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.
50 year old mum and grandma juggling children, grandchildren, love, work, and the menopause!