Today I'm 45. Yikes. How did that happen? I still feel pretty much like the me that moved into this house nearly twenty years ago. But a few months ago, I ran into an acquaintance from university and he remarked that I had changed, and was no longer the the vibrant, colourful young woman he remembered from those days. My memory of the same me is different, I remember a certain loneliness, relationships that were doomed before they even began, the bright clothes and wayward behavior masking a terrifying social awkwardness (and possibly a nascent mood disorder). He didn't mean to be tactless or unkind so I held back the comment that formed in my head, that he hadn't changed a bit. The old me might have taken it up, been abrasive or confrontational and then proceeded to get trashed. In twenty odd years, off course things change. Sure I'm fatter, stiffer and have a few more grey hairs. But I'm also calmer, more confident, more assertive and generally happier than I was back then. And can summon a degree of authority when required. And I've been in the same job for more than a couple of years. And I have a lovely little family. None of that comes without change. Although every now and then I do get this sneaky urge to go out really late, smoke cigarettes and get really, realy trashed. But only without the early start the next day (hah!) and without the hangover (double hah!). Having my cake and eating it. All in all though, I think I quite like middle age.
We spent the day working on the house. Moving day is two weeks away and approaching like a truck on speed. I think we'll be ready. Well, we have to be ready because I've booked a truck and there are people moving in here the weekend after. Gerard kept saying it was a bummer to have to work on your birthday but actually, I quite liked it. And as I said to him, I didn't think we'd ever be in this position, you know, doing up our own house. So I feel fortunate and well loved. Like I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing and as far I'm concerned, that's a pretty good way to spend a birthday. And I got to go to the big Bunnings with the helpful staff (as opposed to the useless local Bunnings with the"I dunno" staff, who apparently are in for a big shock when they move to their new warehouse) and the Reece shop where I talked taps with a very nice young man and then on my return to the house we had take away for lunch before launching into a good afternoon's work.
The renovation itself is going through the dramas that such things do and I think I've made a few mistakes. The wall and trim colours are different to what I expected (but they're growing on me) and the wooden window sills would look better stained a darker colour and with an oil based finish. But that can be fixed later. I think our slack arsed method on the floors is going to work and that the bathroom will be finished in time. As for the packing, well can I just say that the first two weeks of this month just zoomed past in a haze of nasal congestion and other stuff and that I am now at the must pack stage. There will be some throwing of unbreakable belongings in garbage bags and boxes. And probably a good purge of things to the opshop. It will be quick and decisive. Someone at work told me that when you get really old, that time starts to pass really quickly. So much so that it might seem logical to start buying presents for next Christmas now. Which kind of makes sense in a way, because when you're three, next year seems like an eternity away. I'm in the middle, so I'm just going to have to try and hold onto the next couple of weeks and make the best possible use out of them. Which obviously means that I should try and keep away from the computer... we'll see how that goes.