Life is like a box of chocolates

Friday, August 30, 2013

Forty. I roll this number around my head sometimes and although the big-four-o is two years off, I can't help thinking about it. A few months ago I read some posts about the expectations of life at 30. A few of the things that seem to be expected of a newly turned 30 something still have yet to happen for me.

I don't have many regrets, my life has turned out the way it has through choices I have made and circumstances beyond my control in equal measure. I like my life, I love my partner, the home we live in, my job, my friends. I'm pretty happy. Things have just taken longer than I expected and that's just fine.

Over the years I realised that it's OK not to be doing the same thing, at the same time as my peers. When we're younger, most of us assume that by the time we reach 30 life will be sorted and who can blame us for thinking that? For most of our early lives we follow the same path - school, exams, first jobs, learning to drive - these things all happen at about the same time.

I certainly assumed all of these things. But for me things only really started to come together at the age of 33 when I met my partner. I'd decided to end a few long term relationships because I knew they weren't right for me. At the time a lot of people thought I was crazy but I will never regret waiting for the right man. Four years on we're living in our 'forever home' and (only very recently) I got the job I'd always dreamed of. Marriage and babies are still to come.

Sadly, I'm made to feel like an outsider at times by my married friends with children (and after a conversation with a childless friend I know I am not alone in feeling this way), but I was not going to jump into something that wasn't right for me in order to 'keep up' or 'fit in'. I've witnessed the result of such actions within my peer group and the outcome is never a happy one.

When it comes to getting married, I feel that a big white wedding at the age of forty is a no-no. I fully expect to be much nearer forty, possibly even older, by the time we tie the knot and although I've never wanted the pomp and ceremony, I do feel that the sort of wedding we could have had our 20s or early 30s is not quite right for us now. The older I get the smaller the day becomes in my head, I don't want speeches, a first dance or a three tier cake and neither does Mr Joy. We want a small celebration, perhaps even at home.

My dress will be lovely and my shoes fabulous but - dare I say it? - both will be age appropriate. Oh yeah, I went there. As much as I would like to think that everyone should be able to wear whatever they please - especially on their wedding day - sometimes it just doesn't work in reality. Just as wet look leggings should remain the remit of late teens and early twenty somethings, the lavish wedding gown is a no-go area for the forty year old bride.

I guess we could tie the knot wearing matching Elvis outfits on the top deck of a bus IF we wanted too, but we don't. What I do know is that our wedding day will be perfect for us at that moment in time. And then babies, which is another can of worms entirely when you're the wrong side of 35...

So as I sit here today, the day after my 38th birthday, eating Champagne Truffles (yes, at this time in the morning), I'm sticking two fingers up at the norm, knowing that although it will sometimes be hard and sometimes I'll feel like an outsider, I'll continue to do it my way and in my own sweet time.

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  1. Here here for sticking two fingers up at the norm! x

  2. We're all travelling on our own journey Hazel and I have to say I think yours sounds rather lovely indeed :)

    None of us know what is around the corner - good and bad - so all we can do is be thankful for what we have and appreciate it. Sometimes we can spend too much time looking at what we don't have in our lives rather than loving what we do.

    And I hope that whenever your wedding day does come, you do exactly what you want to do and if that involves wearing an age inappropriate frock and dancing on tables all night, just do it! Life is too short not to enjoy it.

    Keep sticking two fingers up at the norm! (In the nicest possible way!)


  3. Age is just a number in most circumstances. I can only ever see you as being the same age as me anyway :).
    It's far better to do what's right for YOU than try keeping up with/keeping anyone else happy. Although I got married pretty young, people seem confused that a) I wasn't knocked up to start with or b) that I haven't got a brood by now. It's no-one else's business how we choose our way. You've got your head screwed on right, gal :) x

    1. The whole keeping up with the Jones thing has always baffled me! You're exactly right - it's no ones business but mine :)

  4. I did not realise you were catching up with me lol. I have hit the 40 and do you know I don't feel any different to when I was 30. Age is just a number. I hit 40 and I started to reflect on the past and what I have achieved/not achieved and I have to admit I was depressed. I cannot believe I have reached 40 and not done all the things I thought I would. Sometimes I do feel like an outsider as we don't have children but then I realise I am happy without them.


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