Last month I turned the grand old age of 35. I remember when 35 felt like a ripe old age to be feared and avoided, I looked at 35 year olds in the supermarket with pity that they were past it (I genuinely thought this thought once upon a time).
Little did I know that my 30’s would be the best of my life so far.
It got me thinking about all of things I thought would have happened by the time I reached 35, all of the dreams/goals I had when I was younger and when I ‘decided’ they would happen (because young sometimes also equals naive!). Yet little did I know, my life would pan out a little differently to how I imagined and it is literally better than I could have hoped for!
“At 35 I….
- …thought I would have been married for a few years and would have four children”
- Well I am finally married (you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs) but that happened at the tender age of 34.5 and I am also pregnant with our first baby but judging by how I feel about being pregnant so far there is no way I am doing this four times! Also, Hubs and I discussed before we got married and agreed two was enough for us (Phew!).
- …thought this was the right age for a boob job”
- Yep, on the plan of ‘life goals’ for years was getting my boobies done. Two fold reasoning here (hear me out); First, my boobies have always been small and I used to think that mattered like ALOT. Thankfully I’ve married an ‘all about the arse” man so this point is now moot and I stopped caring at about 30 anyway. Secondly, I have been wearing contact lenses since I was 15 years old (glasses since age 11) and the cost of lazer eye surgery is about the same as a boob job. Unfortunately, my optometrist has confirmed that my eyes are likely to always need glasses even after surgery so the money would be better spent elsewhere (i.e. my new boobies!). I have definitely gone full circle on this for the time being, ask me how I feel about new boobies after I’m done with pregnancy and beyond!
- …thought I would have a high flying career and be earning mega money, driving a nice car and going on grown up holidays with grown up friends that involved wine and pizza and scrabble”
- I mean I’m not a million miles off here but perspective is key. I have a well paid job that I enjoy (most of the time) with good career prospects should I wanted to stay in the industry. I’ve been working in property for about 10 years but I would like to move into teaching Yoga, Personal Training & Wellness in the long term. I have a plan to get to this point so that I can make the leap from employed to self employed whilst still being able to afford the aforementioned luxuries. I have a modern but not too flash car (being paid for on finance I might add although I am compensated adequately by the company I work for as I have to have a car for work). I do not have lots of friends nor any that I like enough to even consider going on holiday with – I do like my space. Although I do have a few that like a good game of Scrabble or Cluedo and all the pizza and wines. I am very lucky to have such good fortune with all of these things but when I was younger I defined some of these as measures of my adulting success which I now realise was more about my parents generation and also societies measures of success.
- …thought that I would be a good cook!”
- I think I just assumed that being a good cook came with age and adulthood but actually I’m not a great cook. I’m OK at it, I can whip up a tasty meal that will be remembered by my guests, have inherited my mothers skill of being able to make something from nothing (my husband is always amazed at this), can keep the weeks meals interesting and sometimes new and don’t use every pot or pan in the house in the process. These things don’t make me a great cook though, they make me a good planner. My sister is a great cook, she can look in your fridge and make a gourmet meal worth a Michelin star from the scraps that you considered ‘stir fry’. She knows which flavours compliment each other and can even make nutrition based suggestions if you are poorly as she is a Nutritionist by trade. Me on the other hand, I like a recipe book – I’ve got a good memory and can add a recipe to my staple list of mid-week meals for years to come, I plan the weeks dinners ahead of time so that I shop sensibly and don’t waste food and, more importantly, don’t have to think about what’s for dinner after a long day at work. I’m also a lazy eater so this is essential, when hubs is away I eat the same meals that I love and are easy, usually Mushroom Risotto (because he hates mushrooms) with wine and bread or when I’m especially lazy I just eat cheese, sometimes on toast, sometimes straight out of the fridge.
- …thought I would be fashionable or at least have some sense of style”
- Lets face it, I live in active wear 90% of the time, my work wardrobe is a rotation of dresses that I don’t have to think too much about and my evening wear/casual wear is a similar rotation of dresses that I can throw on and not worry about. I know what suits me. I own two pairs of jeans because jeans for short people is a tricky balance and I gave up fighting that battle years ago. I envisaged that I would be a glamorous, yummy mummy wearing lipstick to the park, floaty skirts and different earrings everyday of the week. The reality, when I remember to I will wear the same pearl earrings I have worn for years, my jewellery is all from Tiffany and Co and hasn’t changed (aside from my new wedding and engagement rings) in 20 years, the thought of having to go to a day time function (not quite active wear, not quite ‘out out’) fills me with dread, I own no less than five striped blue and white tees. I’m simple with my choices but I still lust after the easy style of so many women I see in the street, one day hoping I can look as cool casually throwing something together.
I guess the most important thing I have come to realise at my ripe old age of 35 is that none of it matters. Just do you. Whatever makes you happy. Sod society, your parents, your siblings or even strangers’ expectations of what success or even adulting looks like. The right things will happen for you when they are right for you and only you get to decide what you want from life.
Learning to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about my life was the greatest thing I ever did. I even go as far as to shut down conversations that lead towards ‘When are you going to….*insert societies next step here*’ because it’s not fair and it’s not polite to ask someone when they will get on board with your plan for their life. It’s their life!
I’m not past it at 35, my life is just beginning!
Mrs G x