Why ageing’s actually ok

What’s the definition of ‘ageing’? If it’s a sound, surely it’s a groan. Or simply ‘meh’?

Anyone who has felt their first unexplained back twinge, or is carefully monitoring that could-be-a-crow’s-foot crease by their left eye, has the start of a typical relationship with ageing, and the mindset to go with it. Not surprising really – no-one looks forward to the day that their nipples finally tuck into their knee-high boots.

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But I saw an article earlier that turned ageing on its head, with a positive approach that you don’t see very often. It talks about the ages when you peak at certain things in life, and there’s far more to whoop about after the age of 30.

If you’re 23, you’re probably feeling pretty satisfied with life. If you’re 25, give a nod to your muscles, which are at peak strength. At 39, girls, you’ll hit your top salary, and your emotional intelligence is on fire aged 51:

7: Learning a new language
18: Brain processing power
22: Remembering names
23: Life satisfaction
25: Muscle strength
26: Finding a partner for marriage
28: Running a marathon
30: Bone mass
31: Playing chess
32: Remembering faces
39: Salary (women)
40: Making a Nobel Prize winning discovery
48: Salary (men)
50: Arithmetic skills
51: Understanding people’s emotions
69: Life satisfaction (again)
71: Vocabulary
74: Happiness with your body
82: Psychological wellbeing

I’ve never thought about my approach to ageing, but I know for sure that it’s instinctively more negative than positive. A process that leaves you with a moustache regardless of your gender and takes away your loved ones will always be rubbish. But, as a 30-year-old woman working in an office where the air still smells faintly of Clearasil, I need to give it a chance. So here we go – a little positivity to ease those aches and pains. Ageing is good because:

You have skills
You can remember you’re hosting a dinner party mere minutes before your guests arrive, and thanks to your finely tuned cooking skills and exemplary ‘cupboard staples’, pull it off with little more than tinned tomatoes and a smile. The same goes for small talk, which becomes a breeze somewhere around the region of 25, and homely skills like keeping pot plants alive for more than two weeks. You’ve done it all before and can think about more important (or fun) stuff.

You can get away with disgraceful behaviour
When older, and generally assumed to be a parent, stressed by work, tired of commuting or just busy with life, you can do what the hell you like and kind of get away with it. If you want to have friends over, drink copious amounts of wine and fall asleep on the sofa at 11pm, they’ll probably do the same and you’ll all be massively relieved. If you want to hit the clubs and behave disgracefully on top of a table while your mascara melts down your face, everyone smiles at you and thinks you’re just a stressed old person letting off steam.

You have a stash of cool stuff
Gone is the flimsy bargain furniture, having been replaced with classy statement pieces, and your wardrobe is a haven (well, realistically still a chaotic mass) of basics and investment buys.

You give less of a shit
In our teens, everything’s so concentrated. Life consists of school, what’s for tea, and attempts at romance. And cider. With age comes distractions. Work, meet family, meet money, meet worming the cat, meet pensions. It doesn’t mean you give less of a shit in the moment, but there’s less time to dwell and think about things. And thinking is sometimes a BAD thing!

You know who your friends are…
… and you’re not afraid to tell them. By the time most people have had pointless but longstanding disagreements with a couple of school friends and lost touch with others, you’re left with a small bunch of great friends. You know who to go to with a dilemma, who will indulge you with cake and sympathy, and who to take out dancing. You’re also over the awkward teenage years of pretending that you don’t do emotions, so are able to show them that you care and kind of love them, really. *Flushes bright red*

How do you feel about getting old? Good, bad, or just meh?

 Stats from Business Insider

8 things you learn when you buy a house

This last (almost) year of owning our own home has really flown. It’s been a lovely but busy mass of showing people round for the first time and hoping they’ll love it, learning to replace casual walks into work with out of hours running, and making repeated trips to every interiors shop in the county Ikea.

There’s also a lot to learn – things you didn’t expect or even think about while renting or living at home. What’s the biggest lesson you learnt when you moved out or bought your own place?

  • You have to be neighbourly. This is the case wherever you live, of course, but when you know you’re going to be there a while, it’s even more important to keep them happy. You will experience the nice chats, the background briefings on the previous owner, the passing hellos, the long chats, and become experienced in bringing chats that have gone on way too long to a close by backing away slowly and sighing while glancing seriously at the urgent household job you’ve just made up in your head. Also, look out for the rogue friendly neighbour who is lovely but will not hesitate to pop a parking reminder note through your letterbox every so often…

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  • Don’t touch anything. If your house is a few years old then there’s a good chance the previous owner kind of brushed little niggles under the carpet towards the end. I’ve had the oven door fall off while trying to bake an overly-complicated cake, and the upstairs loo hasn’t flushed for about three months.

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  • Things will have ‘character’. Our shower only does HOT, which we’re now used to, but the idea of a cool shower at some time in the future is heavenly.
  • There will be spiders. I’d lived in modern flats for five years before moving here, so got used to being quite spider-free. In this house, there’s a nook or cranny for every spider to stay over, so furious shaking of clothes before putting them on and waving hands in the garage door before entering (making aforementioned neighbours question your sanity) is now essential.

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  • You will prioritise things like doors and fireplaces. And become an expert in paint types, moss, the different colours of slate chips. You soon learn to sum up your weekends with “oh we spent lots of time in the garden” or “house stuff” to anyone younger. Also…
  • You’ll learn how expensive stuff is. We had a guy round to quote us for a new front and back door. We’d been thinking we’d be well away with £1000. Well.. it was more.

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  • How to be pushy. I can’t say this for every solicitor in the world, but ours was s-l-o-w and you could never get hold of them. Lay down the law, ring them regularly and tell them what you need/need to know.
  • Who’s really the cleanest. I (shamefully) am out-cleaned by Paul. We’re fine on the hygiene scale, but he definitely sees the vacuum cleaner more than me. I tend to find my skills and stick to them. Dishwasher emptying? I am the champion!

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