Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On time and ageing

I've been thinking and wondering about age a lot recently. Age and time and years. Maybe its because I'm speeding towards a milestone birthday. Maybe its because I'm in one of the most beautiful places in the world and I have time to think. Or maybe its because at this time of the year all my girlies turn one year older.

I don't know.

Here's a bit of what I've been thinking lately:

I don't feel like I am old enough or mature enough or sophisticated enough to be turning forty. It's funny but I was having a big think about this on the beach early this morning, when two friends walked past discussing the exact same thing. Unless they are sick, almost every adult I talk to in life feels younger than their years. My own grandfather told me recently that he could easily switch the numbers in his age and be 39 like me instead of his own 93.

I have a husband and three kids, a business, a house and a car like a forty year old might, but I just thought that as a forty year old I might be more organised, neater, more settled and serious. Nope.

My farmer boy doesn't think like this though. He says he is what he is and age means nothing.

This younger than your years thing doesn't seem to apply to children though. The six or so kids I asked this morning all told me they felt well and truly the age they are or are turning soon.

Then there is the fact that so often adults struggle with aging while kids seem to be in such a hurry to reach their next birthday and their next and their next. On New Years' Eve this year as soon as the clock struck midnight and we had wished each other a happy new year, all the kids started excitedly comparing notes about the age they would turn next year (ie not this year's birthday but next.) My kids were terribly excited to be turning five, nine and twelve, but I was not exactly thrilled to be skipping straight to forty one.

And lastly, my kids love celebrating milesstones and cannot wait to reach them and celebrate them. Whereas I and a lot of other Mothers I speak to feel a twinge of sadness at these times. First days of school, birthdays, weaning, lost teeth, growing out of clothes... ouch!

This mother has never even given her last baby a haircut and she is four!

Birthdays and milestones mean time is passing and that means lasts and farewells and they are hard.

Late last night I carried my newly minted four year old back to the caravan. We'd had the most incredible day that had finished off with a pizza by candle light dinner with the entire crew and then an outdoor movie where every single child fell asleep. As I carried Miss Pepper to bed I nuzzled into her sleepy neck and started crying. My baby.

At the end of the happiest and most beautiful day I was crying because time was passing.

I was happy and grateful too of course.

There are 10 more days until my big day, I'll try not to bore you with my aging musings too much between now and then.

Happy aging. xx

ps. Monkey Mia with her dolphins, her crystal clear waters and our camp site right on the beach is possibly the most beautiful place we have been.


  1. I was taking about this with a friend today who is turning 30. I see actors or people on tv and think that they are older than me when they are mid thirties forgetting that I am 39. It's on my mind a bit too with Ayden's last day of Yr 12 today and his 18th coming up next month. Enjoy having your beautiful four year old x

  2. thing is, you never would have been able to write this blog post five years ago. each age brings more wisdom - and maybe a bit more inner calm, too? our mum seems calmer than she used to be, right? sometimes??

    anyway you still look amazing on the outside and you're so amazing inside, and soooo wise - on screen, not in person :p


  3. Yep, we are getting on arent we...
    I didnt want to get older jsut yet... I didnt want to leave this stage of my life behind just yet... so I had another baby! you still have 10 days left till you are 40???? wouldnt you like to try for a boy??? just joking! but seriously I did :-)

  4. I am a decade older than you, and still don't feel grown up, not at all. Isn't that the joy of it ... that we live in a world that allows us to be as old as we feel!

  5. Funnily at the age of 36 when I was pregnant to my third and last, I added a year on to my age. I actually lost count can you believe!! I only discovered it when it was my sisters 40th and it didn't quite add up..??!
    So I on one hand I felt cheated because I lost the year of being 36 and on the other I could take a year off when i found out. Does that make sense - I was 37 for 2 years!

  6. Oh Kate, you are so NOT old! At least you weren't 36yo when you had your first child like, um, me!!

    And 40 is just a number it's just like 30 but with 4 not a 3!!

