Today is Hubby Dearest’s 40th Birthday. I celebrated – if that’s the right word – this milestone six months ago, and it’s somewhat depressing to know that when my novel tops the bestseller lists, no one is going to say “And she’s so young!” as I had once dreamed.
I commented to my husband at the time that I felt I was now at the Autumn of my life. Spring is 0-20, the years of gambolling lambs, budding beauty and moments of tentative brightness. Summer is from 20-40, when the flowers are in full glorious bloom, life abounds, and the sunshine is perpetual and confident. (Please remember that this is a metaphor and not in any way based on the reality of the British Summer.)
Autumn is those years from 40-60 when things become colder, plans have to be abandoned because of rain, and inexorable night draws ever nearer. As for Winter – well, I’ll expound on that particular misery twenty years from now.
My husband responded to these words by pointing to his full head of hair and saying “Do I look as though the leaves are falling off?” I resisted the urge to point out that they were definitely changing colour.
There are benefits to age, however. For most people (although not me) it means that the children are reaching independence, and so you (still not me) have time to do all those fun things you always wanted to. Your legal career is probably well established, and with it your financial security, enabling you to afford to do all them. And it’s still only Autumn, so you may even have the health and energy to do them. If you’ve spent your best Summer years focusing on your career, or your family, or both, perhaps a big birthday might be what you need to realise that time is moving on, and it may be time for you to congratulate yourself on your achievements and start concentrating on doing things for yourself for a change. After all, I may be old now, but I’m still worth it.
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