Wednesday 31 October 2018

Birthday lifecycle

Something struck me the other day. I could be halfway through my life (assuming there are no unforeseen accidents). Not so long ago, I celebrated my 45th birthday and judging by my grandmother's longevity, I could have nearly half a century left. I've reached a tipping point. All of a sudden, the next 45 years feel rather precious. 

A bit of a milestone!
Usually, I wake up on my birthday and think, oh bugger, another year older! How did that happen? This time, I lay in bed feeling a little overcome. It's like I've reached the top of the hill and now I'm about to free-cycle down the other side. 

The kids were away on holiday so no one rushed into my bedroom at dawn, high on vicarious excitement. My husband was already downstairs unpacking boxes (we've recently moved house) so it was just me and my thoughts for company. Life was beginning to feel more finite. By the laws of supply and demand, the years I had left were increasingly valuable. 

Which may sound rather negative, but not really. In fact, it's liberating. If I'm to milk the fun out of every day, I need to stop worrying about what other people might think, or how I should behave. This is my 'second' lifespan. The focus should be on enjoying myself. It's time to let my hair down.

Obviously, I'm not about to scarper off to a Greek island for a midlife misadventure. There are some constraints to keep me on the straight and narrow. But next time I feel stressed about doing something or going somewhere, I shall perform a quick midlife audit: does it really matter in the grand scheme of 45 years left-and-counting? In most cases, I expect the answer will be 'No'. 

Instead, I need to focus on more life-enhancing stuff and tripping the light fantastic. So happy half-life to me! Fingers crossed, I'm lucky enough to squeeze the juice out of another 45.

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