I don’t love the ageing process.
I wish I did. I’m working on it. But you know, having things hurt that didn’t hurt when I was young, knowing what a thyroid gland is, seeing all the new lines appearing that you’ve been told forever by every magazine and social media outlet are something to be fought against or at least hidden… it can be deflating.
I am so grateful for every year beyond 33 that I’ve had.
It turns out that it’s so common for children who’ve prematurely lost a parent to believe that they will never live past the age that said parent got to, that it’s literally in textbooks.
My mum was 33.
I remember the countdown to my thirty-third birthday vividly. I was determined to soak up every bit of my kids that I could: it’s not that I truly BELIEVED I was going to die, it was more that the little Jenny inside couldn’t even conceive of a reality in which she would be given more time than that given to her most important human.
I’m now 43. Ten whole YEARS more than my mother got. I’ve seen two of my kids reach legal adulthood. My littlest has had more than twice the time with me than I ever got with my mother. I AM SO GRATEFUL.
I remind myself of this whenever I feel that inner critic sneaking in, whispering the echoes of a lifetime of nasty messaging to women about how utterly unacceptable these inevitable, natural bodily changes are.
Ageing is a privilege that not everybody gets.
I don’t love the ageing process, no. But I am grateful for the opportunity to even have an opinion about it.
PS these are pics taken over the weekend as I got to host what must be one of the most delicious events on the planet - the Gran Slam. Slam poetry for people aged 65+. Talk about ageing well. Pure. Magic.
And irrefutable proof that it’s never over until you say it’s over.