I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t do birthdays very well. Last month I turned 32 years old. 32!! What happened there then?! I remember being much younger and hearing the grown-ups in my life saying things about feeling old and not knowing where the time had gone and that they felt so much younger than they were and I didn’t really understand what they meant by it all. To me, they were just old! Now I know. And though I don’t class myself as old (against the thoughts of all my much younger siblings!) I can identify with the feeling of the age of years you’ve actually been alive, not tallying with the age in years you feel you are in your head.
So then. Age. What does it mean? Well actually, not a lot! I often have to stop and think when I get asked how old I am these days – time has carried on and the answer I naturally want to give is somewhere in the late twenties. Unfortunately I’m beyond that being a reality! I turned 30 two years ago. It felt traumatic to leave my twenties and was not pretty. I did a Monica. In fact, two years down the line, my family and friends still take great delight in talking about it and reminding me of the fact that I lost a weekend of my life as a result of having a huge party on a Friday night. I started the evening well – hair done by my hairdresser, new dress, new designer sparkly shoes and ready to party. It was all going well until a friend and then my brother and sister introduced a line of tequila shots that were pretty much downed in quick succession. The end of the evening was not pretty. And nor was the following day which was spent trying to interact with my family who had travelled to see me for the weekend but had to suffer me only being able to lie horizontal on the garden path for the best part of the day!
As I look back I have reflected on why thirty was a challenge and have come to realise that while I live life allowing myself no regrets, only recognising mistakes and learning for next time, there were things I had to face that I thought I would have achieved by that time and I hadn’t. And some I still haven’t now. I watched The Bucket List again not that long ago – I love that film and have begun writing my own. Fundamentally in life I want to achieve things, make every second count and live life well. I don’t want to reach the age of 40 having achieved not much more than when I was 30!! So right now for me, age is simply a way of measuring the richness or diluteness of life. I aim to throw myself into the decade that is my thirties and have achieved, experienced, given, invested, listened, learnt and grown much. Let it begin to unfold – I’m finally ready.