I don’t do pictures very often any more, crikey I don’t do words that much at the moment, but Molly’s post about age got me thinking this week. I saw a little of the conversation that sparked her post and I know both the participants. They are both a good 12 years my junior. I am 40. This is what it looks like: A little bit tired, with stubbly legs and a painful knee.
My body is softer and less flexible than it was at 23 but then I’m not dancing full time any more. My body is rounder than it was at 35 but since then I’ve had a baby. My knee hurts because of the years of dancing but my arms are still strong because of the years carrying scuba cylinders.
I’m sure that anyone banging on about older mums that are an embarrassment to their kids would, if I challenged them with the truth that I’m an older mum, assure me that they didn’t mean me, but my age isn’t something I can deny. If you’re talking about “older mums” that’s me. You didn’t mean me because I don’t look like your stereotype. Who does?
I’m incredibly lucky to have the genetic good fortune to have a body that suits what our culture deems acceptable and to look younger than my years. I get that. I’m lucky that I chose an active life and that my body accommodated those choices, doing the many strenuous and stressful things I’ve asked of it without too much accident or injury. I like my body, but what I like more is my age.
What I have as well as sun damage, wrinkles, aches and pains – all of which I expect to get much worse in the coming years; is experience.
The 22 years of my adult life have been well lived and are full of experiences, good and bad, that have enriched me. So you can keep youth and smooth skin, along with your angst and struggle for self-awareness and identity and I’ll keep my 40 years and look forward to at least another 40 more.
This is what 40 looks like.
This is my contribution to Molly’s Sinful Sunday photo meme, click below to see who else is joining in.