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Does this mean I’m middle aged?

May 29, 2014

It’s happened …

I’m 50.

Really I am … I’m sure I look it, and that’s just fine, but really??? How can it be that I’m as old as all those people I thought were so old. How on earth did I get to be 50?

The me that looks back from the mirror is still the same me that woke up with a storming hangover after the infamous 5 shots for £1 nights in the University bar, the same me that broke the primary school high jump record (my record remains unbroken to this day apparently), the same me that mined opals in the outback of Australia, the same me that fell off a table dancing to ‘Black Velvet’ wearing not very much one night in a bar, the same me that remembers the swishing of the ribbons in my plats when I was swinging back and forward on the swing at nursery school, the same me that stood triumphantly with my elbows on the stage bang in the middle of the front row at a Springsteen concert (well a few actually), the same me that smoked cigars and drank tequila in Buddy Guy’s blues bar, the same me that was always late for school assembly in the cathedral and clattered along the flag stones to try to get there on time, the same me that spent hours collecting flowers for a school project, the same me that danced as a child with the Ecuadorian national ballet, the same me that dived in the deepest bluest ocean off a Greek Island, the same me that sang in the church choir, the same me that was going to be famous by the time she was 25, the same me that had Guide badges on both sleeves, the same me that sold perfume made from the irises in the garden to my next door neighbours when I was 12, the same me that gave up everything under the sun for 2 years to try to get pregnant and stay that way, the same me that loved Showaddywaddy, AC/DC, Donny and Marie and the Undertones, the same me that had footballer and Snoopy stickers on my bedroom door, the same me that went to Madagascar for charity, the same me that sat with my father all night after he had died, the same me that fell off a chair trying to see what my future husband looked like, the same me organising college balls and Government receptions, the same me that commuted across Sydney Harbour to work, the same me that read most of the night under the sheets with a torch, the same me that danced with strangers in Trafalgar Square when England won the Rugby World Cup, the same me that made dolls out of poppies with my grandmother, the same me that looked like Chrissie Hynde I wore so much eyeliner, the same me that sat under a tree all night waiting to see badgers, the same me that sang in the Gang Show, the same me that walked away from a place at drama school to go to University, the same me that ran for the county, the same me that marched against Mrs Thatcher, the same me that travelled the world, the same me that passed her driving test second time, the same me that paddles in the north sea in the winter, the same me that walked up Catbells with her father, the same me that did ice skating at school instead of hockey, the same me that loved David Essex, the same me that championed rural communities, the same me that shouts, “Oh wow” every time she sees something exciting, beautiful or new, the same me that watched Abba win the Eurovision song contest, the same me that prayed that one day I’d have a boyfriend, the same me that came top of the class at school and bottom of the class at secretarial college, the same me that played Billy Joel’s My Life so many times in teenage rebellion that my mother broke the album, the same me that wore pink dungarees to the heavy metal rock club discos, the same me that made my Uncle a green birthday cake, the same me that helped pull the nets in on a Kerelan beach, the same me that felt transformed by Ayurvedic massage, the same me that walked down the Grand Canyon and on the Great Wall of China, the same me that danced til dawn in a hotel in China in a red dress, the same me that cuddled my toy parrot every night in the hope that it would come to life, the same me that chatted about village life to the Prince of Wales, the same me that walked her dog in a village in France with more goats than cars, the same me that was at school in a history lesson when she heard Elvis had died, the same me that should have done more of what my mother told me, the same me that knows all the roads off the 101 and the 405 freeways in Los Angeles, the same me that had a life changing moment the first time she ate Mexican food, the same me that wept for joy when my brother’s first child was born, the same me that never could build up the courage to have a new hairstyle … all me … and still me.

Only now that me is 50 … and has a 2 year old daughter. This is me.

Previously on birthdays I’ve celebrated far afield with many many friends, this year, the year that the first half century has passed and the next one begun, I’ll be spending it with my little girl. The INCREDIBLE childminder she has is on holiday, so we’ll be together … maybe we’ll go for a cup of something hot and a croissant (she says that so beautifully with a perfect French accent), then have a play on the swing, maybe lunch with mother and then a potter along by the river, if I’m lucky a friend will play with Hope for an hour so I can get my revolting hooves scraped and coiffed, and then maybe we’ll meet her Daddy for a play in the park or have a pizza or noodles (if she has her way) … I’m looking forward to a lie in with her, reading her books, snuggling close as she nurses so happily and to opening cards from around the world, from people who remember me as I was, know me how I am or haven’t seen me for years but stay in touch once a year…

I’ve decided (having failed dismally to organise a party) to celebrate all year, at least once a month with some kind of happening … friends coming round, going out to a free concert in the park, having a girls night out (yoikes) and having some lovely walks … maybe a disco in a village hall at some point, for old times sake.

In many ways I have lost so much of the confidence I once had, but in other ways I care not what people think if I forget to put make up on or wear vintage (ie very old and not yet back in fashion if they ever were) clothes, I’m nervous of going out dancing as I have no idea what to wear or how my knees will hold up, but seeing as I love my Texan cowboy boots it will be something involving them. I also have a daughter which has given me immense confidence and monstrous self doubt in equal measure …

I am who I am, and that’s an incredibly blessed first time mother of 50 …

Lordy that sounds odd … 47 years of not being a mother and 50 of not being 50, it’s going to take a while to get used to the latter!

and I’m still wondering what I’m going to do when I grow up.

Am I middle aged … well if I’m going to live to be 100 then I guess I must be (but I’m still not grown up).

Roll on the next 50 …

looking to (and at) the future

looking to (and at) my future

that same 17 year old me


2 Comments leave one →
  1. lins22 permalink
    May 29, 2014 2:10 am

    Yep. Same exciting, inspiring, fantabulous you. (That’s quite some cv you just published – WOW!) Personally, I don’t believe any of us are ever grown up cos that would mean we’d lost our way. And I doubt you could do that with a Hope to guide you 😉 Have a great year and I hope we can catch up during this mammoth fiesta. Enjoy, my friend X

  2. sharon permalink
    May 29, 2014 6:54 am

    Happy birthday Ellie! Wow ~ you’ve done a lot in those 50 years!! Have a great day, and year of celebrating. Love Sharon

    Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 00:45:33 +0000 To:

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