Wednesday 20 March 2019. Day 68: When I was young (to my mum, I still am) being 50 was one step away from the retirement home. In 50 days time, I will be 50 years old.
As this new decade approaches, I can’t help looking back at previous significant birthdays and remembering where I was on my journey and what my aspirations were (and what my hair was doing!):
Back in 1987, I celebrated my 18th birthday at home with family and friends (a low key affair). I was studying at college and the world was my oyster and that actually terrified me. I was training to be a hairdresser, so my hair was a chemically dried out mullet.
Three short years later and I was celebrating my 21st. It was a fun day. During the day, I hired the biggest bouncy castle I could find and invited family and friends to bounce with me for charity (Romanian orphans – this was 1990 and the world finally discovered what Ceausescu had been up to in his country). The evening was a beautiful black tie party organised by mum and me. I was a single-parent to 18 month old Little Red. The world appeared to be no longer my oyster given my new responsibility as a single mum, but my little girl was my world. The mullet hair was gone and was replaced by a Lady Di shorter cut.
My 30th was a civilised lunch with family. I was engaged and pregnant with Little Blue. My future felt rosy and safe; I had everything I ever wanted. The hair was still on the shorter side but free from any artificial colour.
Ten years later and my 40th was a lunchtime party at home organised by my two girls. I was newly divorced and single. I was bruised and battered from my husband’s infidelity and subsequent loss of my marriage but I felt empowered and hopeful about my 40’s. After a last minute panic about hitting 40, I went too blonde and ended up with a repair hair cut (not the best time in my coiffure catalogue).
And so to my impending 50th and I find myself in a peculiar place. I will be reaching the age when I thought I would have finally figured this whole life journey out. I currently still work full time as I have to single-handedly pay off a mortgage before I can retire, which according to my mortgage statement, is 19 years from now. The prospect of stopping work and retiring seems like a pipe dream. I never anticipated that the arrival of my fifth decade would be blighted by the arrival of the menopause. Everything I feel and know has been turned completely upside down. As I write this, my anxiety is high; it’s early on a Monday morning and the thought of a new working week is almost too much to bear. Yes, Monday mornings have never been a particularly welcome time of the week but I have never felt it so hard as I do now.
I used to love a party although I never really enjoyed being the centre of attention. With fifty days to go, no party is planned (my choice). I want a quiet day with my girls and just let the day go by without any fuss. My 50th isn’t just about one day. I will celebrate it in my own way when I’m ready. I’m not scared about my age, I just wish I was in a better place. At least I like my hair.
So back to today, and I shall do what I have been doing these last few months and I shall give myself a stern ‘you can do this’ talk and will drag myself out of the house and head to work.
I apologise for the uninspiring post. Humour appears to be evading me right now. Until next time lovelies, much love.