Getting older. The thing every woman dreads, right? Well, no actually.
I’ve just turned 42, which when I was 25 was an almost unthinkable age. But I really feel that my 40s are going to be the decade for me. I’m in the best shape of my life, both physically and emotionally.
My 20s are, quite frankly, a blur. And I struggled through most of my 30s. So to get to where I am today and feel so good about myself is actually a huge relief.
When I was 21 I had a close friend who was 26. I remember feeling really sorry for her. She was single and living on her own and I can clearly remember thinking it was tragic being ‘so old’ and living like that. I used to look at her hands and compare them to mine, being horrified that one day mine would be that wrinkled.
Looking at that sentence now, I’m horrified that I felt like that.
I also remember feeling sorry for my parents when I was growing up. I was always worried about them dying because they were so old and I pitied them.
But they probably weren’t really much older than I am now. So somebody, somewhere, is looking at me and pitying me because I’m so old.
I think it’s probably a pretty normal way to behave when you’re in your 20s – you think you know it all but you really don’t know very much at all.
I’m not going to sit here and lie and tell you that being in my 40s brings an all-knowing sense of serenity. I still have my own personal struggles, but at least I’m aware of them now and I can manage them better.
If I’m feeling depressed or going through some kind of crisis, I can navigate my way through much more easily.
I can still be stubborn and unreasonable but the difference is that now I know when I’m being unreasonable. Rather than just thinking I’m right all the time like my 20-something self did.
I often wonder how frustrating it must be to be an elderly person. To have most of the community looking at you and feeling sorry for your frailty, when you are the one who has far more life experience and understanding of humans and of life in general.
I remember thinking my parents had no idea what they were talking about, when they clearly did.
But my kids treat me in exactly the same way. They roll their eyes at me when I try to tell them it really wasn’t that long ago I was at school. That I understand how the playground works, how bitchy girls can be and how tough it is to struggle with liking school.
Life is strange and youth is a confusing, perplexing time. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I would not want to go back in time. I may not have had grey hairs sprouting from unspeakable places and I thought I knew it all, but really I was just anxious and confused on the inside, putting on a stellar performance that all was fine.
So there you have it. 42.
And this is the year I plan on running 42km three times.
The year of marathons.