Monday, November 03, 2008

Facing up to Forty

I woke up this morning with a whitehead zit on my lip (yes, my lip) and a tiny black (yes, black and I'm blonde) chin hair - both were immediately squeezed and plucked.

Forty. The commencement of the fifth decade and the entry into the era of infertility, increased risk of fragility, no more upward mobility yet greater irritability and I hadn't even climbed out of bed yet.

Sapphire bounded in, all cosy and cuddly in her purple towelling dressing gown and eager to hand over her home-made card and gifts. "Chocolates just for you Mum, you don't have to share and a card that I bought - sorry about that - but I put my own drawing of our family inside. Sorry again that you look a bit fat in the drawing it's not true but was a mistake because you're not fat but that's how you came out and I couldn't rub it out because it was done in texta and look I've done Skipper the rabbit with his little disapproving mouth looking up but that's not because he doesn't like you or this card, it's because it's always shaped like that. Oh and here's the mobile phone holder that I crocheted at school last week...."

I look at her, as I do every morning when I clap my eyes on her for the first time that day with absolute wonderment at her beauty, kindness and eagerness to share her love with me. Being forty now, surely it will be time for me to lose my petty concerns about weight gain, spider veins and discovering that the real reason why my largeish bum isn't as sticky-out anymore isn't because I'm a really fast and frequent runner but because the lure of gravity has pulled it downwards where both cheeks are now resting quite happily behind the backs of my knees......

I still consider myself a girl inside, not a mature woman or someone now finished her youthful ascent up the mountain and being forcefully prepared to descend down the other side.

Yes, there are wrinkles when I smile, the tendency to automatically go "Ooff" when I get up off the lounge and those foo-doo-ba-dahs under my arms when I wave people goodbye but I can also still sing Hector the Cat's road safety song (word for word) from 1974 to an appreciative Sapphire in 2008, make an impressive batch of home made donuts with only ten minutes' notice
whilst hosting a playdate

.......and still, at two hundred and eight dog years of age, feel a bit excited when I wake up because it's my birthday and I feel a little bit special. And still want to hold Love Chunk's hand as we walk along the street together, off for a good coffee and some lunch. And look at his twinkling blue eyes as he laughs at my still-childlike joy in people watching, goofing off and making rude remarks about the two lurid German sausages he ordered.

And, as I keep telling myself, what's so bad about getting old? I'll be able to join Milly in taking frequent rests when the mood or arthritis compels her:

.... and maybe, one day, I'll get myself a three-wheeler bike and do my chores like this bloke:

There's plenty of room in the back of this kind of bike for the stash of chocolates I'll still be consuming in my pre-menopausal, post-menopausal, senior and twilight years. And today was merely the start of a chocojourney that'll keep continuing - a gift tin of Haigh's, a box of Guylian, a visit and selection of no less than thirty hand made chocolates from No5 in Hahndorf, several bags of factory-directs from Melba's and, after picking up Sapphire from school, a faceful of Cibo's chocolate gelato in Norwood.

And, if my luck continues to hold out, I'll share them all with Love Chunks and Sapphire.


Unknown said...

Happy birthday dear friend! Here's to an exciting year ahead for you.
Catherine xx

Miles McClagan said...

Happy birthday, the drawing makes you look a bit like Patsy Kensit if she'd just won a gold medal! Boss!

franzy said...

Happy Birthday mate!
Does LC really have a sweet pirate scar? That's totally arrsum dude!

I'm not even thirty yet and I've had smile wrinkles for twenty years, been saying "oof" when I stand up for at least ten and while you're getting weirdly-placed black body hairs, I'm getting grey ones.

(word verification today? "cacti" Perhaps I'm feeling a bit prickly and retaining lots of water)

squib said...

Happy Birthday Kath!!!

delamare said...

Happy birthday Kath! Was thinking about you yesterday as I spotted your favourite ice coffee in the Coles at Victoria Garden shopping centre in Richmond, and remembered it was your birthday.

And don't worry, we're still thirty-something. It's just a lot of something!

I know what you mean by feeling like you're still a girl inside. I'm convinced I'm still 32, and then I look in the mirror and find I'm not. But I didn't have my delightful kids back then, so it ain't all bad (just more wrinkly).

River said...

Happy Birthday Kath.Here's to many more. You'll find that 40 isn't so bad. (When you're staring 50 in the face you'll wonder what all the fuss was about)
Isn't it amazing how we all still feel like girls no matter what the calendar says? On the inside I am forever 27.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Catherine and yeah, that's was my birthday wish too (that and another seven kilos to disappear forever)

Er thanks Miles. I think.

Thanks Franzy. Nah, LC doesn't have a pirate scar, I think it's just an artistically accidental smear. He does have one on his jawbone though, a melanoma removal. Every good meteorologist has one.

Thanks Squib and Happy Birthday for the 3rd to you too, Delamere!

deepkickgirl said...

Happy birthday my friend! Yep, FORTY is a big one but a nice time to reflect on what you've achieved so far and be proud. You've got a wonderful family and a great (though at times stressful) life.

I saw a card the other day that said something like "You can't live a long life without getting older". So true! Our wrinkles and sags and lumpy bits are badges of honour. Woohoo, we've come THIS far.

Anonymous said...

No it wasn't a melonoma. A bcc - basal cell carcinoma - not completely harmless but not a dreaded melanoma...touchwood.

ashleigh said...

Hey - happy birthday. Oops. For yesterday.

By the way. Something important you need to know. Two contradictions:

- its not all downhill from 40. It's all downhill from 21. Bummer.

- In spite of being over 40, a "senior member of the team" rah rah rah, I still feel like an ignorant spotty twit trying to figure out what's going on in the world. And so do many others I know in their 40's as well. WE LOOK RESPECTABLE but inside we're still 18 and wondering what the heck is going on!

Kath Lockett said...

I notice, dear sweet beloved readers, that you've all been far too polite to make any ridiculing comments about how retarded my donuts are!

Thanks Deep Kick Girl - so, when I look down at my crepey stomach, emerging knobbly varicoses and realise that these days I'm more concerned about the US election results and world economy than weather Bjorn and Anna are getting back together again I'll keep reminding myself that I have come *this* far and still have two thirds of life to go..

Thanks Ashleigh. Glad you feel the same way inside.

Baino said...

Happy birthday Plugger. I'm so sorry I missed it on Facebook but the new format means I can't find things anymore. Forty is the new 30 or so I'm told and I didn't get truly depressed until I turned 50! One good thing about being plump is that you dont' get wrinkly! (I still get little hand made cards from Clare - slightly more sophisticated but just as sentimental) Hope you had a happy happy day!

ashleigh said...

Got to get me one of those cow pats one of these days :)

Naomi said...

Happy birthday for earlier in the week! I remember 40 from last year lol

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ashleigh that it has been downhill since 21, but I would prefer to see it as "gaining momentum".