As I sip a G&T after a lazy sort of busy Sunday, I’m feeling rather contented. I haven’t had enough of the G to feel the T yet, so I’m assuming my hormones are having a lazy day too and letting me off the hook today. I’ve shoved over the dog, and am sandwiched between him and the cat on the sofa, ignoring the fact that there is loud thumping and squealing upstairs despite it being ‘reading’ time.
I’m just happy all the windows are intact and familia relations are relatively calm at the end of a weekend with no plans. I long for weekends with no plans, but of course as soon as we’re in them, I remember that plans are good for keeping three children occupied enough to prevent full scale, fully charged bickering, yelling, stropping, slapping, mess-making. That said, we did manage to get some things done, and allowed me some mulling time.
I’ve been enduring, writing about and talking about middle age a lot recently. It seems every conversation I have with my gal-pals is about hot flushes, weight gain or hangovers. So in the spirit of political equality I’ve decided to balance things out with the upside. Yes there is one. There are ten in fact.
10 good things about middle age.
1.It is perfectly acceptable to have a mid-day, mid-age sleep
This morning I took my girls for a family run. It was painful, exhausting and felt like it would never end. But their moaning eventual stopped and we started running. Afterwards, I suggested we all have an hour of ‘me time’ and I promptly had a snooze on the sofa. I’m allowed and have not a single pang of 30-something’s angst.
2.My failing eyesight means I can overlook the dust
I’m so over perfection. It was so last-decade (35-45’s). This decade (my 45-55’s) I’m all about being squashed on my sofa enjoying a G&T and pushing the stray cat hairs under the sofa with my foot.
3. I am far less judgemental and far, far less tolerant.
I couldn’t care less about anyone’s political preferences, I just care if they’re an asshole. And boy am I having a field day in this world political climate.
4. We are expected to be mad menopausal monsters.
So I can be one. Guilt free.
5. I no longer have to worry about having an hourglass figure where my waist is a smaller clothes size than my hips.
My middle aged middle has spread around the edges, a sort of blurring of the definitions of waist and hips. More room for Dorritos I say.
6. We are officially fashion icons
Yes, I’ve read it in at least 2 websites and 3 magazines. Grey is the new blonde. Youngsters in their 20’s and 30’s are now paying (I’ll say that again, PAYING) to get their hair dyed grey or silver. Oh, how the sweet justice of it all wants me to break my one-Gin-on-a-Sunday-night rule.
7. It’s ok to take drugs again
The clubbing days of our youth might be over, but taking mind-altering drugs to give you a high is back – and GP prescribed! Don’t ya love intravenous oestrogen!
8. It’s absolutely ok to shine the spotlight on ourselves.
We’ve done the baby-making, child-rearing obsession thing and now can do the child-rearing not quite as obsessionally with one eye on them, and one eye on our own Netflix playlist. I am officially turning my office / dump room into a Teen Den, and caving in to buying a second TV in the house. I am giving my lounge an adult make-over and once the sofas have been re-upholstered there will not be child’s handprint allowed. It will be a child / food / dog free zone. I can almost cry with the thought of it. I am evening considering installing a drinks cabinet. Am now having palpitations.
9. We no longer have to be fashion victims or outcasts
Thankfully fashion has caught up with the fact that women in the 40’s and 50’s don’t want elasticated waistbands (although it has to be said, there is an appeal), twinset and pearls and ugly shoes. We can get way with wearing ‘comfortable shoes’ by living in our Nikes, and staying stylish doesn’t mean wearing thongs and belly tops. And let’s face it, the current trend for off the shoulder tops with a mini-arm cover is made for bat-wing arms.
10. I no longer have to be the ‘good girl.’
That ship has passed. I am sailing freer waters now where I no longer feel like trying to be liked, or pleasing people who don’t please me. I was brought up in a time when women were told how to behave – demure, kind, thoughtful and quiet. Fuck that. I’m a new age in a new age of femininity where my voice is loud and proud, and I’m kind only to those who deserve it. The only good girl thing about me is going to be being good at this middle aged life.