December 14th, 2013
“Would you like the same present for your birthday that I got you last year?”,
“what was it? pyjamas? yes I like new pyjamas”,
(*that’s scotch tape to my American friends)
And with that it all came rushing back, the trauma and turmoil of this time last year when I turned 40. I actually thought that the set of coloured biros and coloured sellotape was a sweet, albeit interesting choice of present but as No. 1 son had obviously chosen them himself I was all the more appreciative. It was a small highlight in an otherwise dark day. I didn’t like turning 40. Having started writing my mutterings on the run up to my new decade I had thought I had it well under control. Looking back I now see it was a huge rite of passage and only now, as I turn 41 do I think I am really OK with being ‘old’.
This time last year I was stricken with a throat infection and determined not to miss out on the surprise gathering my husband had planned for that evening (yes, sorry I did know) I stuffed myself full of every over-the-counter remedy possible, plus a healthy dose of my 2-year-old’s antibiotics. Yes, that was a secret too, which one year on I am not ashamed (well only partially) to admit. I figured that if antibiotics started working in 24 hours then 1 dose the night before and 1 the next morning should do the trick. I hadn’t counted on the enormous amount of sugar in an adult size dose of children’s antibiotics. My kidneys ached for days and I worried silently of the permanent damage. That’s how desperate I was to celebrate my big 4-0, I know, I know, sad and shameful. I also drank a lot of water – I mean a lot for weeks afterwards. Rather goes to show that with age does not come sense.
The good news is I made it out that evening and my drama training stood me well as I don’t think anyone suspected I knew what was in store (least of all my darling husband who was v proud of himself). By that time, slightly high on medication and a couple of glasses of cava I had a lovely time. Not so much the next day. Then the hangover and realisation that I could no longer consider myself ‘young’ really kicked in. Goodness knows how I’ll be at 50.
I spent yesterday thinking about the ‘must do’ list I created pre-40 and thought about what I had achieved in my 41st year. I have finally taken up exercise and have surprised myself by enjoying it. It has meant I have gained weight which I am reassured is muscle but I’m not so sure. I have worn shoes with heels much more than I did. I have tried to be less sensitive about other’s opinions (still trying) and I have gone from 1/4 time job plus full time parenting to 3 jobs and only partial full time parenting (hooray for kindergarten).
December 15th, 2013
So what about today I hear you ask, how is the birthday so far. Well, I have had 2 cards and one happy birthday. I am not sick, not stressed about my age – 41 somehow sounds younger than 40 – go figure. I have not taken any medication, mine or the children’s and I am 100% sure that no surprise gathering is being planned. I am in fact quite calm. No doubt I shall be receiving colourful sellotape, or some other comedy present from the childers this afternoon (it’s actually very useful), I am presuming cake and candles will make an appearance and I am happy to report that I am in a far better place on December 15th 2013 than I was on the same date in 2012.
Happy birthday to me.