    AND... bubba Joe has had his 2nd, yes second hair cut & he's only 10mths old!!!!

    Love Monkey Mia, always wanted to go, so right now, I'm really jealous!!!

    BTW.. did your parents manage to sell their house?

  7. Oh Kate. A ripper post. It reminds me of your 'nest' one (http://foxslane.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-nest.html). So thoughtful and insightful. I love that about you. And don't worry - the big four-oh is a pretty cool club, I promise ☺. J x

  8. You had me in tears by the end of that post.

    Isn't Monkey Mia magical. Our favourite moments ever as a family were spent there. We were there in a hired camper van. the trip was so magical that we've since bought our own camper van.... i think in part to try and recreate some of that magic.

    I LOVE your that yellow van next to yours in the last shot. VERY cute. x t.

  9. oh I can totally relate! I turned 40 this year and Im still not organised, neat or anything, and I STILL dont know what I want to be when I grow up!

    Looks like you are in a fab place and look at those beautiful dolphins!

    Dont worry about turning 40, its just a number... I just cant believe how fast I got here!

  10. You are never boring Darling. Loving your thinking expertise but please don't turn your thinking in to worrying. I hope for you, that you'll get like me and remain 39 with a few late nights. It's almost impossible to describe the happiness in my heart knowing that age is only a number and means jack :~) Happy aging is what it's all about. ♥♥♥♥♥

  11. Its funny isnt it how as kids we look forward to our birthdays and cant wait to be older, but as soon as we are over say 25 or something we don't, or the thought getting older
    I can relate to so much of this post, and even tho I'm not a mum i can imagine how each birthday of your kids mark the end of something . be sad as well as happy. I'm always aware each birthday of that issue of time passing, and with that sadness and a bit of panic on my part about still being single and not in a relationship et am I over the hill etc.
    brithdays and time passing also means change, which can be good, but can also feel like a loss or frightening.
    but in a funny way I agree with Bren,i feel like me and not a certain age.
    I'm not sure we ever feel grown up no matter what age we are, and I think that's good thing.
    thank you for such a wonderful post Kate, I'm sorry i think this comment is all over the place and I'm probaly talking more about me than giving you any help with it.
    big love to you
    PS COULD YOU PLEASE EMAIL OR DM an address of where you will be for you bday? thank you.
    PPS These photos are AMAZING. AMAZING.xo

  12. I cry when we watch home movies, video's of our babes, they are 12, 10 and 6 - Similar ages to your girls.... I grieve that time has gone so quickley.... My baby is in Prep this year.... although the big 40 is a few years away for me... the time of my life is strange at the moment with no children at home in the days... my role has changed... the hubby has been snipped... no more babes in my whomb... change... love to you xxx

  13. To me age is a number. It is a relevant number though, as it denotes the number of years I have been on the planet - 47. I don't feel 47 neither do I not feel 47. What I feel like is me. That is the constant. I will continue to be myself no matter what my age. I look young for my age but do I feel it? Like I said no, as it simply has no relevance. I find it weird that 39 is supposed to be a certain way etc. Are we really all the same then? That I at 39 was the same as you now? Or that if I felt like I was in my thirties I would somehow be better than the me I really am. I am an energetic person with lots of enthusiasm (I am also lazy but that's another issue). I have always been so, perhaps I still will at 90 but I won't be feeling younger, just feeling me. We are obsessed with youth to the degree that it is ridiculous. It truly is wasted on the young anyway - for instance before 18 we have no power of self determination (limited anyway), then we are too young to be taken seriously. Then finally we get to the magic age of about 25. Then we have 5 good peak years until 30 when our youth is pretty much considered to be over. That's a lot of time left not to be young in isn't it? Our world view is currently ridiculous and demeaning, yet seemingly we all buy in to it. I don't believe in the cliché you are as old as you feel for the already explained reasons. You are as old as you are, biological fact. But who you are is amazing and unique and stays with you all your life. Nothing you can do about it.

