Flashback Truths: Finally Acting My Age
I’m currently enjoying a blogging break so I can soak up the joys of the season and spend some quality time with my three little bears (in reality I’ll probably be physically intervening in their arguments and trying to find some peace and quiet by sneaking off to watch the tennis…but you know what I mean!)
While I’m away I’ll be re-posting some of my favourites for you to enjoy all over again. Today’s post was originally published here.
I’m finally starting to feel my true age.
Exactly how I looked today when I realised my true age! (image courtesy gettyimages.com)
I’m 36 (if you must know) but I normally feel like I’m in my late 20’s. That does sounds a bit weird but I don’t often think of myself closing in on middle age. I have young kids, I”m still in good health and I have yet to discover my first grey hair so when I look at myself I think I’m doing okay.
But today was a revelation for me in a few ways and finally made me accept that I am inexorably on that downward slide to middle age. And, you know what, that’s actually okay!
The first revelation today was that I am no longer the young thing around the office. I first started in my office when I was 19 years old – I was on junior wages and had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
I think I was the youngest person in the office for a good few years and have always worked with people older than me, thus perpetuating the unrealistic picture I have been carrying around for the last 16 odd years about my eternal youth.
On my way back from grabbing a much needed hot chocolate this morning, I was confronted with a gaggle of girls coming out of the elevator. They were all long shiny hair, immaculate makeup, slick office wear, with no hint of bags under the eyes. I, on the other hand, was baggy eyed from nearly 8 continuous years of disturbed sleep, wearing my comfy non-heels, sporting frizzy hair from the recent rain and not looking nearly as slick nor shiny nor new.
And it suddenly hit me – I am not one of them anymore. To be honest, I have not been one of those girls for a very long time but I have continued to feel younger than my years. But today, my brain finally caught up with my body and I finally accepted that I am growing old.
Just to rub things in just that little bit further, later on in the day I completed an office employee engagement survey. I’m a public servant, I like forms and have no problems with surveys so it should have been all cool.
Except they started things off with those pesky demographic questions such as how long you have worked in the office, what age group do you fit in, etc. So I duly noted that it has been 6-10 years since my last promotion (my last promotion was confirmed 2 days before Matilda Bear was born in 2005), I have been an employee for 16-25 years (I will have been there for 17 years in March) and, just to sweeten the deal, I now fall into the 35-44 year age demographic.
Now, I only just fall into these categories but there is something confronting about leaving the security of the late twenties/early thirties demographic and moving into the middle age one. Seeing it on the computer screen just reinforced my earlier revelation that I am actually not as young as I used to be.
Now I could be all depressed by this but I refuse to be. I even had a laugh with my husband earlier about my realisation – he pointed out (quite unhelpfully) that he was still in the younger demographic – so I pointed out to him that he was a fool for marrying an older woman!
On the whole, I am content with where I am in life. I have a loving (and younger!) husband, 3 beautiful kids, a stimulating job (most of the time…), my own house, all the material stuff that we need and a fantastic network of family, friends and supporters.
Sure, I have more wrinkles, more bags under the eyes and I certainly don’t recover quite so quickly from exercise these days. But I have far more confidence in my ability as a wife, mother and worker now. I can laugh at myself and I no longer worry about the insignificant things (probably more due to lack of time and energy, than anything else!)
So, it looks like I am finally ready to embrace 36 and all the good and bad stuff that goes with it.
Which begs the question – are you ready to embrace your true age? Or have you already done so (meaning I am the only one who has deluded themselves in this way for years?)