I've always been pretty laid back about the passing years, adopting the somewhat careless attitude of, there's not much you can do about it anyway. I'm also helpfully married to someone 8 years older than me and I generally feel smugly young by comparison. However, I had to recently complete one of those forms that asked you to tick the box to indicate which age category you fall into and it unsettled me slightly! It has only been in the last few years when I have become more aware of the fact that the world around me is ageing and therefore so am I, that the number associated with my name has begun to have a bit more significance! My eldest son has begun to drape, rather than sit on the sofa and he wears shoes a size one larger than mine, reminding me he is rapidly approaching adolescence. The kitchen we installed as newlyweds needs replacing and even though we never finished the whole house the first time round, it needs painting again. My children are now all at school and the option of returning to teaching was met with a ' you would need to be retrained to be on our books' type of attitude. I'm considered presently unemployable having been at home looking after my children for the last decade.
The birthdays we celebrate with our friends are increasingly 'landmark' birthdays and these tend to be borne with steely determination and much alcohol to ease the transition into the next decade. Somehow, it is not so much the next big birthday looming that has the ability to drive dread into my heart , but the thought that I am moving beyond the box I can presently tick! The next box includes ages I don't want to think about yet, let alone admit I am approaching with ever alarming speed. Whose decision was it anyway, to cut off our inclusion in a group mid way through a decade and suddenly thrust us with rapid certainty towards our 50's with the 34- 45 box....
What does it take to maintain membership in a box - must I deny that I love to wear Boden , or that I need to do my pelvic floor exercises more often than I brush my teeth, or admit that I thought that 'Url' was the latest trendy baby name. It seems that age not only catches up with us in our appearance, but also in the bureaucracy that closes in on us. I'm still not convinced there is any point trying to hide the advancing years - I'm sure even Tesco could hazard a pretty accurate guess at my age (as well as details ranging from my bra size to the actual day my youngest child was potty trained and I stopped buying nappies). Anyway, for the moment I am still safely ensconced in my present box so why do I even resent having to tick this damn box ?
I suppose I'd rather just write my actual age.... or lie.