Wearing Purple

Over the weekend, someone made a throwaway comment about being 40 and living like a student. It suddenly occured to me that I'm getting old. How weird. I mean, I like celebrating my birthday. Like most pagans I'm always up for a good celebration, and events which come with pressies, friends and wine, are just good by their definition. But, I really am growing older.

In my head, my parents' friends were always going to be middle aged, and when I grew up I would then become the same age as them. So it came as a shock when they and my parents, not only aged normally, but then had the temerity to die. How rude!

I look at other 40 year olds, they have careers, marriages, mortgages, children, businesses...they're all so terribly grown up. I've got Boy, Cat and a home, but I don't feel grown up. I just feel more me. Which is difficult to explain, but I think I'm begining to arrive.

Just as my body prepares to go south.

I was sitting in my favourite eaterie this morning, contemplating my cappuccino and I started thinking of 10 things which I have found great about growing older (though the wiser bit is questionable).

1. I am now less concerned about being liked, and more concerned about being accepted.

2. I quite like my appearance. I like spending my time on make-up. Not because I want to be more attractive to anyone else, but simply because it gives me pleasure. It's a treat to myself.

3. I am less of a control-freak. As I have got older, I'm less interested in being sensible and more interested in having experiences. And you know what? I'm still keeping myself safe. I haven't turned into a crack whore, yet.

4. I value my vices. They bring me great pleasure.

5. Being compassionate is far more important than being right. Though I suspect that's still a work in progress.

6. My tolerance for day-to-day cruelty and rudeness has plummeted. Life is too short to waste time on such things. Yes, I'm perfectly aware this completely contradicts #5.

7. Quality is far more important than quantity. I would rather go without than put up with something cheap or substandard. That applies to more than goods and services.

8. I have learnt I can survive the most awful things and flourish.

9. Perseverance. As long as I keep breathing in and out, all will be well. Again, similar to #8, but not quite.

10. And perhaps most importantly, the inadequacey of the word 'love'. The horror and atrocities perpetrated in the name of love...I sit here and shake my head. I have no need of it to be said to me ever again. A bit dramatic? Perhaps. I would rather someone say to me 'you exasperate me beyond belief woman, but I brought you dinner and a bottle of wine', than say 'I love you' and not call.

Your turn, what gems have you learnt while growing older? Make it as funny or as heartfelt as you like. I'm nosey.


  1. I've been writing my blog for 4 or 5 years now, and I'm still not sure I've learned anything worth sharing.

    I have discovered that I get more pleasure out of giving (pleasure, gifts, comfort...) to other people than I get out of receiving same.

    But then, I haven't got past my mid-thirties yet (or so my mind believes).

  2. PS You're too young to be wearing purple. With a red hat that doesn't go.

  3. dave ~ the 30s are a good age to be in. Far more fun than teens or 20s. Ugh.

    Come our blogmeet and we shall share in the pleasure that is hot beverages and cake!

    I over-share everything and I'm blessed with people who don't mind.

  4. You have a very insightful list.

    I don't feel like I've learned all that much myself.

  5. I have discovered that I get lots of pleasure out of people giving me things so perhaps I should be in a synergistic relationship with young Dave.

    Plus the older I get the happier I've become.

  6. Is a synergistic relationship something like a Borg?

  7. Fantabulous insight.
    Just wait until your're in your fiddies like moi!
    It keeps getting better..upstairs anyway
    well that's another story.

    The great tragedy in Life is that just as you finally figure yourself out, if you live that long, the warranty on your parts start expiring.

    "I have to admit it's getting better,
    it's getting better,

  8. xl ~ thank you. It's good to know all the navel gazing pays off. I can definitely recommend taking the time to navel gaze. I still have no idea where all the fluff comes from.

    rog ~ I have first dibs on gifts from Dave. Mitts off!

    dave ~ it's exactly like that.

    donn ~ apparently the fiddies are awesome. I have to make it through my forties first.

  9. I have learnt to accept failure. It's not failing. It's either learning to do something in a different way or it wasn't the right time to try that particular thing. If nothing else it invariably gives the people I love something to laugh at/with.

  10. Oh and Yale locks are the work of the Devil.

  11. Don't think I've really learned much of any huge moment...in terms of decisions, I keep on making roughly the same proportion of good'uns and goolies...Despite years of people-watching I can still be, from time to time, just as poor judge of character as I ever was...

