Middle age

Sunday 17 Jan 10

It's my birthday soon. I will be 45. That's old. It's definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, middle-aged. A friend the other day said 'Well, it depends on how long you live'. That's what I call clutching at straws: hoping you'll live to past 100 in order to stave off having the phrase 'middle-aged' applied to you at 45!

It's funny how the goalposts change about age as you get older.  I remember the time I thought that after 21 my life would be over, that 30 was a death sentence.  Then you find yourself buying into the '30 is the beginning of life', '40 is the new 30' sort of thing, and other desperate cries to not face the fact that however we look, or feel, we are all on the slow march towards Death. Duh! So what's wrong with enjoying the years, looking at them as they multiply as a way of marking what you are supposed to be doing: living and, to paraphrase Shakespeare, gaining your experience. 

Of course it's always nice when people think you're younger than you are.  Especially when you agree with them. But the other day, I looked in the mirror and thought yes, you could pass for 45. I was wearing a conservative suit and tie, my hair was styled in an equally conservative manner and flecks of grey had been added to the sides and on top. It was my first day filming a guest role on the TV show The Good Wife. When I arrived for rehearsal I was wearing jeans, boots, a t-shirt which read 'Fuck Frank Gehry' and a black beanie on my head.  Talk aout mutton dressed as lamb! But actually mutton dressed in how he felt that day.  My hair is dyed. It would be very grey were it not manintained pretty regularly. I exercise a lot, I eat carefully, I smear potions and creams all over myself at various times of the day.  Above all, I am affluent. I can afford to look younger than I am, or at least good for my age.

In a way I remind myself of Martha Stewart, (someone who I admire greatly and think is an absolue hoot, incidentally.) Last night - and if this isn't middle-aged, I don't know what is -  I found myself listening to the Martha Stewart channel on XM radio!  It was compulsive. And Martha was answering callers' queries about all manner of things, and I found her advice (about giving bottled water to animals or using Frederic Fakkai hairpsray because it wasn't sticky like the other brands) so hilarious, because really what Martha was saying was to buy more expensive stuff, it's better. A sweeping generalisation, of course, but there is a lot of truth to it. She even commiserated  with someone calling about space issues in their home by saying she felt their pain: she had built a farmhouse with loads of rooms but had forgotten to put in a movie theater!!

Sometimes I think we can lose sight of things. So... I have a great life. I have huge, bountiful love. I do work I really enjoy. I am well off and I am lucky and I am happy. And I am middle-aged.

PS I looked for the photograph of me and Martha from the time I learned how to make quesadillas on her show but couldn't locate it. However, some lovely person had a done this drawing of it, which I found on the interweb.

 



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