Tuesday, 5 December 2017


Birthday week limps doggedly on. Kate Bush never showed up, and Australia Post still hasn't unlost my earrings. Fuck them and their shit handheld fucking thing you sign your name on! I mean, fuck Australia Post not fuck my earrings. Anyway. This week, any discussion I get into sooner or later comes to a point where I start to talk about my feelings, and then, because the person I'm talking with wasn't really up for that conversational turn (they were probably just asking if I knew where the hot glue gun might be, or wondering whether anyone was sitting in the green chair) I attempt to hose it all down or perhaps comfort them, and I say, that thing I just told you is because of my birthday. That was a birthday conversation.

It's disconcerting. If I check, I don't feel old. I'm really tired at the end of most days, sure; but physically and mentally I'm in great working order, as good as I've ever been. And there is still that quite adolescent feeling of restlessness and yearning that I have been struggling to come to terms with for many months now. That doesn't feel old. Admitteldy I do have a shitty moment every now and then when a stranger remarks upon something my "grandson" is doing. That's about the silvery hair, I know, and the first impression it inevitably creates. So yeah, it's a bit confronting to open my mouth for some innocuous purpose and hear my own voice talking about feeling like my life and time are slipping away, and it's all just happening way too quickly.

A friend said to me today, I can tell you, at the age of 45, you're still peaking. It rang true: I'd already thought something similar. Yesterday I had a look at what I was up to ten years ago and it was revealing. There was a very big event that I organised which I remember extremely well. As I read the archived blog entries I remembered feeling kind of helpless and overpowered - maybe "passive" is the word I'm looking for - about key parts of that project. Ten years later I never have that sort of feeling about work or indeed about much else. Plenty of stuff doesn't go how I want it to, and I continually commit terrible errors of judgement. But. I'm sure of myself now, not in a fantasy of omnipotence sort of way, but in a complex way that involves understanding, accepting and using my abilities, my knowledge and my limits. Also, I am sure of myself now in the fundamental & important sense that I know my own worth and value. It took me a very long time to learn this. Ten years ago, I had no idea at all, that's really clear to me in reading over what and how I wrote then. (I like my quiz responses, though.) If I think back another ten years to what I was doing at that point, I was living a life of complete mystery to myself. Ten years before that, I was on the brink of falling into a crisis that might have destroyed me. My friend was right: my life has never made as much sense to me and seemed as full of possibility to me as it does right now. I'm not very happy, but at least I know that I deserve to be.

The thing is, though, 45 is enough. It's plenty! Thank you! The birthdays are great and they can just stop right there. 

1 comment:

JahTeh said...

Even worse, the birthday you think is 67 is actually 69 and next year goes on to 70. I feel 45, how dare the body ambush my mind until I almost lose all the happy. I am getting used to it, 70 that is, as long as it stays in the deep dungeon of all nasty things until the absolute last day of 69.