I am celebrating my birthday today, and when I say celebrating, I don’t mean I’m having a party, or even any cake, I’m really looking forward to a meal out in Oxford with Matt tonight, but what I mean is that I am celebrating still being here, being alive.

A friend texted this morning to say shame about the weather but I hope you have a lovely day anyway. And it’s true, the weather isn’t great, it’s cold for May and a little rainy, but I went for a run in the beech woods up the hill and felt so grateful for the green shade of the trees, for my body that can still run at my ripe age, for the true rain that started just at the top of the hill and felt cool and delicious on my face.

I am done with worrying about getting older. I’ve known too many people who didn’t have the chance to get the age I am now, 53. I am officially an old young person (maybe that’s stretching it) or a young old person (sounds a bit more realistic.) I’m at the age that when I was younger if I heard on the radio that someone had been killed, would have thought, ah well, at least they had a good life. And I have had an extremely good life so far, I feel like I'm where I am meant to be, and have the absolute luxury of control over what I am doing, which I didn't have when I was younger and working so hard to get here. 

I feel better in myself than I ever have. It’s a strange feeling – almost like I’m coming home to the self I was when I was three or four, when I used to dance around the coffee table to Scott Joplin in my huge orange terry cloth while my parents made supper. I keep thinking of that Bowie quote, ‘ageing is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been.’ 

Cronehood brings wisdom, which to me, isn’t some kind of pondering on ancient texts or a brain full of facts, it’s just a deeper understanding of what life is. A curiosity that comes with knowing you haven’t got all the time in the world left, to try to understand why you are here. And an understanding that all roads lead inwards. Knowing yourself, truly learning to love yourself is actually a wild journey. 

When I was younger I used to get so frustrated with old people driving slowly. They’re the ones that should be rushing I would joke, their time is limited. But now I'm starting to get it (and I’ve finally, or nearly, learned enough life skills to ensure I'm not late to everything all of the time.) 

I am incredibly grateful for this life, for everyone in it, for Matt sticking with me, for my children who are now beautiful adults, for the roses blooming, and I hereby refuse to complain about getting older. This method of thought is actually completely ridiculous if you stop to think about it. We can only go forwards in this life and aging is just proof we are still going.

I will try, though it’s a daily practice to do this, to savour each moment. 


Sarah Day