    Over a period of years, I've learned, I suppose, to excel at the technical aspects of my job, but have been forced to accept that in itself, (probably quite rightly), that doesn't necessarily move me any further up the corporate tree...

    Perhaps I've simply come to terms with failure, learning en route, that it isn't necessarily a disaster, and that even in failing, you've still a lot to offer the world...to some extent we're all hostages to that particular fortune after all...

    (Hope that doesn't sound self-pitying...it's not meant to be!)

  12. I've learned it's best to be honest with people despite it being not what they want to hear, than to tell them something they love hearing but is completely untrue.

    I'm also coming to terms with the fact that it's wise to live up to my own expectations of myself rather than somebody else's unreasonable ones.

    Apart from that, I am still making mistakes & looking back & realising that in hindsight, I could have done some things differently & better.
    But isn't that what your twenties are all about?!

    I also have a habit of being reckless although I'm not certain that will ever be cured with age!

  13. I've learned a few bits of useful info in my 27 years:

    That you can love someone without being in love with them was a big lesson. Also that sometimes, you loving them has to be enough. I think its about how you feel because thats all you can control.

    There is NOTHING that removes eyemakeup like baby oil. Its naughty to do it, but it works.

    Always be prepared. The people who mock you for the chemist you keep in your drawer at the office will be a little more sheepish when they've got a cracking headache and you're the only one with a box of nurofen.

    That some battles just aren't worth fighting. You lose more during the war than you'd gain in victory.

    That TV doesn't get better than Seinfeld.

    *Always* apologise if you fuck up. All too often I see people make mistakes at work and not even have the decency to apologise for it.

    It doesn't cost anything to be polite, you'll find people are nicer to you if you are! I'm always polite, but I work in customer service and am always astonished at how rude some people are.

    I'm glad you're doing well sweetheart, if you want to drop me an email with your address I'd like to pop you a card in the post.


  14. hottie ~ it's sounds like you're learning to be gentle with yourself. Yay!

    I now live in fear of locking myself out the house.

    cogidubnus ~ self-pitying? Not at all. It sounds raw and honest. Thank you.

    G*N*D ~ I live with a Dr Seuss quote on my notice board "Be who you are and say what you feel, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

    I choose friends who tell me the truth and thank you for being here.

    beth ~ you have such wisdom and generosity. The man who ends up with you, will be pinching himself, because he'll think he's won the lottery, every day.

    People, it's been a long day and I am truly knackered. You have no idea how much your comments - the funny and wise - have lifted me. Allow me to feel smug at knowing so many wonderful people. My virtual friends.

  15. Obviously I know nothing about this topic.
    You'll have to ask Dave.
    Enjoy yourself - and report back.

  16. kaz ~ obviously, at 18 you have no idea what we're on about! ;-)

  17. I'm always surprised at how old I am ~ hope Dave brings you a big gift then, for his own sake of course.

  18. I offered her my gerkin, what more can a man do?

  19. Roses ~ that is a very good quote actually :-)

    And on a slightly more sombre note, the other thing I've learned is what it feels like to properly love someone. Not just be in love with them or in lust with them, in love with the idea of being in love, or even just liking them an awful lot but real love.
    The pain of realising it isn't for forever because of various reasons & learning that sometimes, no matter how much you want something & no matter how much work you're willing to put in to it, with the best will in the world it won't ever be yours.
    And because of that, learning that sometimes you have to let go of someone & accept things.

    I think that is possibly the hardest & most painful lesson I've learnt so far.

    I may not have worded the above very well because it's difficult to put in to words but hopefully the gist of it is there.


  20. ziggi ~ hail and welcome. Dave did bring his promised gift of purple oriental poppies. I will blog more tomorrow.

    G*N*D ~ I'm glad you like the quote, I keep it near me to remind myself that people who matter care for me for who I am. Not just the convienient bits.

    And I do understand what you say about loving someone. It's a hard lesson, however I have discovered that the more generous I am with my heart, it doesn't matter how long the 'love' lasts.

    If you give generously of yourself, without expectation, accepting the other person for who they are, rather than what you'd like them to be, it feeds your soul long after they are no longer with you.

    I will always cherish the Viking. He is a wonderful human being. Our time together has been one of best things ever. Now we are no longer together we still care for each other, respect each other and our friendship remained steady throughout the last year when we weren't a couple. Our time together, I believe, has made us MORE capable of loving.

    Be generous with your heart to deserving people and you'll have loving experiences to cherish in your quiet moments. I promise you, it will be worth it.


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