49 Before 50 Starts Today!

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 OneBe 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?
You knew?
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!