It is my birthday this week and I will be 36 and, as Shania Twain once said: “that don’t impress me much”.
However, to cheer myself up, I have been trying to come up with a few reasons why 36 is better than 26.
Things I used to do in my 20s that I can’t (or wouldn’t want to) do now
1) Go out on the town in winter wearing only a mini dress and no coat.
(I might still be seen out on the town in a mini dress but Jon would never, ever let me out the front door without a cardigan AND coat.)
2) Ride lunatic horses – bucking broncos, stroppy donkeys and even the odd surprised cow, I have ridden them all.
(Not any more. Was I braver back then or have I just developed some common sense? Maybe falling off just hurts more when you are older – or perhaps it’s that missing disc in my spine?)
3) My uni friends and I used to buy vodka, wine, whiskey, hooch, lager and many other ethanol-based liquids, tip them into a giant dustbin and add coke or orange juice to make what we called “carbuncle juice”. Strangely, we didn’t use this mixture to strip wallpaper but, instead, we drank it.
(I cannot explain or understand why I ever did this but maybe hangovers hurt less ten years ago.)
4) We would also all go night-clubbing dressed as described in point one and stay out until 6am.
(Sundays are better when you have had at least six hours sleep.)
5) Put both ankles behind my head at the same time as a party trick.
I can no longer do this due to a stiff back. However, why would I want to? Fortunately, I am still quite flexible and can still perform useful tasks like biting my own toe nails. Jon wishes it was the other way round.
6) Tolerate grumpy husbands.
I used to put up with high levels of grumpy man syndrome when I was married to husband number one. This didn’t help our marriage in the long run and only encouraged him to become progressively grumpier. Unfortunately for upgrade husband, I learnt from my mistakes and so I now maintain a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to grumpiness. Of course, this does not stop me getting a grumpy husband occasionally but he knows I won’t talk to him until he has cheered up. The alternative way of looking at this, as put forward by Jon, is that I have become a grumpy old cow in my old age.
Things I do at 36 that I could/would not do in my 20s
1) Run a marathon, race in a triathlon, swim front crawl – although I ran the occasional 10k when I was younger, I would have much rather gone out on a Saturday night drinking than have to stay in and drink tea because I had a race in the morning. Plus, young women are such wimps aren’t they?
2) Wear shorts. All that running and swimming has made my bum smaller.
3) Multi-tasking. Like most mothers, I am well practised at simultaneously cooking, answering the phone, bouncing a toddler on my hip and constructing a Playdough and tinfoil T-Rex. Before having children, multi-tasking meant downing two shots of two different spirits at the same time.
4) Don’t have an overdraft. When I was in my 20’s my overdraft was an essential part of my life. I have got better with money (I think only one horse buying error this year is an improvement, don’t you?). Upgrading husbands has obviously helped matters significantly.
5) I can now walk well in high heels……..ok, that was a lie – I still walk like John Wayne after 48 hours in the saddle.
6) Go out the house without makeup. Makeup? Seriously? Strictly for going out or special occasions – only because I can’t be bothered and, besides, you look stupid all done up when you are covered in horse poo don’t you?