Photo from the Little Flower School blog
I have just finished Nora Ephron's I Remember Nothing, and close to the end, she comments that "Looking back, it seems to me that I was clueless until I was about fifty years old". This rang true with me, I feel there are many things I've only just got the hang of, and being older DOES have benefits, one of which is knowing stuff. I thought it might be good to highlight a few things that are good about being a bit older.
You can say NO to parties. When you're in your 20s and 30s, you go to everything assuming if you are not there something amazing will happen and you will miss out. It rarely does, which you only learn with age. The sofa, telly, the fire and a glass of wine at home wins every time.
And no to dinner parties. it always seems such a nice idea to be invited/invite others, but rarely is. As your host does a 'my-life-is-better-than-everyone-elses-and-my-children-have-just-got-into-Oxford' entrance with the Heston-style main course, in your heart you wish you were at home watching Strictly. We know who our friends are now, they know we can cook and we all prefer the pub anyway.
You know Tweezerman are the best tweezers, no question.
We forget stuff and it's fine. We have been around a long time and we have learnt a great deal, there's a HUGE amount in our brains so of course we're going to forget things sometimes, there's a lot to sift through. Younger people don't have so much in their heads so can't help but remember more quickly.
You know the best things in life are the small ones. My moments of pure joy come from watching my son concentrate on mending his beloved bike, opening the back door on a sunny morning, all sitting down for supper together, laughing on the phone with my sister, holding my husband's hand while watching Spring Watch, doing 'half moon' in yoga on a Tuesday and not falling over. You learn with age that the best things in life are rarely the ones that cost the most money or have been hyped to the hills (that SO goes for New Year's Eve).
Knowing it'll be alright in the end. I'm talking about the little stuff here. Not everything works out, but when you are worrying about whether your children will be damaged forever because they don't eat vegetables, or if your teenager will ever understand the word 'tidy' or 'revision', age teaches you that mostly, everything will be ok. Although, of course, we still worry…..
You understand you are not 17, or will be again. Instead you acknowledge that although your head still thinks you are a good 15 years younger than you are, nothing can actually reverse the ageing process. Yes you can still look fabulous, but not by looking younger, just by looking good. People who learn this one save themselves a fortune on surgery. Patti Smith ROCKS and she doesn't even wear make up.
Understanding tired. When you are younger you sometimes have days when everything seems to go wrong, you get weepy and cross and you stomp about thinking the world has it in for you. When you get older, you realise it's because you are tired.
(The same could also be said of the Moon cycle thingy…..)
You realise you don't have to buy everything you like the look of. This has taken me a long time to learn but now I know it, I am so much happier. Just because it's lovely, be it clothes, furniture or junky things in flea markets, it doesn't mean you have to own it. Also…
There's always another dress around the corner. Age teaches you that there is no point fretting about NOT being able to buy a dress/whatever, for whatever reason, as there is always another lovely one coming up soonish. There is no shortage of nice product in this world.
(The same can also be said of this month's super food, don't worry if you're not eating goji berries, there'll be another miracle food along shortly).
You learn all that matters is your health, friends and family. You are not going to go to your grave wishing you'd spent more time on that report/worksheet/powerpoint presentation/feature, which only really becomes clear when you get older and time gets shorter. Age gives you a bit of perspective on this, you usually FULLY learn this when someone you love dies on you early.
Tea cures most problems. There are still some sceptics on this, but as you get older, you learn that a cup of tea will ease the pain of most things, particularly if it is served with a digestive biscuit.
Do you have anything you have learnt with age?