's not reason enough I don't know what is!), so as my beard begins to flesh itself out I'll be able to keep that bad boy in line. Also, I can shave my legs with it. Win win. Sugar crashes are harder and faster than ever before, and so little fun I'm actually considering cutting sugar out of my diet completely before I remind myself not to go too far with all this healthy thinking, there has to be a vice left in there somewhere.

There are some plus sides to ageing, so don't think that I'm laying in bed weeping over it. That's purely because I'm so knackered and the wolf keeps jumping on me. No, the plus sides are pretty darn good actually: I learned to say no. Even better, I learned to say no and stick to it. While I'm shockingly bad at looking after myself on a day to day basis, my ability to spot a potentially stressful moment and manage it before it gets too much (mostly by saying no) is the best it's ever been. As is my certainty in what I want out of life. I have, literally, never been more me and for that I'm always going to love my thirties, even as I edge my way out of them.

How about you, any changes you've noticed as you age that you wish people had told you about?