This isn’t a piece where I complain about my age. My age is my age and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s true to say that forty isn’t a big deal anymore. And being ‘in your forties’ is also okay too. There are lots of positives- you feel more confident, less tolerant of crap, less willing to compromise your happiness for other people- all that stuff. Nevertheless, there are a few drawbacks. These are purely personal drawbacks of course and you may be in your forties and have your own set (or be blissfully happy and unaware of any negatives at all- well done you!)
So here’s my personal list:
This is a biggie. I grew up when the most sophisticated communication device was a telephone plugged into the hallway socket. It had a circular dial, and you pushed each number round manually to make a call. It took about three minutes, and if you got the number wrong you had to start again. People spoke on the phone! (mad!) Now I’m on social media, I work on a laptop -I like to think I get it. Then, each time I sit with a younger colleague, or friend, and observe, I realise that everything I am doing is quite wrong. I also don’t understand what the ICloud is or why I seem to have fifteen years of photographs on my phone, and my storage is always full. Isn’t the ICloud supposed to help?
I can’t read instructions on packaging anymore. I have glasses which used to be ‘for reading’, but are now so I can survive without walking into oncoming traffic.
I have limited time left. I need to get on. If you want to spend hours talking about your holiday in Center Parcs and how the food wasn’t as good as you expected, and there was a plaster in the swimming pool…well I might have to hurry you along. I have less time alive potentially.
4. Creaking noises
It used to be knees. Now shoulders make a cracking noise in the morning as I raise them to my ears.
5. Learning new skills
A bit like the technology one. I am working in a couple of areas that require me to learn new skills. This might be something like a new editing packaging. The problem is, I can’t retain new information and tune out. Languages (something I used to be good at) have deserted me and now I have a mangled mess of French/Dutch/Spanish looping in my head like clothes in a tumble drier. A friend’s daughter tried to teach me the ‘Single Ladies’ dance recently whilst we were hanging out in the kitchen (where all good dancing takes place). Let’s just say I’m glad she didn’t video it (though it might have gone viral).
I WILL NOT BACK DOWN BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS RIGHT.
I am stuck in the 90’s with my music taste. When I browse Spotify, I don’t recognise any of the artists. I only get exposed to new music when I visit Big Bites (the local greasy spoon cafe) because they have MTV on. I know who Bruno Mars is. I also know a bit about Taylor Swift. However, I’ve had ‘7 Days’ by Craig David stuck in my head for months. I was jogging and Happy Monday’s ‘Kinky Afro,’ came on in my headphones, and I had to stop myself crying when I realised it was released twenty-eight years ago.
How? Is? It? Possible?
I keep thinking that the ’90’s were ten years ago. What happened in the noughties? What did I do for those ten years? The thought of this missing time frightens me.
I don’t buy into the idea that you have to wear certain clothes in your forties. I like the idea of being one of those New York hipster fashion ladies who is eighty-five, and sports gaudy, gold rings, has bright pink hair, and wears a kimono and khaki trousers to go to the shops.
Nevertheless there is a a whole floor of Hennes that is dead to me now. Cropped tops, neon stuff, white shorts, anything white on my bottom half, ‘whacky shoes’- these are all no-go areas.
10. Talking to cats and having long conversations in shops
I have always talked to my cats, but it seems now that the conversations have become more involved. Sometimes they involve a bit of politics. I have also started having long conversations with people in shops. This was something I remember my Mum doing too. It means the people in the queue behind you, waiting to pay, get annoyed. I don’t care.
They can wait (but I won’t be long as I haven’t got much time left okay?)