I think I’m having a mid-life crisis

If men go out and buy sports cars or motorbikes, and trade their partners in for younger, blonder models, what do we women do to demonstrate our midlife crises. I’ve heard that each time a woman turns 40, a cougar is born. I quite like that 🙂

I did get my first tattoo at 39… does that count? My 40th birthday is looming and I’ll no longer be a single-thirtysomething… I’ll be a single-FORTYSOMETHING. Eeek. When I started this blog I guess I assumed that I’d lose my single status before I lost my thirtysomethingness.

I am very, very aware that my 30s are nearly over. What have I achieved? It’s been over two decades since I left school, two decades as an adult. Shouldn’t I be more grown up by now? More secure in what and who I am? Don’t all adults have life sussed out? Erm, no… most of us don’t.

On my 39th birthday, I made a list of ‘things to do before I’m 40’. Exciting stuff, worthy stuff. A list to make my 40th year a fun and exhilarating one. Things to take my mind off this big birthday that’s approaching. Well, 6 months later, I can tick off very few of those things. Which makes me feel like a bit of a failure really. Sheesh but there is so much pressure, so much *expectation* for us to be inspired, motivated, run marathons, climb mountains, reach for the stars, etc. etc. I’m all for having goals and working towards them but if I see one more motivational poster in my Facebook news feed, I will not be responsible for my actions.

Is 40 such a big deal? Is it really the new 30? Women certainly look a lot younger at 40 these days that they did a generation or two ago. Or perhaps that’s all relative, and I look pretty ancient to 12 year olds.

How much more time do I have left? If I’ve got 40 years, of how many of those will I be healthy and fit and able to do the things I want to do? What do I want to do, achieve, give, find, explore and accomplish in the second half of my life?

I worry that the next 40 years will go by as fast as the first 40 have and at 80 I’ll be saying, “Wait!! What happened to my life? I still want to…”

Sigh.

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Immune to baby fever

One of my best friends just had a beautiful baby girl, and two others announced their pregnancies in the last week. I on the other hand am keeping my legs firmly crossed!

I’ve been Googling ‘just not interested in having children’ to reassure myself I’m not the only one out there. Because as excited and happy as I am for these friends, and as beautiful as the baby girl is, I still have NO interest in having children of my own. None. Not even a twinge.

I burst into tears when I heard my friend’s daughter had arrived. It is an emotional, joyous occasion. Then I checked myself: Do I have any pangs that I wish it was me? Do I have even a hint of curiosity, wondering what it might be like if it was mine? Searching… searching… no. Nothing. Zip, zero, nada.

While I do get very envious when I see engagement announcements on Facebook and get all dreamy over friends’ wedding photos, babies just don’t have the same effect. I am definitely missing a biological clock and you know what? I am totally OK with that. I have a nephew, nieces, godchildren and friends’ children in my life who I love spending time with. But perhaps even more I love giving them back to their parents and going home to my quiet, tidy, stress-free home. And to my cat, who I love to bits (it’s mutual, judging by his cuddles).

No, it won’t change when I meet ‘The One’. No, I really don’t think the clock will start ticking eventually (I’m less than a year away from no longer being a thirtysomething and it’s not happened yet). Most of my friends and family know that’s just how I am and have accepted it but every now and then I get a comment like ‘Oh but you’re such a good mom to your cat – you’d be amazing with children’. I just grit my teeth and smile.

I think I’ll have to spend some time with my happily childfree friends this weekend to balance this last week out. 🙂

Why is ‘Ms’ so hard to spell?

Recently, I’ve had more than the usual people calling me, and automatically calling me “Mrs Singlethirtysomething”.

No, I correct them, it’s “Ms”.

Silence.

Or “Oh sorry, MISS.”

No, it’s MS. As in em-ess. Mike-Sierra if you’re used to using radio comms.

People are stumped by this. STUMPED. Seriously – how hard can it be? Have they not heard that Ms is a title?

