When are you officially old?

By the time this year is completed I would have reached a significant milestone in my life.  It starts with a 4 and ends in and Oh…mygoodness is that really how old I am! 
History has proven that I am never afraid to let anyone and everyone know when it’s my birthday and what my age is.   I love to mark my birthday with a good celebration, but I have always placed less emphasis on what number it is and made it more about a chance to catch up with loved ones. 
Why all of a sudden when hubby decided we should mark this occasion with a super sized special event did I find myself questioning, why this birthday, what’s so special about 40.  Is it the beginning of officially being called OLD?  I don’t feel like I am 40.  (whatever that means). 
Well I suppose it means I don’t feel like what I remember my third grade teacher Mrs Hunter looked like when she was celebrating her 40th, with her then lovely white frilled buttoned up blouse and red, green tartan mid length skirt. I don’t feel old and frumpy like I remember the mature women working as Safeway check-out chicks back in the 1980’s.  What I actually feel like is twenty something with a few more wobbly bits! 
It’s been known that on occasion my hubby and I pretend that we don’t have kids by letting them sit on another table in the cafe, they think they are so lucky and grown up, while we think we are so lucky and young again. It’s not that I am afraid to be celebrating my 40th birthday, it’s more about not fully understanding if I am supposed to be feeling something that quite clearly I am not.  I don’t feel old, except maybe when my kids ask me about life BC (before children) they always refer to it as “tell us something about life in the olden days Mum” – oh please!
The other day my girls and I were googling (is that even a word?) some of their favourite stars, when after they clicked on the ‘profile’ link, I just lost it – my girls didn’t know whether to call 911 or join in with my ‘odd’ display of emotions.   You see I ended up on the floor, firstly I was laughing with such a high pitched cackle, and then it turned into me clenching my fists and banging on the wooden floor boards while tears were rolling down my flushed cheeks.  It was apparent to me that these stars were born when I was dating my kids daddy and planning our wedding.  A time in my life when I thought I was old.  So if these pop stars were born then and now old enough to get tattoos, what does that make me? Older, an old bloody fart or ancient?
It’s only now that I can fully appreciate and better understand a conversation my dad had with me some 7 years earlier on his 70th birthday, where he was attempting to highlight how he didn’t really feel his age except when he looked at his hands and realised the telltale signs of a man who spent 40 years working in the sun.  He recounted many past moments in his life as if they had all taken place earlier that day.  His voice wavering as his recollection of his youth and fallen years sat in the forefront of his memory; if I listened closer I could also hear a hint of anger present in his speech.  Perhaps from the moments he realised he could have achieved more.  Not really grasping that he was trying to shed light on his sentiment, that age is only a number, I just thought maybe he was in denial about, dare I say ‘growing old’.
I’m sorry I didn’t listen more closely to what you were saying Dad, but I get it now.  Age is what you choose to make of it, and as I am staring down the calendar watching the days tick closer to my birthday, I choose to embrace my age, I choose continued discussions with my girls about my ‘olden days’, I choose to mark every birthday as if it is a milestone, I choose to be the first to state my age, wear it proud and loud, I choose to grow my hair long maybe forget to dye it occasionally and celebrate the grey, I choose to realise that while society may want to pigeon hole people in my age bracket – I won’t be living inside any brackets or toning down my way of life.  How can I, I am only 40 for goodness sake.  If I live as long as my parents are living, there is still a huge amount of living to be done.
As my birthday nears, I will continue to care less about whether I am perceived to be ‘old’ and care more about what footprint I am leaving in the lives of my children.  I will teach them that life is about living it up, not counting it down, and if all else fails both the girls and I can start using a good quality hand cream.


  1. Bernie · September 6, 2011

    Someone once said to me we do not grow older with age, we grow wiser. It makes sense. We have had a longer time to understand what makes us who we are, what we like and don’t like. With our wisdom we become more confident – content with ourselves. So enjoy the approaching 40th knowing you are a wise woman of 40 years, with wisdom yet to come, who is able to share that wisdom with the young women who will be our tomorrow.


    • SorrentoMoon · October 19, 2011

      Someone recently wrote to me
      “40 is the old age of youth and the youth of old age”
      oh how true……Cheers SorrentoMoon


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s