When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
(From 'Warning', by Jenny Joseph)
I really don't understand the obsession with ageing. Each day that passes (and each moment in it) I am learning something new. I don't even want to go back and be the younger me of last week, let alone the one of ten years ago. Give up all that knowledge that's been crammed into my noggin? Not on your life!
And if I were to take out a magnifying glass and scrutinise the lines around my eyes, I'd not be following that scrutiny with loud screaming and a hasty trip to a plastic surgeon. Those lines are the visual remains of forty years of laughing my socks off... souvenirs of fabulous times. Something to be proud of, not something to wipe out.
There are distinct disadvantages to not being old. Such as the need for propriety and wearing socks that match. Being sensible and tactful aren't much fun either. I shan't be approaching my senior years (assuming I do get some) dreading being wrinkly and balding... I shall approach them knowing that, in return for all the years I've spent being prim, I shall be able to get away with queue jumping and passing wind in public places without getting told off. So I might take longer to get to the other side of the road when I'm seventy, but I'll have a far better idea of why I'm crossing the street to begin with than I ever did when I was twenty.
I enjoyed my childhood, teens, twenties and thirties, but I'm enjoying being forty way too much to want to give it up and go back in time in order to lose a few silver hairs and regain the ability to put my left foot behind my head. I'll be forty-one this summer, then next year I'll be forty-two... then forty-three. And eventually, I'll wear purple.. and a red hat that doesn't suit me. And maybe I'll know how to spit.
Causes Gina Collia-Suzuki Supports
The World Wildlife Fund
Cancer Research UK