The worst is that when I insist that my title is Ms, I can hear myself getting a little worked up and they’re probably thinking “Ohhh no wonder she’s single / No wonder he divorced her.” LOL.  Yup, you’re dealing with a bit of a feminist here, folks.

All I want is – like men – to be addressed in a way that does not disclose my marital status. Is that too much to ask?

A pang of realisation

I had breakfast with an old friend today. He’s in town on vacation and we always see each other when we’re in the same city, and loosely keep in touch via Facebook and email.

He’s had a rough few months for a variety of reasons and I don’t know if it was that, or jetlag, or just time passing, but for the first time I noticed he’s looking older. He has lines around his eyes that weren’t there last year. His demeanour is more serious, and his sparkle; his sense of fun; wasn’t there today.

It hit me: he’s getting older and it’s starting to show. And then I wondered whether he was thinking the same about me.

How to be alone [video]

Five million people have already seen this… I watched it for the first time today.

How to be alone:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k7X7sZzSXYs

I should make an intelligent comment about it, or quote my favourite few lines. But all I can say is that it made me cry. I’ve had a crappy weekend – week, really. I’ve been socially awkward, unable to contribute to conversations; my speech paralysed by not knowing what to say, not having a funny or witty comment, not having an anecdote to share. By wondering what impression I’m making, and then it’s a vicious circle as saying nothing seems better than having my words met with slightly confused stares and the less I say the harder it is to come up with words.

I’m torn up about a comment I made to a close friend – something stupid and thoughtless and unintentionally hurtful. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it… well, I did and now I regret it and I apologised and took it back, but still feel like a Bad Person.

Jarring with everyone, I feel entirely isolated, unlovable, misunderstood, mediocre and defeated.

Next week will be better. It has to be.

Pinterest makes me want to punch my laptop

OK so perhaps I do have a secret board on Pinterest that may or may not include beautiful images of sparkly rings and gorgeous (not white) dresses.

The wedding section on Pinterest is pretty scary. It’s a flurry of hippy or hipster chic – mason jars, baby’s breath, wooden ampersands and ombre wedding cakes abound. THE PRESSURE to produce a perfect wedding must be ridiculous for the people who pin this stuff so avidly. And WTF is a sand ceremony?!

They can have it all, and sure, it’s all very pretty. But the one thing that makes me want to throw up – or throw things – is all the cutesy ‘Mrs’ paraphernalia. Necklaces that say ‘Mrs’. Scatter cushions. T-shirts (“cute for honeymoon!!!”).  SHOWER CURTAINS. Seriously?

This one is the worst:

He Stole My Heart So I'm Stealing His Last Name - Photo by Beautiful Mess Photography, LLC - Art by Sarah Doriani

I realise that some women can’t wait to take their husband’s names. I just don’t understand why. What’s wrong with their own names? Taking your husband’s name feels to me like you’re becoming his property. I love my last name and it has defined me for decades. Changing it would feel very, very weird. It’s part of me and I’d like to keep it.

And why in this day and age are all males referred to as Mr, but women are still either Miss or Mrs? I have been trying for years for my bank to change my title from Miss to Ms and it’s yet to happen. Why do women’s titles still indicate their marital status, while men’s don’t? It drives me crazy. I will remain Ms Singlethirtysomething all my life, regardless of whether I am single, married, divorced or whatever.

Rant over!

 

Yes, this is my life!

If I want to spend an entire Saturday afternoon on my sofa reading magazines and eating chocolate/popcorn/sipping exotic tea, I can. And I don’t feel ANY guilt.

I can devote hours upon hours to my hobbies and passions – what a luxury.

When it’s time to book a vacation, I can go wherever I want to go, and when I get there, I can do whatever I want to do.

If friends invite me to do something with them, I can say yes/no immediately, without having to check with someone else.

If I want to go to bed really early, or stay up to the wee hours reading a great book, or have breakfast for dinner, or… or… or… I CAN DO IT.

I’m having a ‘being single is pretty awesome’ week – can you tell? 😉