Ageing is a sneaky little bastard; appearing periodically his approach is whimsical at best comedic at worst. Usually he’ll turn up around a big birthday or just as you’ve congratulated yourself on ‘not looking bad’ for your age at this he’ll toss a handful of dust in your direction and ‘boom’ your skin is just a little drier, more pallid and infinitely less elastic. I’ve noticed the two types of ‘agers’; one is dry and wrinkly, tiny fine crinkles particularly around the eyes, deeply furrowed ‘eleven’s’ (those two ‘FY’ you lines between your brows), spidery creases poking out in all directions around your lips which have invariably flattened and lost their youthful plump and well defined crevice each side of their mouth drawing the eyes downwards to a ‘crepey’ neck and declottage. The other is less obvious at first and involves less wrinkles more a sense that the face is sliding downwards off the skull towards the floor; think dropping eyelids, puffy bags and the jowls of ‘Deputy Dawg’. The first requires botox and fillers and the second a reputable Scaffolding firm. Some of us are particularly lucky and manage to secure a combination of the two.
Still the best thing about ageing is that everyone is doing is; might sound obvious but you can at least gain some comfort that all your friend’s are too succumbing to Mother Nature’s cruel streak and we can chose to invest both in ourselves and the multi-billion pound beauty industry to at least support the passing of time. And that’s just the face of course; then there’s the body to contend with? How you’re faring here will have more of a passing association with whether or not you’ve sired children; and how many; and at what age. I for one can vouch for the ‘springing back’ of my twenty-something body after two children not so much my forty-something body after two more. And there’s those whose bodies were simply ravaged by pregnancy anyway; stretch-marks, veins and general loss of skin elasticity caused by an extra large baby or simply the speed at which your body was forced to gain weight. Also your hair; that too can be a casualty of age. And no; not just for men. Us women too can suffer from thinning hair, loss of volume and shine. In essence even before it’s fully grey it feels like it’s given up the ghost.
All these changes to contend with alongside adolescent or adult children, their fledgling careers, relationships, the weight of their hopes, dreams and expectations. At this point we too are casting a glance backwards into the abyss of our past and the more limited reality of our future and wondering why we still feel sixteen inside; with all of our childhood ambitions and yet we’re over halfway there and what did we actually achieve after all? Nostalgia, rose-tinted glasses and melancholy appear to cast further rain on your parade whilst you try to find even a shred of positivity to raise yourself out of your pity pit. At this point the sun will shine down upon you once more; you’ll have got used to the new ‘you”; the shock will have worn off and you’ll thank your lucky stars for your health and the love of the people around you. Perchance you’ll have found a fabulous new moisturiser doing wonders for your skin hydration and a volume-enhancing spray for your hair; either way you’ll have resumed your usual positive effervescence! Until a fine summer’s evening when an impromptu sesh in a friend’s garden turns from a coffee into four jugs of Pimms and you happened to catch sight of your reflection in the window of the taxi taking you home and you realise that sneaky bastard has been round again!