    My daughter is 24 now, I recognised her as soon as she was born and she developed over time to fully express the person I could see she always was, even as a tiny baby. Her age changed, she grew up, her appearance changed but she has always remained fundamentally herself, and will remain so throughout all time elapsing. I loved her then and I love her now, that is the constant. We may both even be old ladies together but she will always be my child.

    Confront age and smile at it and it becomes your friend. Hide from it and you grimace in the mirror and become unhappy. Age is an inevitability unless we die young. I am happier and more accepting of myself as I grow older. Why do I have to be young to be OK? Why do we have to pretend that we look young or feel young to be OK? We are not young anymore if we are not and that is fine!

    p.s. you don't suddenly get to be what you have never been before just because you are older. So if you are messy like me, I expect I will always be so.


  14. I just turned 52. That was INCREDIBLY difficult for me to write. I hate being that age and getting older, because, in my head I am not old. I still have a floordrobe and a chairdrobe, even though I do own an actual wardrobe and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I cried on my 30th when my 3 kids were little, because 30, to me, meant "time to grow up" I loved my 40th because I had teenagers and felt ACE and had a surprise wedding to my Mr I at my 40th. I felt sick about turning 50 and saved for 2yrs to take all our grown up kids and their partners to Paris with us to celebrate and they never mentioned that number and it was wonderful.
    I think the trick is to keep feeling and believing you are young, no matter the number or what that stupid mirror tells you.

  15. Firstly, Happy Birthday to your baby and she is just cute as a button. Secondly, goodness your big girl is just a mini me of her dad in that first photo. Thirdly, everyone knows that 40 is the new 20. My mum stopped disclosing her real age some time in her 30's and remained "21" whenever she was asked well past my 21st birthday. She looks and acts youthful and has never let her age get in the way of living her life. melx ps I am not much younger than you and am also still terminally messy and disorganized- just blame it all on being creative!

  16. how does it beautifully! I even dream of touching a dolphin .. I want to know what it is .. warm? slippery? near Odessa near the Black Sea coast in the distance I saw a dvoh dolphins - they are not close to podplyvayut.A dolphins - too much to pay to touch it or swim with him.

  17. You are every age you have ever been :) I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I too am soon to have a big birthday, my fellow Scorpio, I'll be 50 and it feels fine.

  18. Your birthday parties look awesome, bet you are going to have an amazing day.

  19. Beautiful post - I agree with Farmer Brens wisdom :)
    Your "end of the day" did bring a tear to my eye - and i don't sook easily.
    Enjoy your week

  20. "Everything he has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart, that mankind may never find out the work that the [true] God has made from the start to the finish." The Book of Ecclesiastes

    What is half of time indefinite? Surely not 40. Children can't wait to grow. Adults want to live but know that they will die. 70 or 80 years is not nearly enough for healthy people. So we mourn the traditional half way mark.
    Is it possible that time indefinite which was put into our hearts might actually be real for us in the future on this earth? Psalm 37
    Hugs from a soon to be 50 year old. Cherrie

  21. I think kids are longing to be older 'cos they perceive that there is so much to be done and experienced by them. We stay 'young' the same way..are we looking ahead with things to do and goals to reach or are we stagnant and turning inwardly to the past. It's good to remember the past but not to live in it. Look forward to achieving lots of great milestones and fulfilling dreams in your forties!

  22. I've just been trying to work out when I stopped wanting to be one year older and when I started dreading it...I think it must have been some time in my early twenties, and I guess it had something to do with my idea of what I should be doing at a certain age not tallying up with the reality of my situation. Strangely enough when I turned 30 I was pretty happy with my lot, although I did think I'd be further along in my career. I've come to accept that I'll never be the sophisticated person I once aspired to be! xK

  23. Aaah "time waits for no man" or woman.
    I've been like your farmer about age - never bothered by it. The big 40 was a breeze - no drama. The couple of numbers that have followed it not quite so breezy. But that's probably due to life stuff more than aging stuff.
    Maybe I just need to put some more non-grey colour in my hair and pretend I'm still in my 30's.
    Enjoy the lead up to your day!

