Happy New Year! And, er Merry Christmas! Apologies, I’ve been a bit remiss in blogging. In my defense, I’ve been out of the country, don’t own a laptop (I was rather greedily eyeing up a young woman’s gadgets in the airport departure lounge, as she juggled laptop, tablet and phone seamlessly). Could I ever handle so many gadgets at once? I’m not sure, I still struggle to work out my phone! But there does seem to be a pressing need for an extra one in the house so the husband and I don’t fight over the p.c. like a couple of rabid raccoons (I need it MORE!).
I’m just not sure if I should go laptop or tablet – my mom has an HP tablet thing that has a keyboard (I think it was the Pavillion), and I played with it as both – only hitch is they haven’t designed it to stand up very properly – the prop thing it came with is rather flimsy and needs to be arranged just so. So I ended up mostly using it as a tablet, which was fun and speedy, but I can’t honestly see myself typing bloggy things on one. Plus the whole icloud storage thing still weirds me out, how can anyone cope with that kind of intangibility?! So laptop it is I guess?
I’m on day 4 back in dear old Britain, though the first day after travel is usually spent in and out of comatose sleep, and last night I logged a solid 10 hrs. I feel simultaneously wired and tired a lot, I am ready for this sensation to leave my body. It feels like the holidays petered out a bit. We were barely lucid for Hogmanay (that’s Scottish for New Year’s Eve) and spent the days before and after Christmas on a beach, so it’s all a bit of a haze. It’s not even that cold in Aberdeen! (I’m not complaining, but it just doesn’t feel wintry/festive to me). I just feel a bit discombobulated, I guess.
And on top of that, in less than a week, I turn 40. Which is totally not a big deal according to everyone and everything I read, most of my friends have seen it come and go, but a small part of me is not super “cool girl”* about it AT ALL, and I feel like I’m not supposed to express this because we are all meant to be super zen and confident and sorted at this age. I think it freaks out a lot more people than is talked about or let on, which goes against the common parlance of "It's no biggie". I have been observing a kind of strange phenomenon in the past few years where many people I know turn 40 and actually turn their whole lives upside down in effect in some pretty dramatic ways. So I can’t help but feel like despite assurances otherwise, some sort of cosmic tidal wave is going to hit me on January 8th.
Will I wake up and be possessed by an uncontrollable force of nature? I do feel a slight something brewing, I mean age may just be a number, 40 is the new 30, la la la, but honestly we all know 40 is well, kind of old. Not old old, and of course 80 year olds will still call you dear, but your days of being mistaken for anything but a middle aged person are numbered if not over. I feel like my generation is turning 40 rather quietly. Like if we pretend it’s not happening we are still the cool kids listening to Nirvana and wearing Doc Marten’s? Was it all really 20 year ago?! How can that BE?! I’m smack in the middle of Gen X, the baby boomer’s babies, and while I don’t want to be some tragic case trying to remain hip with the kids, I really, genuinely, do not know what 40 is supposed to mean for me. Does it mean I can’t dance around my living room to Taylor Swift or shop on the high street? Will I be kicked off Twitter? Do I need to wear fancy shoes all the time? Do I need to learn to make a meringue? (I don’t have kids so am in an admittedly less mature stage of living than many people my age).
When we were in Florida I came dangerously close to adopting a French bulldog puppy (well if I had the means - $3800!), or ability to take him home. I mean, I picked up that puppy and he grunted sweetly like a little gremlin and I was plotting, I tell you, how to re-arrange my life to get my paws on this little chubby creature that wanted nothing more than to devour my Birkenstocks (you haven’t lived until you’ve held one – way better than babies! Yes I know this is probably displaced maternal instinct!). And I’m all about rescuing, not adopting, truly, but my rational thought and willpower all but evaporated the minute his little eyes met mine. Is this my equivalent of a midlife crisis sports car? Will there be more tattoos in my life? Can I be trusted not to stare over the cliff of 40 and not commit rash, impulsive acts? I don’t know, I’m a tiny bit scared.
More practically, it does feel like a big, fat reminder that well, the clock is ticking. You would think having had cancer at 28 I wouldn’t necessarily need such reminders, but well, since my illness I haven’t exactly set the world alight or figured out what it is I’m supposed to be doing with my life. In all honestly I’ve been in a bit of a self indulgent bubble. There are various reasons for this, but this year has felt particularly like time is passing me by and I’m not quite sure how to progress. In a perfect world I would be able to earn a living doing the things I love, but I guess if ever there was a time to just get on with it, it’s now. It’s complicated, this life thing, and everything I read about why it’s great turning 40 usually has 40 reasons why you have your sh*t totally sorted out by now, perfect career, family, house, all of it. What about the rest of us who didn’t map to 40 with a straight shot out of college like perfect phoenixes? I’m still working out how to get my hair to play nice and not put my foot in my mouth at every given opportunity. I’m not done dancing to pop music or wearing clompy shoes. I am not fabulous and forty, I am very much a work in progress. I do look forward to any change this year may bring, however, it does feel like it could be a good one to me for some reason...I hope so anyway!
|I was on this island a week ago, basking in the sun...was it all just a dream?|
*(see the book/film Gone Girl, as in - women who act like they have it all together and are totally cool with everything all the time while secretly, quietly being a bubbling tempest of confusion and agony. Not to be melodramatic or anything! :-0)