I turned 50 on the first of January and with this came a bowel screening kit from the Australian Government and a reminder that I now need to get my breasts checked. I am finally here. When I first got married 23 years ago (I have also just celebrated another Wedding Anniversary) my Mum and Mother-in-law were both turning 50 and it was such a milestone for them. I remember thinking “Wow”, they are both here. Now I am “here”. There is so much to adjust to.
I am a little sad that I am not as fresh faced as I use to be. I use to like that I had this youthful innocence with a fresh look. I don’t feel that I was ever a beauty but I was sweet looking. I liked that. I do get told that I don’t look my age … that I look younger and sometimes people are genuinely surprised. I like that too! I know this is basically pure and unadulterated vanity and even a little shameful for me, but I do get a little sad when people do say that I look younger, that they put my youthful looks in my early 40s. Even how young I continue look in terms of my true age, has now also slipped into the middle age category. For me this is still old! I hate that I have to tick those boxes on forms. How vain I know! Of course, it is unrealistic to think that people no longer tell me that I look truly young .. you know 29 or early 30s. I’d even take late 30s! I do miss that.
On the flip side, I do want to age graciously. Like Audrey Hepburn. I am working on accepting that I am ageing. I can see that it is all so inevitable. But I am hanging onto what I have for dear life … to slow it down and try to maintain what I have for as long as I can. I have more grey hairs and my hairdresser is now trying to lighten it to suit me. I was born with jet black hair. It is now just too dark as my complexion is changing. So now the colour of my hair needs to change. In reality, I am supposed to be greying which naturally adjusts to an ageing complexion. But, I am not ready to be grey yet and so I am also hanging onto my colourist for dear life. I am also getting that damn middle age spread and chunkier arms. For such a long time I was leaner and toned. Looking fit and lean was so effortless for me and then stress and a toxic environment dominated my life for 3 years and it all just blew out.
So now I am nostalgic about my youthful fitter self. Although, thankfully, I still feel healthier. I no longer starve myself to maintain a size 6 frame. I am currently on the larger size of a size 10 but can wear a size 12 without it looking like it swims on me. My aim is to be a little leaner and fit in my clothes comfortable … a size 8?? It’s a goal. It really is all about the diet. More importantly, I want to reduce my body fat to under 30%. This is the ultimate goal. I am still quite active. I am running 5kms effortless with regular runs of 2 – 5kms three times per week. I have started doing Yoga and spin classes and I am trying really hard to do weights at least twice a week with an aim for 3 times … this is a pipe dream. I am not a fan of weights but I know I need to be, as my muscles are reducing like ice in a warm bath! I am also working on my diet. How? Reducing my refined sugar intake, reducing my portion sizes and eating whole clean food. I am focused on getting plenty of sleep with the required hours and reducing stress. I am also working on meditating daily.
Recently, I have also had this strong sense of connection to the 1960s and have started to implement this retro style in both my fashion, home and car. I also have this desire to connect to my Italian heritage. I am learning the language. I want to take a trip to Italy and my next new car will be a Fiat 500. I am also remembering my Mary Quant doll. I am extremely attracted to the fashion of the 1950s and 1960s. I have just purchased a 1960s phone and a retro timer for my stove. When we buy our apartment I really want to deck it out with furniture that has a 1960s style. I get this sense of peace and nostalgia when I am immersed in this era. It makes me feel content and happy. Pure and simple. I cannot explain it in any other way. Maybe it brings up ideas of being carefree and innocent. When life was just about having ice cream on a Sunday afternoon, riding bikes on a clear Summer’s day and freshly baked biscuits on the return to home. Where the worst things in life were having to come home when the street lights came on, grazed knees and having to go “visiting” in the Holden Kingswood after Church on a Sunday afternoon when all you wanted to do was play outside. So as I feel drawn to a style of the past, I feel invigorated in being reconnected to how I can I live a rich existence, where the simple pleasures as an adult can still be as wonderful. I have started with little things such as a walk along the River with the dog, an alfresco cold beer on a late afternoon at the bar down the road, and indulging in the best Italian gelato outside of Italy. A superb cup of coffee doesn’t go astray either! Maybe we can live a nostalgic life with simple little innocent pleasures as we journey on. I believe it really is about taking the time to enjoy every experience that we can offer ourselves. Peace and serenity. Two little reminders that are the true keys to nostalgic and sweet life. La dolce vita!
“There are a few moments in your life when you are truly and completely happy, and you remember to give thanks. Even as it happens you are nostalgic for the moment, you are tucking it away in your scrapbook.”
David Benioff (When the Nines Roll Over and Other Stories)