What’s the perfect age?

21 Jul

27. That’s it. Post finished. Almost. I think my answer needs a little explanation and context. To me, 27 sounds like the perfect age – not too young but definitely not old – just right. But do I wish I were 27 again? No. Definitely not. Thanks to my fab husband and two gorgeous little girls, I have a lot more love in my life now than what I did at that age. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about? What I’m saying is this – in our rather youth-obsessed culture, 27 is the ideal birthday age to celebrate – not necessarily the best age to be.

I’ve had somewhat of a rollercoaster relationship with birthdays. As a child, I adored them. In our house there were established birthday traditions. The day always began with my parents, creeping through the early dark into my bedroom, with candles on a birthday cake lighting their path. It would be the first of about 10 renditions of ‘Happy birthday’ sung to me during the day. Next came the presents, opened while still in bed. Ah, what bliss. Opening pressies in bed. My parents were always generous but not over the top. At school, there would be more singing of ‘Happy birthday’ and gifts of flowers. Friends always gave flowers at my school. Dinner would be a meal of my chosing – roast chicken was a favourite – followed by more singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ and the cake that had been presented in the early morning would be recycled as dessert. The birthday festival usually lasted a few days, with a party on a Saturday arvo in which 30 of my closest little buddies would descend on our house for games of pass the parcel, or my personal favourite, the chocolate game. At that age, the prospect of getting older was exciting. It brought me a year closer to exciting milestones like driving a car, leaving school, and having my 21st.

Birthdays in my early to mid-twenties were still pretty fun – usually involving alcohol, and plenty of it. But by my late 20s, when hangovers weren’t as enjoyable any more, the enjoyment started to wane. I started to understand that getting older kind of sucked. And after my 30th birthday, there was the realisation that the next big milestone birthday would be my 40th. Eeek!! At least, that’s what I used to think until I read something a few months ago that triggered a lightbulb moment. I have no idea who said it, or where I read it, but basically some famous person said that they always celebrated birthdays with great joy because it’s a privilege to get older. Not everyone makes it. And if your life is good, then that surely is something to celebrate? I’m also rediscovering the joy of birthdays through my two little girls. My toddler is obsessed with them. We have already started discussing her upcoming third birthday and looking at pictures of cakes. It’s still four months away but we already know what games will be played. Musical statues – yes. Egg and spoon races – no.

Next year I will turn 36. Four years from 40. It’s not 27. But that’s OK. Because while 27 looks good, 36 actually feels a lot better. Except in my knees. I still wish they were 27.

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One Response to “What’s the perfect age?”

  1. Anonymous July 21, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    and you are only as old as the man you feel…that could be an issue.

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