Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Broken Dreams

Broken Dreams

There is grey in your hair.
Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath
When you are passing;

William B Yeats

It's Big D's Birthday tomorrow and I'm making him a chocolate cake.  I'm going to cover it in chocolate ganache and decorate it with galaxy mini eggs covered in gold if I can find them.  Of course, I COULD have decorated them with the ones I bought last night if I hadn't eaten them ...

Big D is going to be 33 ...

THIRTY THREE!!! How did that happen???

Gosh that makes me feel old ...

Age is a funny thing isn't it.  In my head I'm still probably in my early 30's but I really can't escape the fact that next month I will be 51 and in April my youngest child will be 18.

Does it bother me?

Well, I'd like to think it doesn't really but I'm not sure that's true.

The truth is that getting older is so much better than the alternative but it's still something I'm learning to live with (ironic as that may sound).

In the last year I've started to need reading glasses to read a book or to see the texts on my phone.  That seemed to happen really suddenly.  I even asked my doctor if it was connected to the high blood pressure I'd also developed but no, he seemed to think it was just age related.

I've noticed a stiffness in my joints that was never there before.  If I've been sitting for a while then I have to stretch out the stiffness when I get up.  I think twice about sitting on the ground these days because I can't just bounce back up like I used to and, when I look in the mirror, there are the signs I can't ignore.  The lines around my eyes, the grey that threads through my hair and the loss of that youthful glow that I took so much for granted.

I wish I'd appreciated my youth more.  I guess I though it would last forever.

I don't wish for my life to be any different from that which it is right now.  I'm happy, my life is good.  I have good people around me so maybe I'm being greedy.

It's easy to blame society for those feelings.  A world that focuses on youth, that defines people by their age and of course that plays a part but it's more than that.

I miss the energy I used to have.  I forget that I'm not quite as young as I used to be and I take on tasks in the same way I always have.  I will walk the coastal path all day and spend a couple of hours digging in the garden or cycle along the canal for hours and I am so grateful that I'm able to do all of those things but the next day or the day after I am reminded by the aches and pains that my body, although it allows me to do those things, struggles a little more and I hate that.

I've also become aware that I no longer turn heads in the same way that I used to.  How shallow does it sound to say that 'out loud' but it's true.  It's just another thing that I took for granted that has gradually declined.

I tell myself that that's ok, it's not a big deal, I don't need the constant validation that I used to crave and it's true, I really don't because I'm so much happier in my skin than I was when I was younger.

I wish I'd had the confidence I have now when I was young.  It seems to me it would have been the perfect combination.

If I had to choose I would be me now (which is just as well really) but I'm a little sad that younger me didn't see the possibilities.  Didn't have that self belief.  Needed that validation and possibly didn't fulfil her potential because of those insecurities.

So maybe what I'm really sad about is that younger me didn't have the advantages that older me now has NOT the other way around ...

Sure it was nice to be admired, it was great to have all that boundless energy - it's amazing that feeling of being invincible but what I have now is more real.  To use a few catch phrases, I'm more grounded, more centred, I have found myself rather than blindly running around trying to be SOMETHING.

Sacrificing the odd glance, the pretty compliments from strangers is a small price to pay for that I think.

So, although it may sound like the superficial things are so important to me they really aren't. 

I'm just being honest. 


SARN said...

An interesting and thought provoking post Sarah - and very honest too.

I've never been a head turner, so I can't miss that . . . but I do miss having boundless energy, and would prefer my hair to have kept its dark brown colour always (it's now totally SILVER!. I would prefer to have less aches and pains (but there are worse things). I agree with you about wishing to have the confidence gained later in life, with me from earlier on too.

Still, like you - I enjoy my life and wouldn't really have chosen another. So I guess that makes us both very lucky indeed!

Hugs, Sarn xxx

joeh said...

Us old dudes still turn our heads at you pentagenarians, but you'all just don't notice or care.

I think Mark Twain said, "Too soon old, too late smart."

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

That was beautifully written, Sarah. I could relate to so much of what you said - with the notable exception of the heads-turning bit. I would add that I like myself more now; the younger me could be a bit of a shit, frankly. Mrs B has a favourite expression, when I contemplate Anno Domini too greatly. "Well", she says, "At least your're still the right side of the grass". I love that; so positive. Hope the birthday's a real hoot!

Val said...

I'm pretty sure a few young men catch their breath when I walk by...and it's from FRIGHT!

For me, the worst part of aging is the aching joints. I'd love to be able to stand up from a chair, or step out of the car, and immediately start walking. That's what I miss.

Polly said...

oh Sarah this is so beautifully written, I can relate to all of it. Have you ever thought about submitting your writing to magazines or newspaper columns?