Having always been a bit of a party animal, I love birthdays.
I tend to enjoy other people’s birthdays slightly more than my own especially these days, but on the whole I am all for popping the cork on a few bottles of Prosecco and getting the party started and the longer the celebrations continue, the happier I am.
I don’t actually drink Prosecco, but you know what I mean.
I have never thought of birthdays as growing up or growing old, to me they have always just been a celebration of actually being here, still living and still (hopefully) enjoying life. There have been the obvious milestones along the way and as I recall a small meltdown when I turned thirty, but since then every birthday has come and gone in a drink and food fuelled blur.
My Thirtieth was huge bash that went on for days, I was back in Blighty and couldn’t decide whether or not I was going to continue repping. However, the fear of ending up in my Thirties with absolutely no clue of where my future was heading, I played safe and secured a place in Majorca for the Summer, just in case. Most of my friends were home for Winter and they came from far and wide to celebrate my ‘growing up’ birthday. It was a magnificent weekend.
Thirty just seemed like the big one to me.
Isn’t Thirty the age at where you sit back and realise that you are exactly where you want to be?
At Sixteen and Twenty you are heard saying things like, by the time I am Thirty I will be married, I will have travelled the world, have at least Two children and a Dog and a conservatory and possibly even a Land Rover. Surely then you know you’ve really made it! 😉
Sadly, I had very obviously NOT made it.
I’m not really sad it’s just the way it was for me. Despite saying the exact same things when I was a young girl, I was no more ready for children in my Twenties than I was for giving up a Kidney. In fact, I would have preferred the later.
When your Twenties hit you realise that Twenty something isn’t old and that there is in fact a whole heap of years ahead of you, so many, that getting old still seems as if it is forever away. Therefore, you have time to do a little bit of what you fancy first. The only trouble with that is, it’s hard to give up the things you fancy once you start and before you know it your the oldest swinger in town.
Thirty was the birthday I struggled with the most for that very reason. I still wanted to do the things I loved, to carry on with my weirdly busy but often lonely lifestyle, I loved the freedom and the independence of it all, but I also knew that realistically if I wanted to ‘settle down’, I had better get a bloody shift on and find an appropriate male of the species to settle down with.
The trouble was I didn’t know what I wanted to do really. I loved my life but I also loved the idea of finding my soul mate and building a future together. I was having an age issue. It’s the only one I’ve ever had and thank God for that, as I didn’t handle it very well at all.
Looking back on that time is hard. At the time, or shortly after, I knew I had made the wrong decision, but I didn’t have the balls to admit it then. Life changed quickly and for a while not for the better. I struggled to accept the sudden changes and even though I was largely to blame for the situation I found myself in shortly after, which was pregnant and half in/half out of a ridiculously unstable relationship, I knew I had little choice but to grow a pair and get on with it.
This morning when I was woken up at 6:45 am to the dulcet tones of Tom and Elsie bickering outside my bedroom door, I rued that decision for a few seconds and had to try really hard not to tell them to sod off and argue somewhere else. Instead I lay quietly listening to them having a rather loud debate about who was going to make my birthday coffee (this is a regular thing since they learned how to put water in the kettle, well if you count once a year as regular), it suddenly dawned on me that this is it. I’m stuck with the annoying little bleeders for eternity now!
Jesus! I’m pretty certain I never wanted kids.
Eighteen years later and I am wondering how different my life would have been had I have used a condom! #jokes
In all fairness to them, for a Monday, which are usually pretty frantic, it was a lovely morning. We spent a whole fifteen minutes doing cards and presents and having (it has to be said) a nowhere near strong enough, coffee before they both went off to get ready for school.
I am taking the day off. I have no plans except not to work on my birthday, a new thing I am starting from this year.
I have already celebrated over the weekend and there is more celebrating to come next weekend. Well, if you can’t make it last at least a week at my age, what’s the point of getting here in the first place? Anyway, I’m practicing for my fiftieth now. I have two years to get it right.
I can’t wait! … and I never thought I would say that when I was Twenty something.
P.S I love you Dad x