It’s my birthday. I am 46. How we feel about age is a very personal thing. To some that will seem young, sprightly even and to others… well it’s getting on a bit. To me I’ve been back and forth. As any fellow Facebook users will know there are constant reminders of what you were doing, thinking and maybe even eating in years gone by and today a couple of memories flashed up for me on how old I was starting to feel. It made me realise how irrelevant these feelings actually are because within a moment they are lost as time continues to march on. Then before we know it another year has gone and we’re feeling older yet. 🙂 But the reality is that to get older is far better than the alternative.
So how did I spend my last day of being 45? I had a rather wonderful time at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. It was the home of Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville-West and boasts stunning gardens and the most beautiful tower that is home to Vita’s writing room, filled with personal objects and books that have been in place since her death in 1962. It provides a fascinating insight into this fascinating author and gardener. It was the most splendid of days spent with dear friends and ww were blessed with lovely weather. As we wondered and chatted we moved on to the subject of getting older and I remarked how strange it was that I felt the same inside as I was twenty years ago and it was only when glancing in the mirror that I saw the advance of age. Of course my life has changed greatly in those twenty years but I feel as though they have gone in a flash. ‘That is what I find difficult.’ I said. “How quickly it all seems to go.”
She agreed and it reminded me that it is the same for each and every one of us.
It was the perfect way to spend the day before my age goes up another notch.
Of course I do have to play the ‘female’ card when it comes to getting older. I never imagined just how challenging the changes we go through would be. There is of course so much more understanding of the way the female body changes. Not that long ago the peri menopause wasn’t really recognised but now I know that my hormones are to blame for a great deal. This understanding really is helpful in those times when I struggle. Of course anxiety is something that I have lived with for quite some time but hormones bring a whole new level to this rather debilitating condition. The nights when my heart races and I feel hot, stuffy and panicky for absolutely no reason at all, the times when my mood swings like a pendulum and I have no idea why I’m suddenly so bloody pissed off. Aaaah.. 🙂 I write this only for other women out there going through the same or similar symptoms. It’s normal. I could go on and on of course. The weight gain (especially in the stomach area), the sensitivity to certain foods that leave me blown up like a balloon (although having been a sufferer of IBS for some years now this can not be entirely blamed on PM). For the female body it’s a beautiful time – not. I have moments when I have no idea who I am anymore… it has been rather unnerving but I am coming to terms with the changes and I hope I can navigate my way through to the other side. There is no reason why I shouldn’t after all it’s not a new thing, women have been going through it for ever. It’s finding the antidotes that work for you that is important. For me yoga, sleep, reading and gardening all seem to help. I try not to pack too much into my life and skim down the things that I really don’t enjoy or bring me only stress. I have come to the conclusion that to say NO is okay and is something I need to do. I know what is important now.
As I woke today on my 46th birthday I thought ‘actually I feel okay’. Yes I do look older then I did 5, 10 and 20 years ago but I am older and with each year comes a bucket full of wonderful memories and experiences that make me the person I am. I am very blessed in my life and to be honest there isn’t much that I would change. We all have challenges to face and things that make us unhappy but I think the key is to have gratitude for the good in life, the things that make our hearts smile rather than hurt. The smiles are like a plaster, they can’t take a wound but they can help it heal.
Today I shall be mostly enjoying tea, cake, a glass or two of gin and perhaps a good book. What else can a (slightly older) girl ask for. It is raining though which means that I just spent a good 10 seconds blowing a raspberry at the weather as I would have rather liked a nice ride on my next bicycle.