Thursday, January 13, 2011

A 30 something crisis

I'm turning 35 year this.
Thirty Five.

I'll also be married ten years. My eldest child will turn 7. My "baby" will turn 2. By the end of the year I will be looking at a pre-school place for this child who, it feels anyway, was just laid on my chest all wrinkly and teeny tiny as a new born about three seconds ago.
I'll publish my fifth book this year too (if I get it finished).

And all this is leading me to have some sort of weird, freaky-outy mid-life crisis of sorts. I am more freaked out at turning 35 than I was at turning 30. It feels, well, properly grown up. When my mammy was 35, I was 16. She seemed like the most grown up woman in the world. She "looked" grown up. I fear that I now look like a proper grown up - with slightly wrinkly hands and more grey hair than I care to mention.

It's no coincidence my new book will be called 'The 30 Something Crisis Club' because - dear reader - I'm having a crisis. A crisis of confidence.

Realistically I'm more or less half way through my life. Am I where I wanted to be as a "proper" grown up? Nope. Can I believe that I'm still posting the same old blog posts about wanting/ needing to lose weight? Can I believe I'm still in what we thought was our starter home? (Damn recession, damn housing crash.... damn!) Can I believe that I don't find writing now so much easier than when I started? Can I believe that I'm not writing full time yet? Can I believe that I still run to my mammy in a crisis and expect her to make it all better (or at least get drunk with me so we don't care anymore). Can I believe that I'm still on anti-feckin-depressants?

You can guess what the answer is.

And I'm coming to terms with things. My childbearing days are over. Not through any menopause type situation but more because our family is complete and it would be insanity given the living hell that was my last pregnancy to even consider going there again.

In my rational brain, and even in a big part of my heart, I'm okay with that. But a part of me thinks I haven't pushed enough prams, or burped enough babies or cuddled enough newborns. Maybe, however, I could just get a job in a maternity ward and ask people to let me cuddle their newborns? I'll give them back... promise.

But as I look at packing away a highchair, folding away baby clothes and downgrading from the "big pram" to an altogether more usable buggy I can't help but feel a pang. (Slap me if it ever becomes more than a pang... I beg you).

And, to quote from my favourite ever film of all time '"When Harry Met Sally"...


That someday is getting closer and closer.

I considered making myself a list of things I must do before the big 3-5 arrives. When I was turning 30 I decided to write a book (check!), pass my driving test (check!) and lose weight (erm....)

I'd love to say "lose weight" again now but I've realised that talking about it just makes me feel like a bigger (in every sense) failure when it doesn't happen.

I have to write a book - am contractually obliged to do so.

And I'm already driving.

Maybe I'll start a rock band. Or get a big scary assed tattoo.

Then again I might just start drinking gin and allow myself to wallow further into the slide into middle-aged-ness.

As I said, I'm having a crisis.


Niniel said...

I am having a similar crisis about turning 30, but look at ya, by the time you were my age you achieved SO much, in fact you've achieved all the things I'd have on a life list of things I want. Nothing to be freaking out about, you have done amazing things and will continue to do so, and I will always lend you my babies to cuddle.

Valerie said...

First of all, 35 is nowhere near half of your life (at least I hope not). And, while I don't know you in person, I can assure you that you don't look like "the most grown up woman in the world." You look like a vibrant, wonderful, young writer.

The fact that you're an internationally known author is something so few women can achieve, and you've done it at such a young age. Think of all the other adventures you could have. Maybe you should set goals to things that seem a bit outrageous. My goals would be things like learn another language, go sky diving, run a marathon, or (a bit less outrageous) learn to play an instrument. Heck, you could even say you want to live a brief time in another country.

I hope you feel better about turning 35. I think you're doing great!

Helen said...

I second what Valerie has said. I'm 35 and am still trying to lose weight and get my novel published. You've done one out of those two!!

Make a list of everything you *have* achieved. It will be a LOT. You've had two fantastic children too which unfortunately gets in the way somewhat of weightloss ;)

I'm really excited about this year and the promise of what I could achieve if I set my mind to it. Even though I'll turn 36. Eek! My husband has suggested the Great North Run. I may well yet do that. xx

Sharon Owens said...

Take heart, Claire, I'm facing 43 and I feel better than when I was 18. Still a nervous wreck but better at taking care of myself. You can't save the world, petal, so just focus on yourself.

Debs Riccio said...

I see your 35 (just about, from the distance I'm away from it) and raise you 14 years, 5 unpublished books and consistently crashed confidence ... 35 is NOTHING, Jeez to be 35 again... 36, 37 even....!!!

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