You're how old? Make the most of life!

Walking up the school path this morning a little girl who celebrated her birthday yesterday was proudly announcing to her friend: "I'm 4!" To which her little friend replied:"I'm 5!" *insert silent but implied ♬ne-ne-ne-ne-nana ♬ here!*

One of the mums joined in: "I'm 38!" she said, so I threw over my shoulder :"I'm 44 so I'm older than all of you! Oh, hang on, why am I pleased about that?" Cue laughter all round.

It's an odd thing isn't it that for the first few decades of your life you are itching, aching, longing to be a bit older. Old enough to walk to the shop on your own. Old enough to go on the bus into town with your mates. Old enough to have your ears pierced.  Old enough to legally drink, drive (although not at the same time obviously!) to get into pubs and clubs, to get jiggy with it.....

friends at birthday party
A little worse for wear on my 40th, with my friend Tracy.
The driving thing is an odd one. I vividly remember being delighted on my 17th birthday about finally being old enough to start learning to drive and was lucky enough to pass my test fairly quickly thanks to the efforts of my very patient step dad who accompanied me round the streets of the Black Country in his car, round and round and round traffic islands/roundabouts which terrified me - choose what you call them depending where you live! I used to call them a car accident waiting to happen but thanks to many, many hours of practice they lost their menace for me before test day.

teenager in school uniform
Sweet 16 - seems 5 minutes ago
Then you ring the insurance company to insure your car and wish you were a bit older to bring the price down. Even after I was married I wasn't able to drive the vehicles to help out with our hot air ballooning hobby - as I was under 25 the insurance was still prohibitive. And my DH who is 7 years older than me still teases me about the fact he had to sell his much-loved sporty Golf because it cost to much to insure for his new wife.

Now as I approach 45 I don't exactly dread birthdays but I don't look forward to them quite as eagerly as I did. Well. I look forward to cards and presents of course (who doesn't?) and the excuse to meet up with friends, invariably for a meal! But the actual fact of getting older just makes me a little bit sad.

So much I still want to do, to see, to experience. So many more places to go, people to meet. Despite Fibromyalgia and a complete lack of spare cash I do love my life and wish it could go on for ever.

Obviously it won't so the older I get the more determined I am not to miss out on any opportunity. I'm doing my best to say YES, even to the things that frighten me. And I would urge you to do the same.

In the hot seat at Radio Dacorum
I know I keep harking on about my new radio show but that's a classic example. I was a guest on a radio show in my teens and hated it and even though I had a few opportunities to repeat the experience over the years I always turned them down. But when I was asked again this year I hoisted up my big girl pants and said yes - and LOVED it!

My top tip? I've said it before and I'll say it again - adopt the Dr Pepper approach to life. You know-  the advert for the fizzy drink encouraging you to try the distinctive and unique drink with the slogan  "what's the worst that can happen ?"

So chanting that slogan in your head, be brave. Book tickets to that blogging conference, smile and say hello to that person in the playground/office/next door you wish you could be friends with,  join a skydiving club, apply for that dream job,  ask that man/woman out, dance naked in the kitchen, wear your pyjamas out to dinner - whatever it is you want to do but think you shouldn't do for fear of seeming silly. If it's legal and won't hurt you or anyone else - Do it!

You only live once.......

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