halfway there, but time is speeding up

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.

19 comments:

  1. Aaaah 45 - my age too as of September - and I think I quite like middle age too..

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  2. I must have a doppleganger...
    I could have written Mary's comment myself. (Except I'm not middle-aged yet. I'm planning to fall off my perch at around 120 or so, so 60 will be middle-aged for me!)
    Happy birthday.

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  3. Love this post Janet - full of such joy & optimism. I can work on the house any day - birthday or not - you're right, it's such a blessing.
    I don't miss the me of my youth either .. although if I could have her back and live her as the me of today .. well, i'd like that very much :)
    xx
    Lea

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  4. Happy birthday! I don't think I miss the younger me - just the choices she had.

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  5. Happy Birthday from Viet Nam!
    Glad to learn your house renovations are progressing well. If you remember, say a fond farewell to the Brunswick house from me.
    I had some of the most enjoyable times of my Melbourne life in your garden!
    Good luck!
    Jennifer

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  6. Happy Birthday.
    Great post.
    Gorgeous photos (Of a servo, no less!!)
    Be well. :)

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  7. I recently went out with girlfriends, and had the opportunity to relive my youth. Instead, I found myself offering to take the carkeys from the designated driver so she too could have a few drinks. Instead of getting trashed, I decided it wasn't worth having to get up early and fix kids breakfasts smelling like a giant martini. I just don't know what's happened to me lately. Happy Birthday Janet :) xo

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  8. Happy birthday Janet
    Half-way to 90 perhaps?
    Best of luck with the move.
    X O

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  9. Happy birthday! I'll be 45 in March - we're all in good company it seems.
    TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!! Hooray!

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  10. Happy birthday Janet! I too am enjoying the confidence of being older, although I'm not that fond of the grey hairs and wrinkles.

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  11. happy birthday, fellow scorpio : )

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  12. You don't have a mood disorder,
    You're just a scorpio.
    Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

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  13. Happy Birthday! it's amazing that you have managed to live in the same house for twenty years. I'm a lot happier than I was in my more colourful youth also(or substantially less colourful depending on how you look at it), but I'm much fatter, incredibly daggy and always frazzled looking and mum-bitten, and I imagine that most looking at me would comment that I am looking bleak and dull. But unlike you, I'm still in the abrasive stage, nice to know it passes!
    have a lovely day...

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  14. Happy Birthday for the 14th!
    I loved this post - the summing up of change, the place you are in now, the photos, all of it.
    That is a strange and somewhat rude remark that fellow made but your unspoken idea that he hadn't changed cracked me up!

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  15. Yeah, in many ways he hasn't changed a bit has he? (if you are talking about your meeting with the old bloke I'm thinking of). But in other ways he has changed too - as we all have. Some of us just show our changes differently ;-) The highs are less high, the lows less low - not a bad way to be. Happy birthday mate.

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  16. happy birthday beautiful ~ i have always thought that 45 was the ultimate age to be a woman, i'm not sure why but on the eve of turning 40, i still think it is true somehow :) enjoy!! xo

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  17. Lord!! Was he that charming back then too ? Yes , you get more confident with age , I think . And I can assure you that a lot of your readers think 45 is on the young side ! Good luck with the move!!

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  18. Happy Birthday! Feeling fortunate and well loved is a fantastic and wonderful way to feel.

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