Embracing middle age
I’m going to tell you a secret. I have always been middle aged.
While there are many ways to gauge your age – chronologically, with one of those Real Age questionnaires, or even with how old you feel when you go to a night club – there’s your own internal clock that ticks along until one day it finally stops.
I don’t mean death. I mean the age at which you feel, yes, this is me.
I am about to turn 40 and I have just landed.
Goodbye Port-a-loos at festivals and gut-churning hangovers. Farewell high heels and knickers that feel more like sexual assault than a harmless undergarment.
Hello BBC dramas, gardening and weekend papers!
People complain about getting older – pain in the joints, padding on the belly – but surely that’s compensated for with increased empathy and a bigger wine budget.
I was an intolerable jerk when I was younger; blundering around offending people and blithely making life-altering decisions without a second thought.
I am still a complete idiot but hopefully not quite as obnoxious. Life has a way of angle grinding off those rough edges and rewarding you with friends and family who stand by you, even at your worst.
In middle age, there is a sense of settling. Not settling down – more like sediment settling in water. Things have become clearer, calmer and deeper.
And with that comes the relief of looking at yourself and thinking, ‘You’re OK’.
And I finally am.