I'm really not one of those women who worries about her age too much. Sure, when I enter my date of birth on line and I have to scroll back FOREVER to reach 1970, it sort of registers. And as I gradually creep up the age categories in the Park Run that too stings ever so slightly. Also, I'm never quite sure whether the comment "Really? Are you that old? You don't look it" is really a compliment or not. The older our eldest gets, the more obvious it must be that I'm no longer a spring chicken - not unless I had her at about 15.
That aside, I don't stress about the latest line or wrinkle. I think that is such a rocky road to go down and can only lead to misery because one's thing for sure, as we get older we're going to look older - and that's how it should be. When I saw recent photos of Jane Fonda looking not much older than me it really freaked me out. It was as if someone had preserved her in aspic since the 1980's and had recently got her out to start living again.
Anyway, enough of the serious stuff, these are some of my thoughts on ageing...
Nothing ages someone more than holding text at arm's length to read it. When your arms are no longer long enough, then it's time to take action. But not with half moon glasses that have to be peered over. They're not much better! Equally two pairs of glasses doesn't work that well either. "Where are my reading glasses, I've got the wrong ones on?" is a phrase I never wish to utter.
Ever get to the top of the stairs and wonder why you're there? Or are you able to reel off the birthdays of your school friends but you have no idea what you had for dinner two days ago? If so you're not alone. Both my friend and I are carrying a slight achilles injury at the moment and recently we had a conversation that something went like this...
"My achilles is really sore."
"I remember you hurting yours before."
"Yes, I remember you hurting yours too."
"Can you remember how long ago it was?"
"No, not really."
"No, no idea."
"Do you remember how you got it better?"
"No, I don't. Do you?"
"No, can't remember."
"Shall we just keep on running then?"
"Yep, sounds like a plan."
When you go to stand up
If you've been sitting down for a while, before moving a muscle to stand up, plant a great big fat smile on your face. There's nothing that gives away an ageing body as someone standing up and going "oooh, ouch, ahhh." Grin through the pain. Or alternatively don't sit down for too long.
Grey or stray, they need to go. Dye them, pluck them, zap them however you like but they have no place in your life - or on your chin.
Please don't ask me to go on a trampoline. Ever. And no self respecting aerobics teacher should ever ask a woman who has had children to do star jumps. That's just asking for trouble. How many other women have you seen trying to do star jumps whilst keeping their knees together? Don't the instructors get it?
I'm not there yet and hopefully won't be for some time, however it's impossible to fight the inevitable - assuming that we are lucky enough to get there in the first place. I know that for some women the menopause is dreadful beyond words. My aim is to exercise and eat as healthily as I can through it. My husband may well find me lobbing a trainer at him for no apparent reason, or asking him to pass me the chia seeds before dissolving into tears but at least I won't be throwing a packet of fags or asking him to pass me a bottle of wine. Maybe when I hit that stage he'll be pleased that I like to run so much as it will offer him peace and quiet from the hormonal wailing banshee who has replaced his wife.
One last thought....it's all in the mind
All those things that we never thought that we would do again - or at all - we should do them! Whether it's shopping in Topshop, learning to ski, doing the high ropes, learning to swim or dive or starting to run, we should give it a go. Confidence is a huge issue as we get older but there's no reason why we can't still have fun too. It's our spirit that keeps us young - not a line free face.