The end of another year is just around the corner marked by Christmas finally arriving in Barcelona. I must admit that I love the fact that the marketing/adverts/festive lights/parades and parties aren’t shovelled down our collective throats here, like tinselled and baubled foie, until 1st December….. it feels easier to appreciate darling old Santa’s birthday celebration when it does eventually arrive.
Travel to the homeland booked, presents half-organised (almost), Black Friday conquered like a seasoned shopping ninja, all seems well in casa PANK……. but wait. What’s this?
Christmas for me always marks the beginning of the countdown towards my birthday, in March. But this year there ain’t nothing calm or dreamy about this fishy little star sign.
2016 is the year that will mark my forty-sixth year on the planet. That being my forty-fifth birthday. It’s not looking good. I thought I was over the worst, when I hit (and passed) the BIG 4-0. For the period between Christmas 2010 and the big day in March, I questioned everything about my life.
“Why didn’t I have a home of my own?”
“And a mortgage……
” savings or a pension……
“An actual husband….”
And why was I
“Living with a sneaky shit of a boyfriend….
“Still middle management…
“Spending money on prosecco and shoes?”
And I’m beginning to ask those same questions again. I cried constantly for the month immediately before my fortieth. And the night before my birthday, after sitting at the dinner table howling about my failings as a grown-up, tears streaming down my face and being persuaded to take a walk for some fresh air and to blow away the cobwebs – half way to the Albert Dock; I collapsed onto the pavement and sobbed uncontrollably, wailing, “Whyyyy??? HOOOWWWWW??” (I wish this was an exaggeration).
The insecurities are creeping in again. (The above lists are a given, I don’t think anything radical is going to change in that department. Ever.) But the focus has shifted a little, and the things that are striking me most are the physical changes. Most of last week the voices in my head were yelling about the size of my posterior, the visible evidence of gravity’s existence, and the sudden desire to substitute heels for ‘something comfortable’ for the office…… (HELL’S teeth, say it ain’t so!) And from the ever decreasing size of my eyes, it would appear that I am transitioning from a woman to a mole. I suddenly look middle-aged. I’m totally on board with the grey hair, as you know, but pretty much absolutely everything else from there down, can get all the way to Hell!
I can feel the panic rising, slowly and stealthily, ready to pounce when I least expect it. Which probably means (unfortunately for me) either in my class with Johnny ‘I don’t think you know how important I am?’ Big Balls, or at the deli counter of my little supermarket, requesting a pound of the local sausage. *insert one of those winky type emojis here, if you absolutely must.
Even though I am aware it’s coming, and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for it, I know I’m going to be a crying heap somewhere, sometime soon.
So, if you see a woman lying in the street, weeping and wailing and beating her breast…. don’t whatever you do look her in the eye, go to the nearest supermarket, and return to her with a gin in a tin.
Trust me, she’ll thank you for it.