Monday, 24 September 2018

I don't like being 47 years old

No real reason, it's just 47 is almost 50 and whilst I've never had issues with numbers, I just feel that time is running out for me in regards to resuming a career when we return to the UK in around 4 years time.

Also being 47 with 5 adult children, feels older. I have friends the same age as me and older who have primary school aged children. I don't have any grandchildren yet, but most of the people I know who do are in their late 50's/early 60's.

There was a time when people would reply 'you don't look old enough for 3 children' now people don't bat an eyelid when I tell them I'm a mother of 5 adult kids.

My husband is 60, maybe it's because he has a younger wife that he hasn't had an issue with birthdays. The age gap is just under 14 years, sometimes it seems much bigger especially when he hits a birthday with a '0' in it and the age gap spans 2 decades. In the past I've looked forward to turning 30, then 40, to narrow that gap back down, but this time, turning 50 doesn't appeal to me at all.

I don't act, dress or behave like a woman of any particular age, although I know I look like a woman in my 40's. Sometimes I think because Peter is 60 there's an assumption that I'm probably a similar age and people may say 'she looks good for a woman in her 50's' I wonder if that means I look awful for a woman 'only' in her 40's.

I actually don't worry about what other people say about, I don't know who these other people are anyway. Earlier in the year I wrote about Things I envy in other women. This post isn't about how other people make me feel, it's about how I feel about myself.

I'm not sitting her feeling sorry for myself or fishing for compliments (but do feel free to chuck them at me)

I've given up worrying about how the 'mum tum' looks in a dress, although I do like to ensure the 'muffin top' isn't on show by wearing clothes a size too small in the vain hope of looking thinner (it really doesn't work)

I dress for myself, what I'm comfortable in. In Dubai that means lots of lovely dresses, in the UK I favour jeans, jumper and boots. I've never mastered the art of wearing a dress that requires additional clothing due to weather conditions.

I'm not having a crisis, I won't be dying my naturally grey hair bright red/blue/purple/pink. But I do add a silver dye to it, to blend all the grey in.

I keep relatively fit, with leisure swimming, dog walking and once the weather cools I'll be back to cycling to the shops rather than driving. I eat a healthy balanced diet, that has room for burgers, fizzy drinks and chocolate and I like to have the odd glass of wine or a G&T. I smoke, that's my only vice and a bad one at that.

I manage to keep myself busy sweeping sand out the house, writing my blog and occasionally earning a bit of money, which makes me feel like I'm contributing in some small way.

I'm the self appointed finance officer in the family, because Peter has a full time job and it's not fair to expect him to sort all that out on top with managing our lives in the UK and her in Dubai.

I'm chief bottle washer, events organiser, grocery shopper, gardener, cleaner, ironing lady, dog walker, cat tray emptier on a level that almost borders obsessive.

But I get to travel, meet friends for coffee and lunch, spend days on the beach with a book (mid week) write crap on my blog and generally just do what I want 9-5 Sunday through to Thursday.

It has it's advantages though, I don't have to work in this oppressive heat, I can travel to visit the family, I can chill out and do nothing all day, but it sometimes just doesn't excite me.

I had no firm plan for what would happen with my life, I just assumed at this stage in it, I'd be concentrating on the career I had before moving abroad 8 years ago. I assumed we'd be seeing more of the kids once they left home, but they've moved so far away from our family home anyway. I pictured weekend breaks and annual holidays, based on what I'd seen of other people doing when their children left home.

My life hasn't turned out how I thought it would be on reflection, but it's actually not bad at all. I just feel like I'm stuck in limbo waiting for something to happen, like grandkids or moving back to the UK. I feel life has been put on hold, like someone has pressed the pause button. Returning to the UK and Grandkids are out of my control anyway.

Do you feel you've reached a stage in life where you just don't know what to do with it? Where you've got little to focus on outside of domesticity, where you don't see where you're going to end up next?

We have retirement plans, that involve a camper van and travel, I just feel like I've retired already at 47 and there's a long time ahead of me to be doing very little in, I need more in my life than this, I just don't know how to go about it to make the changes whilst accommodating my husbands job and my need to be able to travel to see the children when I can.


  1. Even though I'm a similar age to you (a touch older), I am at a different stage of life as I still have a fairly young child (11). That said as his independence grows, I'm starting to get hints of what life will be like when he does fly the nest. I think there will some in between, characterless years unless I find a way to fill the time well and it must be difficult for you to do that whilst you are abroad. You do always seem to keep yourself busy though. I do like the sound of the camper van and travel in retirement. I have similar hopes for mine.

  2. Suzanne, I have no wise words for you, I'm afraid. No helpful suggestions about what to do over those next four years abroad. I really try to not think so much about my age and to just live each day. I'm now older than my older sister was when she died, and whenever I'm not liking my age I think of her and how glad she would be to be my age! Wishing you all the best. #TriumphantTales

  3. I kind of get where you're coming from, I have days where I'm waiting for the boys to go to nursery so I can really dedicate my time to building my business and the blog, plus waiting for a large inheritance to come through which we know will be life changing means life is in limbo as there is so much that the future holds but for now we're plodding along. Don't get me wrong, I love my life right now; but knowing that in a year or two I'll have more time to make a difference just seems to make the current time go slower!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

  4. Hi Suzanne, oooo it's tricky. You do sound like you're in limbo, which will get you thinking more about life, but I like that you're being honest. I'll be turning 49 at Christmas and although it doesn't worry me, I have no idea how I got to this age... And I've had pink hair since long before it ever became a thing and have no intention of changing it just because I'm knocking on the big 5-0! It just wouldn't be me... Maybe I don't stress as I've never had a life plan as such, that sort of went out the window when I decided to travel instead of go to college... My Mum-In-Law and her husband had an age gap and she wasn't happy when he was thinking retirment, but she wanted to do something for herself. She started selling houses when she was in her 60s and loved every minute of it.. To be honest she probably scared people into buying!... What I'm saying is that you will find your place again, it may just not be quite what you had in mind.

    Thank you fr linking up with #keepingitreal.


  5. I'm the same age as you and it is a funny age to be. I'm getting married next year and throwing caution to the wind with giving it a go again. I think we have alot of wise words being the age we are:)

  6. It's not helpful but I definitely share the feeling of being in limbo and needing more to do. I'm 60 but just trying to find my feet now my youngest daughter (21) has left home. I thought I was making headway but my mum's recent death, and the now daily visits to check on my dad, have changed all that. I'm occupied all the time but it doesn't feel 'enough'. I'm not ready to turn into an old retired lady yet, but at the moment can't see a way out :( #tweenteensbeyond

  7. From a 50 soon to be 51 year old, you are positively a spring chicken Suzanne! From where I sit, you are the rock that keeps everyone and everything together in your family. That's no mean feat! I'd say you look pretty fabulous for having five grown-up kids. I am the late starter so still have several years before the youngster is anywhere close to leaving. I do also understand the 'limbo' feeling that you describe. I wonder if that is because we spend our lives planning. I've just started working again after a little break as I needed something more. It's all a balancing act isn't it. Often the thing that we most need doesn't along at the right time but look at all of those skills you have to offer! Thanks for sharing with us here at the linky

  8. I'm 47, too. I feel a bit angry at the physical changes that have been happening the last 2 years or so. 40 wasn't bad but suddenly I hit my mid-40s and it's like I didn't get the memo that everything about my body I knew to be true, wasn't true anymore. From reading glasses to muffin top, I'm a bit miffed. But then I'm trying to enjoy where I am now before it gets worse, I guess! I have no real insights, just know I'm there with you, too.