Turning 45

A couple of days ago I read this post, one article that made me discover the BEST BLOG I have read so far. But I will come back to its inspiring writer later…

Anyway, the post started like this:

“Turns out 45 years old is just 45 years old. An age that means you are old enough to not feel young anymore, but not old enough to complain about it. It’s like the middle child of ages…no one is impressed or thinks your turning forty-five is a big deal but you.”

70s me

If any of you greeted their 40+ birthday with a happy face and gratitude, let me tell you I envy you big time. And yes, 45 is worst that 40. 45 is half-way to 90. It might be a silly fact for you, young babies dealing with being twenty or thirthy-something. You guys have no idea what’s looming on the horizon.

Being 45 means I have now spent more time with my not-married-to husband than I have without. Yes that is sweet. But it is a bit frightening to live with someone you know by heart.

Being 45 means I am now at the symbolic middle of my life. I look back and see all the things I’ve done – before I became a Mother. In my twenties, I was travelling to the U.S. at least once a year (typical end-of-twentieth-century student fantasy land), I did a camel adventure trek in the Sahara, went to Berlin the year the Wall fell, spent a New Year’s Eve in Times Square (and yes, the Twin Towers were still there), traveled for 5 months around India, saw the sun rise on the Himalaya with the Mount Everest in my back… My money, my time, my dreams were all mine. I could do anything I wanted with them.

45B 1

Then I settled down. Parenthood is a beautiful thing but in my case, becoming a mother also meant becoming someone else. My young selfish self who had unlimited life options became an adult. The needs of a tiny little baby were suddenly dictating the priorities. And that is exactly when the pace of my life speeded up like crazy.

I was 33 then… And hello being 45!

This last year has been dull. Being 44 is on my top 5 most boring years. Yes I’m healthy, I have enough money to eat, my daughter is not growing up in a country at war, her Dad is still my partner… Basically, I should feel grateful and suck it up.

But I now feel I look back more and more. And the path I didn’t take can sometimes become an obsessive question. What if I had stayed in Paris after university? What if I became a teacher? What if my Dad didn’t died while I started working in England and I felt the need to come back to France and support my mother?…

We moved 3 times in about 15 years. Having a baby made us stay in one place until our daughter turned 10. It was frustrating for us because we had always been nomads. If I could give an advise to my young self, it would be to live the life I felt right for me.  A child is a fragile little thing who needs love and care. But it’s not made of crystal. Maybe keeping on travelling would have made me a happier, better parent. And maybe at some point I would have got fed up with constant changes. Maybe I would have craved for stability!

Charles Baudelaire wrote this wonderful sentence which sums up perfectly my appreciation of my adult years:

“It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not.”

My daughter is now a teenager. She is a peaceful, emotional creative young lady. We have settled in Brittany for the next 5 years. Professionally I more lost than ever. I struggle finding a job I love which also pays the bills. My partner has retrained in a field he finds fulfilling.

And I wonder… What’s next? Will I manage to embrace the next 12 months and make the most of it. Will my next job bring me a bit of financial stability? Will my mother’s stroke stay an isolated accident and can I now stop worrying the minute I wake up in the morning? Will step classes at the gym ruin my knees? Will I find an efficient face cream with magical powers? Will I, will I…

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6 thoughts on “Turning 45

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