Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: Age cannot wither me

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  • FletcherB,

    @ Fletch
    Thank you! Bet you had a hard time finding a school hall for your bang-up birthday party?

    As came up in an earlier thread, it was actually quite easy!

    The trick is, I knew the date of my party before Labour knew the date of the election. (or at least, publicly admitted to it).

    When you have people traveling from overseas, and friends who need to book baby-sitters, two months is the least possible planning you can get away with, and six months works better.

    But I guess I am lucky that my chosen (semi-remote) party place has not just a community hall, but also two other bookable halls ... while I chose one that isnt the regular voting place (by luck, not design), I'm not 100% confidant that I wouldnt have had my booking "bumped" in favor of big brother, if there'd been less choice in the area? And that really would have left me in a pickle...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's also causing me to revise a few long-cherished mental pictures. Craig in particular - your old fogey persona is impeccably maintained, I've routinely added a decade or so to your age.

    I'm reliably informed that I was born middle-aged, scowling and vocally disputatious. :)

    To think that a glowing peachy complexion complements that hand-knit cardie and those old slippers.

    More phosphorescently cadaverous, but than you for the compliment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Eleanor,

    One of my best friends threw a 40th birthday party when he was only turning 39, because he was excited about it!

    I think I'm going to do the same. Then I'll always have a year up my sleeve.

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report

  • Emma Hart,

    Though when I'm old I plan to look like Helen Mirren.

    Oh, woof! No complaints there.

    Isn't she gorgeous? And thankfully it's not down to clean living either.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    Isn't she gorgeous? And thankfully it's not down to clean living either.

    I'm going to have to disagree, the bikini picture seems kind of creepy to me. There's no way a sixty-three year old human person looks like that without some serious restorative work.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • Rachel Prosser,

    I coped with turning 30 by being in Thailand on the beginnings of my OE 9 months before.

    The astrologers in a temple looked at my chart, and said "oh, you are 30" So having been told I was already 30 meant that I'd somehow passed the mark with a minimum of angst.

    The actual day was spent with friends in a rented cottage in Norfolk, walking along the seafront, buying dressed Cromer crab, and eating High Tea of Crab, Asparagus and lobster soup, and cucumber sandwiches on a folding tea tray. I'd been in the UK for about 6 months, and we all enjoyed a frightfully English experience.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report

  • Deborah,

    I thought and thought and thought about being 40 for my entire 40th year, which meant that by the time I was actually turned 40, sitting under the stars in Whangamomona and drinking champagne, I was just fine about it.

    41 was good too, and so far, 42 is not too bad at all. I feel as if I am coming into my own, as a woman of a certain age.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • Andrew Ecclestone,

    I have a lot of sympathy with you too Jolisa, seeing as how I hit this certain age at the end of the year. Fortunately I have friends and family joining me down in Q'town for the event, and since it's new year's eve, I'll appropriate the town's fireworks for my anti-celebrations. I also plan to go on the luge carts on the hill above the town and eat lovely food.

    The real panic is if I start thinking about the lack of pension plan, uncertainty over career, blah blah blah.

    Since Mar 2007 • 2 posts Report

  • Woz at the Skybatch,

    Agree with Russell - loonng parties (in my case a two nighter when I hit 40) are the way to go. Oddly enough the year after the 'zero' birthdays are much harder to face.

    This year l stoppped dying my hair (which I have done since university days - all colours, I had no shame) and have embraced the multi colour look of my recently re-grown winter beard. Like Grant, I have been lucky enough to have people think I was somewhat younger than I was. But I knew it was going to change - looking at my Uncles made it clear to me early on in life what was in store for me (and my head) in my fourth decade... so I figured I could fight it or just go natural. I voted natural. And it feels good.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 12 posts Report

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Turning 25 was my low point. I felt like I should have done something with my life by then when, in fact, I hadn't (the fact I'd spent the preceding year suffering from glandular fever and depression probably didn't help). Every birthday in the decade since has seen life getting better.

    My mother, son and step-nephew all have birthdays in the same five day period as me which means we usually have lots of jolly family times but means it's unlikely I shall ever have a birthday party just for me again.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report

  • Stewart,

    It has always been a 1-day-at-a-time thing for me so I haven't had this ten-year birthday angst. Just put a brave face on, accept the age and remember that getting older is generally better than the only alternative.

