Don’t get me wrong, I discover more and more great things about being middle-aged, every day.
Not having to worry about being judged on my looks is the best thing ever, and being able to roam my local streets looking like a bag lady when I go for my morning coffee, has been liberating. Attaining the wisdom to know for certain now that I AM always right, is another, and having a permanent excuse for grumpiness and intolerance is very satisfying.
And then there’s the real icing, like napping and being able to choose comfortable clothes over style – and get away with it. I love wearing flat shoes, voluminous scarves and floral dresses with drop waists and I now have more cardies in my wardrobe than cocktail dresses.
Some things are obviously not so great. Dinner party conversations that focus on illness and who’s died recently are becoming a little too commonplace for comfort and I’ve told you about my issues with hair growing just about everywhere (apart from on the old man’s head), my early dementia and an unfortunate reaction to loud music, considering I’ve created the next Mick Jagger.
All these symptoms qualify me for middle-age.
But there are some disappointments, too. There are some middle-aged activities that I’m still waiting to develop an inclination towards; some pastimes that I think I should be enjoying by now, according to my ‘How To Enjoy Middle Age’ guide.
That whole sauna/spa/relaxation thing was a miss, as you know. I still find it hard to relax AT ALL – even given the chance. In fact the only time I can sit still for longer than an hour is when I’m under either the influence of sugar or alcohol.
Then there’s gardening, which I truly believe I gave my best middle-aged shot at in our old house. But… worms. Then there was the backache, the weeds that refused to stop growing, the leaves to clear and the expensive plants that, (for no obvious reason), simply refused to grow on my watch, which all contributed to make it such an onerous task.
I’ve also tried to discover the appeal in the cruise ships that dock across from us in Circular Quay, too, but nothing gives. It might be the YMCA theme that some of the less prestigious vessels boom out across the harbour to announce their arrival, but there is zero desire in me to step on a cruise ship with hundreds of other mid-lifers, make small talk 24 hrs a day (with no feasible means of escape), and have to dress in something beyond yoga pants; even the Captain’s Table doesn’t sound interesting – or is that a euphemism for something else?
Then there’s the small problem that I can’t stay up later than 10pm without falling asleep, in spite of the fact that my middle-aged body clock still hasn’t changed its morning setting so that I can ‘catch the worm’. I could still sleep through to lunchtime, given the choice, so why pay for an expensive cruise to get stuck with awful people 24/7, and miss all the sights too?
Then again, I swore I’d never wear flat shoes and would never stop drinking after two glasses of wine with some feeble excuse, so subtle changes are definitely in the air and happening without my full consent.
And elasticated trousers do look more and more appealing these days.