Since turning 40 over four years ago, I’ve been quietly chuckling at the changes in my life that make me realise I’m getting, dare I say it, *middle-aged*. The list is getting progressively longer, and I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a post listing all these amusing and alarming changes for some time. And then, the other week, I took delivery of a certain item of furniture which screamed ‘middle aged’ at me and so I just had to write this. So, here goes – let me know if you relate to any, ahem, all of it?:
You know you’re middle-aged when:
- You come out in a cold sweat at the thought of an invitation to a night out on the town that doesn’t start till 9pm. And if you go out 3 nights in a row, well, you need a week to recover.
- You actually enjoy a visit to the garden centre whilst your kids like it as little as you did at that age (it was that rancid smell of weedkiller that did it for me – remember it?)
- BBC Radio 2 is your station of choice for the school run. The 50 million dollar question is: has it actually got better or am I getting old? Definitely the former.
- On entering a darkening room at dusk where you find your kids happily reading, you find yourself chastening them with “Turn a light on! How can you read in this light?!!”, only to realise you sound just like your parents who did exactly the same and whom I pityingly thought were archaic and fussing about nothing.
- Teenagers clothes look alarmingly like ones you wore when you were that age. This realisation that the fashion cycle has come full circle causes you to need a little sit down, a stiff drink and a reassuring tweet.
- The morning rush makes your words come out all scrambled, meaning that a simple request to your kids causes shrieks of hilarity and incredulity. Apparently I once asked them to “put your car on and get in the shoes!” *hangs head in despair*
- The amount you spend on make-up and the hairdresser looks frighteningly similar to your holiday budget. Lets face it (pun intended) Boots no. 17 no longer cuts it when the crows start to gather on your face and the elastic in your skin wanes.
- Your kids refer to ‘the olden days‘ when talking about your teenage years (aaaagggh!)
- Anniversaries of historic events that you remember like they were yesterday (like the falling of the Berlin Wall) turn out to be not yesterday but, er, half your life time ago – you know, when you were sitting in the JCR of your Uni halls watching it on a big square TV on legs with 100 other people.
- You look forward to your pilates class as it means you get to legitimately lie down for an uninterrupted hour (or thereabout).
- an innocent bounce on the trampoline with your kids becomes a health hazard, even when pre-empted by a visit to the loo (yes, I ask you! How can it be after so many years of pilates?!)
- what you used to think of disparagingly as ‘hairdresser music’ is now your daughter’s music of choice.
- grooving to your daughter’s music of choice in the kitchen becomes the highlight of your week. Oh dear.
- Friday night = QI on TV night
- surfing Facebook and nosing at everyone else’s beautiful life/family/dog is your favourite way to waste your time (note I said ‘waste’ not spend’…)
But surely, the biggest, most surest sign of middle age has to be…
- when a delivery of a nest of tables makes your life seem complete!
Yes, I admit defeat. As of last week, I am now the (proud?) owner of a wonderful nest of tables – oak, don’t you know – that are nestling nicely abreast our conservatory sofa. They’re just itching for a visitor to come along and hover with a cup of our signature seriously-strong coffee and not having to rest it precariously on the arm (ok, its a solid flat arm, but even so). Or for our next gathering of extending family where I can whip out a little square table to form an island of refuge for glasses and snacks.
You see, to me, these small steady pieces of wood are the epitome of sensibleness, responsibility, and general grown-upness. Who cares where you put your mug of instant coffee when you’re 25? Who has the money to spend on such tiny pieces of furniture before the age of 40 (per square footage, they must be the expensive piece of furniture you can buy).
My life as a middle aged mum is now, clearly, complete. All we need now is a dog……
So, what are the tell-tale signs in your life that the gay abandon of youth has been tossed aside for the steady, responsible life of a 40 something?