    If it makes you feel better, when divulging your age I recommend adding the phrase earth years.

    But age, and I have plenty of it, is a bugger because you don't feel awfully different from how you felt when you were oh so much younger. In my 6th decade I still feel, deep inside, much as I did 20 or more years ago. And I find it really difficult to imagine how others see me sometimes. There is the shock of being taken seriously by someone who is obviously 'grown up' which makes me realise that I am less easy to dismiss than I was when I was young(er).

    Fifty-three (earth years) since you were wondering...

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report

  • Kerry Weston,

    I still feel, deep inside, much as I did 20 or more years ago. And I find it really difficult to imagine how others see me sometimes. There is the shock of being taken seriously by someone who is obviously 'grown up'

    Oh yes. Those awful phrases that used to apply to other people - "mutton dressed up as lamb", "act your age" "that music sucks" resonate differently now. And I try not to dance in public.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    Apropos the aging: we don't see ourselves or those close to us as we really are.

    When I look at my daughter, superimposed on her image are all the images I recall from when she was a baby on up, with the most recent ones having more weight, so while I don't see an infant, she always seems younger to me than she really is.

    When I look in the mirror, the memories of all my previous self-inspection overlay the mirror image and make it look younger than it really is.

    This is why we see photos, or children after a few weeks' absence, and think "Jeez do I look __that__old" or "She's really grown up while she's been away."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Rob Hosking,

    The only time I recall lying about my age was to get alcohol. Haven't had to do that now for 24 years.

    I had a huge party when I turned 30. My 20s were pretty screwed up and it was my way of saying Hooray to All That. ('all that' being an inability to drink moderately, followed by some very bad choices with women, and with a powerful and mostly self-inflicted Religious Hangover all mixed up in there).

    The only thing which kind of annoys me is I've hardly ever looked my age. Until I was about 28 I looked, to a lot of people, very young. I recall being asked on my postie run if it was a school holiday job. I was 24 at the time.

    For about half a day in 1993 I looked my age: then I suddenly looked 40.

    Re:Stephen's comment on seeing a photo of yourself - yeah.

    When we got the photos back from my sister's wedding there was one from the door of the church from behind my sister. Rows of backs of people's heads.

    And I thought 'Who's that guy in the front row with the bald spot....Oh.'

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    I was interviewed a while ago by an AUT journalism student, not really expecting the result to be published. The interview occupies the back page of this week's AUT newspaper. The last line is:

    "Not bad for a 46 year-old."


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Lx,

    I trust it involved a sports car, and the warm wind in her hair?

    As far as I can tell it involved lots of trips to Agent Provocateur followed by lots of 'modelling the purchases'. Etc.

    And all the usual Paris-y things, of course.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 24 posts Report

  • Islander,

    Stephen Judd - actually, one of my many failings is the ability to see people precisely as they appear/are...I am horridly observant, and my observations are not - warped? contaminated? glycerined?- by memories...

    it can make life bloody hard. I noticed my broad-shouldered-nuggety
    uncle collapsing into old age & infirmity way before other whanau did.
    I see age-related disorder quite clearly in myself...and hey, you lovely
    little gen x & y's - you wait 'til you get into your 60s! Then, your birthdays are not only awesomely long (only a coupla days Russell? Ptui!) but are also wonderfully food & alcohol enriched, and umukai & fireworks & live music & major friend/whanau congregations are *compulsory* (the latter are there partly because...they are wondering...if there's going to be a next one...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • Brent Jackson,

    I found my 39th birthday to be a rather dour affair because I was only 1 year off being officially old ... but by the time I actually turned 40 I was well over it, and had a very enjoyable birthday !

    Wrt lying about ones age : when I lived in the UK I was phoning around for Car Insurance a month before my birthday, so I gave my age as one year older than I was. I obviously convinced myself I was that age, because the following year, when applying for a Czech VISA, it asked for both age and DoB, and I noticed that they didn't add up - so I sort of missed out on being 23, but have experienced the joy of finding out that you are 1 year younger than you think you are.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report

  • Jackie Clark,

    Ah yes - how to age gracefully? Or should it be gratefully? I've always been convinced I'm not going to make old bones, and it doesn't worry me one whit. I'm also firmly convinced that the older you get, the better life is (up until a certain point when faculties start to slip away). So enjoy your 40th, Jolisa. It's all gravy. Honestly.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report

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