So here I am, 49 years old.
It’s just a number, right? But it feels like an awfully BIG number. 40 didn’t bother me. My 40th birthday was the first birthday I had after coming to live with my FL. He and the kids blew up a whole heap of balloons and filled a room with them.
9 years later, the kids have left home but my darling FL is still here: “But only just!” he says, in as lugubrious a tone as he can muster. Shoosh man, there’s nothing wrong with you!
Anyway… I decided to make a “49 before 50” list at a point in my life when I feel like I need to stop drifting. In the past year, I have noticed my hair getting greyer and my face getting saggier, and my level of general fitness taking a nose-dive. There is no escaping my age: it is finally catching up with me.
Rather than giving in to a spiraling decline, I am determined to become a stronger person, not just physically, but mentally too. I feel a little too fragile, rather too vulnerable to disappointments: they hit me too hard. Time to get a grip!
|Notebooks from The Magic Notebook, Hector sock, purple pen|
When I sat down to write my List, 49 things didn’t sound like much. I thought it would be easy to fill page after page of my new notebook with enthusiastic purple-inked ambitions. But days and weeks passed, in the run up to my birthday, and it felt harder and harder to pin myself down. What did I really want to do? I didn’t want it to be a list of 49 pointless blog-fillers. I wanted to be true to myself.
And there we have it: Number One – Be True to Myself.
That’s the big one, the one I will find the most difficult to tick off as accomplished by the end of the year.
Well… I was listening to the Yarnivore podcast the other week, and the presenter Sadie was talking about her sister-in-law:
“She works in an office. She has to dress like she’s rich. Blue hair is not in her future.”
Blue hair is not in her future?
|Marge Simpson hangs out the washing|
Goodness me, that hit me hard in the solar plexus!
I have got to 49 waiting for the right time to dye my hair blue / purple / green / shocking pink. When I was a drama student I was afraid I would miss out on an acting part if I had blue hair. Then I started work as an accounts clerk in an office where women were not even allowed to wear trousers, never mind embrace the Crazy Color! Squish, squash, splat – that’s me right there, under the boss’s foot.
And it perpetuates itself, this repressed state of mind. It takes over.
And I have had enough.
So my 49 things are my 49 ways to take back a little bit of control over my own life.
To have FUN.
It’s allowed, you know?
Why didn’t you tell me?!
Will I dye my hair blue? Who knows?! That’s not the point. The point is: I can if I want to.
Welcome to my 49 before 50!