So 2015 has arrived and has prompted me to think about getting older. As you do, I took a moment to do my annual stock take. What are my dreams, goals, aspirations for the year to come? This all got me looking at what has come before and thinking about what lies ahead.
By most standards, I started my family rather late, I celebrated my 30th birthday with a 8 week old firstborn. I don’t regret waiting as long as I did because I feel that I did not miss out on my youth, on being carefree and silly. I had the time to be *selfishly* with my hubby for many years, 14 years, before we had children and it’s been 9 years of wonderful, exhausting child-filled time since…
But I can look back at the BC (before children) days without regret. We bought our first home, both finished our tertiary education, got our first jobs and moved countries all before my 25th birthday. We spent the next 5 years travelling, seeing much of Europe, got married and lived like young couples do.
Then we decided it was time to bring some little people into our lives and somehow the fast forward button was hit!
As I said before, I’m now on the cusp of the Forties and my thoughts are turning to growing old gracefully… I am noticing the wrinkles around my eyes, the figure that needs a little work after 3 kids, the tiredness that is creeping in to my everyday and it is frustrating me!
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not at all afraid of turning 40. I was not afraid of turning 30. It’s a number. In my mind, I don’t feel older. It’s just the physical manifestation of age that is becoming blatantly obvious. I am rather looking forward to celebrating this milestone and seeing what the next decade has to offer. There is a lot of change looming in the next ten years. I love change! I will be propelled, albeit gradually, from a mum of 3 children under age 10 to 3 teenagers. That has got to be an exciting challenge in itself!
I find myself researching ways to keep this older me in shape, healthy, eating better and looking better. No more am I interested in the fad diets of my twenties. I’m interested in the lifestyle changes that promise to keep me strong, healthy and present for my children. It’s all about longevity. With this in mind, I’ve set myself fitness/wellness goals and am making -what I like to think is- my last ditch attempt at ridding myself of my excess wobbles so that I can keep up with my young and vital children.
I find myself overhauling my wardrobe and getting rid of the clothes that looked great in my twenties but will look daft in my forties. I’m also fantastically excited to be getting rid of my practical mummy clothes as my children are getting older. I can break out my dry clean only clothes- no more sticky fingers, high heels- no more chasing after toddlers and my jewellery , long since hidden for fear of little fingers pulling them from my ears or neck.
I find myself searching for and buying beauty products that are labelled “mature skin” and which claim to help stave off the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. Trying to find the balance between looking younger and polished and looking like an older woman who refuses to accept her age…mutton dressed as lamb is really NOT a good look! I’m becoming acutely aware that shop assistants and those in the service industry now call me “Mam”!
I’m learning to get into the new groove of being a mum to older children and their changing needs. I’m learning to adapt and adjust to the next phase in my families development. Gone are the nappies, prams and specially prepared baby foods. No more so they need me to bath them, feed them, carry them. My role has changed. I’m a certified mum’s taxi, a homework helper, a counsellor and advisor.
The arrival of the forties also means a change in my circumstances. I’ve been a SAHM since my eldest was born nine years ago and my youngest has just recently started full time schooling. For the first time, I’m a SAHM with no children at home. Granted, it’s only been a little over 4 months and I still have plenty to do in my day, but I’m starting to feel like I will soon need something more. I’ve been spending more time writing my blog. Trying to find out if this could be my new “job”. Could it be that my future lies right here in cyberspace? Or will I have to go back into the workforce to get the sense of personal fulfillment and purpose?
All I do know is that I may be getting older, but I’m also becoming wiser. My priorities are changing. My family is changing. My body is aging, but I’m loving it for sticking with me and for being healthy. I’m more appreciative of my health than before and am determined to keep it that way.
I aim to head into my forties fitter, healthier, looking half decent and feeling focused for the future. Sure, I’ll make many mistakes on route to my fifties…but what an adventure it’ll be.
I do hope some of you will stop by to visit and share your stories with me about the naughty forties and also to share any “been there and done that” advice!
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