  24. Kate, I turned 40 back in May this year and I found the lead-up a bit rocky and unsettling too. This surprised me as I've never been one to fret about age, but I guess something about 40 sounded like I really was a grown-up now, if that makes sense! Like you I felt that I wasn't quite where I should be though... all the trappings were there but my mindset wasn't what I thought it would be at 40. And even though I still feel 21 it was now going to be painfully obvious that I wasn't!! ;-) I don't think it's a bad thing at all to reflect on age and time, I certainly did before my big day. But it all felt a lot easier and more relaxed once the day came for me, and now 40's great. Hope this helps x
    PS. My Mr also says 'so what' ;-)

  25. You might remember I did a post a while ago about ageing too, it's something that I've thought about a lot. Being in my forties is good, I'm pretty comfortable with it now, and like Bren says, I am who I am. These days my take on ageing is to celebrate as much as possible. To honour my ageing and to cherish each day. Since Ally died I am so much more aware of how lucky I am to have each day, and how each birthday, each moment is so precious. It's so complicated isn't it? As we watch our kids grow away from babyhood and into their own lives, independent from us. Looks to me like you are in the best space possible right now, surrounded by those you love, by the sea, celebrating every moment xo

  26. oh Kate! I would love to be 40 again, it all goes too fast. Just enjoy your fabulous family and lifestyle. We all adapt as we go along I think...... after all I'm still wondering what I'm going to be when I grow up! cheers Wendy

  27. I can totally relate to EVERYTHING you have said in this post Kate, totally. How wonderful to be in Monkey Mia, each visit I had to WA and even when I lived there I wanted more than anything to get up there and I didn't, I completely regret it and hope to still make it one day, I envy you xx

  28. I turn 35 just before Christmas, but I'm single, never had a "real" job, about to return to full-time studies, and most of my treasured friends are blow the age of 10.
    Last night I was id'd! The guy said I carry my age well.
    But I feel like I should be turning 25, not 35!
    BTW...I was id'd in York, in WA, on the 1st night of our road trip. The oldest in-land WA town. Very pretty :-)

  29. I turn 40 in November next year and there is no way I feel as old as I thought I would back when I was a child or teen or young adult. It does however freak me out big time that our oldest is 19 soon cause I don't feel old enough to have an almost adult child. Am even more freaked out that he has set out on his own and has moved to Brisbane.
    My aging doesn't bother me but my kids getting older does...weird!


  30. You know Kate, most days I really struggle to remember how old I am! I really do have to think about it if somebody asks me. And sometimes, once I've done the maths, I'm quite surprised!!
    I think your farmer boy has the right take on age :)

    But, I feel the same way as you do about the littlies growing up. Kind of not looking forward to my "baby" turning 2 in Dec. I want her to stay my baby.

  31. monkey mia is one of my favourite places too! truly heaven on earth. 40 and fabulous i think! x

  32. Kate, you have a beautiful family, live in a wonderful country and you're having the opportunity to travel with the people you love. Don't waste your time thinking about aging. What really matters is how you feel inside. Just enjoy being alive and healthy with the ones you love. I hope you realize how blessed you are.

  33. I did a post about this not long ago too- but it was more about when do you really feel like a grown up?
    Busy is 5 in three months and NEVER HAD A HAIRCUT! I cry at every birthday of hers and as for milestones. I cried for days when she weaned at age 2.

  34. I feel so different to how I am... I do get a bit of a shock when I look in the mirror or see a photo of myself. It doesn't match the inside. Strange.


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Kate XX

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