To Grow Old Gracefully or…

OK, first off I know that 30 isn’t really that old.  It just feels like such a mile stone!  I really wasn’t that bothered about it on my 29th birthday when my sisters started to poke fun and repeatedly point out that I’d be 30 on my next birthday.  In fact I really wasn’t bothered about it at all until, well, a few weeks ago!  Up until then my biggest preoccupation with the date in November was what sort of party I was going to have and what I wanted to do on this here blog.

But.  Something has shifted in my head and I’m really not sure what it is.  Maybe it’s the dawning realisation that I’m changing.  My face is changing.  There is hair where once there wasn’t.  Skin isn’t so supple, or radiant.  I’m not sure I’m ever going to get my waist back (but that’s not a battle I’m willing to wave the white flag on yet).  I have doubts that I’ll ever get off the blasted medication for my prolactinoma.  My life is so different from when I entered my twenties.  I guess I’m a bit scared.

In my head I don’t feel like an adult some of the time.  Sometimes it seems surreal that I have all these grown up responsibilities.  I have a proper job, one that you could call a career.  I worry about redundancy.  I have a mortgage on a proper house which I intend to grow old in with my husband.  The only man I have ever been with, and who I had my first date with 13 years ago on Halloween (it was a fancy dress party.  He was a vampire and he coloured his blonde hair in with face paint.  He had to use a nail brush to scrub it out the next morning.  He said it hurt, I believe him.).  I have a beautiful amazing son, who we didn’t think was possible.  Who managed to hide for the first 21 weeks of the pregnancy.  Truly – I had no clue.  Why would I?  We’d been told that the prolactinoma had stopped me ovulating and that it wasn’t possible.

So in ten years, or a third of my lifetime on this planet of ours (so far I hope!) I’ve gone from single and living at home to married in my own home with my own family!  It seems otherworldly to me.  The changes to how I live my life I’m at ease with, I’m happy with where I’m at and the life I have.

My unease is a question of vanity.  Plain and simple.  Do I grow old gracefully and with dignity?  Be stoical about the changes that are happening to my appearance.  Or try to do something about them.  I’m not one for extremes – quite frankly the idea of surgery or botox scares the pants off me.

But I am willing to consider spending money on anti-ageing skin care.  Who am I kidding?  I already have!  If I’m honest I’m seeing a difference too in the texture and softness of my skin.  I’m using a proper cream cleanser now with a muslin cloth that properly cleanses and exfoliates.  I’m also using a moisturiser with an inbuilt SPF and some anti-ageing goodies built in.  I’ve always moisturised but I have definitely been hit and more often than not miss with the SPF on the face.

As for the hair where there wasn’t hair before – it’s another job for my amazing beautician and something I’ll ask her about as I’m not sure what the best way to deal with it is!  I trust her, which is so important.  To the extent that for the first time ever this month I had my eyebrows professionally shaped and it made such a difference!  She took off more than I would have ever dared on my own, but they still look natural.  Better, but still normal.  I am so, so pleased with them!

Isn't this so cute?

I think I’ve also decided finally what I want to do with my hair.  I love playing around with pin curls, rollers and some vintage-esque hair styles so I think I’m going to go for a modified midi cut with the shortest layer at about 7″ and the length finishing roughly between my shoulder blades.  I don’t think it will look a huge amount different to the way it is now, other than that it will have more layers in it.  I’ve found a load of references on-line to show my hairdresser (who I may lose as she’s got a job opportunity in Spain) so I hope we can come up with something next week.

So maybe I’ll tread a middle ground.  Acceptance that I’m changing, whilst working to preserve and make the best of what I’ve got.  That seems like a balanced and sustainable approach for me.

What do you guys think?  Do you embrace the changes age brings, or fight it?  Do you see your thirties as a time of holding promise or are you scared?  If you’ve already celebrated the beginning of your third decade, what advice would you give?  What have you learned in that third decade?

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2 thoughts on “To Grow Old Gracefully or…

  1. I found your blog through the Casey’s circle skirt posts, but I am really drawn to this post. I just turned 30 three weeks ago and have many of the same feelings you do. It seems odd to long for youth at such a still youthful age of 30, but it’s certainly something many of us experience (oh to have the skin and hair I had at 21!). I too have differences in my body – skin, hair, weight and body shape – and it does really play with one’s sense of vanity. If it offers any consolation, I have two thoughts for you: 1) your feelings are perfectly normal and experienced by so many women just like you and 2) I think you exhibit a very thoughtful and self aware attitude that leads me to believe you will age and transition gracefully. You know what is best for yourself and your goals, and you should feel confident in your decisions. Happy early birthday. As my dad likes to say, birthday’s sure beat the alternative!

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