Life at 43, 11 months, 3.5 weeks

The days have done that turn now, where you can see that they are longer at 5.30am when there’s light and at 5.40pm when it’s still not dark yet. The birds, the buds on the trees and blossoms and roses are starting to wake up and the promise of it all is as exciting as it ever has been. No matter what’s going on in the world, in our lives, nature does it thing and the seasons continue to turn. We grow older.

I turn 44 on Monday, another year over and the privilege of another one to come – no matter what will come, and at this moment in time, it’s as uncertain as ever. The novelty of the pandemic that may have been here last year has been replaced with a constant bubble and level of stress that sits just under our skin ready to bubble over. There’s bad news, all the time. There’s 11am press conferences and politicians politicising everything. There are lies, told constantly. There are people in such stress and angst being separated from their businesses and liveliehoods, their loved ones. There seems no end in sight. There are endless sound bites that are repeated to us daily, over and over and over again. It’s exhausting, and in August 2021 we will always remember: can I just say, Please know and jabs in arms as our day to day vernacular that will someday, I’m sure, cause us all PTSD. I am so angry at our governments and our leaders, I am saddened by what people are going through, what they have lost and what is yet to come. Even in my post second Pfizer jab fever dreams found myself yelling at Scomo “You’re not my Prime Minister!” The borders, the Premiers, the separation of us all, the children from school and the increasing depression and stress in our kids is just down right depressing. One day I hope we will be able to not worry about variants and closures and live in some kind of normality but I really feel like things will never be the same again. Well not for a long time. It’s scary and worrying and shit and it sits with me each day.

Despite that, for now, life for us continues as we are not locked down. We are the lucky ones and I know that we are living on borrowed time with it all. The washing still needs to be done, the girls are still at school with their friends and classmates. There is a normality to life that we are privileged to enjoy and we do not take it for granted at any point. At least I am reminded of it daily by messages from people.

I am still sitting here in the dark by the fire as I am most mornings. The fire is roaring so it’s warm when Daisy comes out at 6am. There will be tea and toast, then Maggie may pop out, Rob and Harper will be up to take Frank on his walk. There’s beds to be made, washing to be done and all out the door by 8.30am as the girls head to school and I head into the office. Having that actual space to do our work from earlier this year has changed so much. It’s liberating. It’s sensational. It’s productive and it’s where I get so much of my joy week in, week out. Lucy and I are working harder than ever, we literally do not stop packing orders, working on the business and being under the pump. It’s physically demanding, it’s time consuming and we both love it so much. I am SO proud of all we have achieved with it almost over 3 years. It’s legit. And we built that. And continue to do so. Some days Mum comes in to help us and I laugh as I pay her how we have revered roles: at my age she gave me my first job as a teenager in her cafe when she doing the same, working her arse off and being successful in her own business, and now I can do the same. Life huh? On it turns.

The girls are great, and terrifying and magnificent. Teenagers are both the actual best and so frustratingly frustrating. Daisy, as beautiful and funny and smart and kind literally walks in the door from school and I am blown away by her beauty. She is extraordinary. And a woman and I am so excited to watch what she becomes in her lifetime. I see her lack of confidence and obsession with things that don’t matter: appearance, skin, what she looks like and wish I could give her some of my lack of caring about those things. If only she knew how good she was, if only she knew. One day she will know. Harper is a hormonal pre teen and I think they might be the scariest of all. They are pumped with hormones that are physically exhausting: headaches, waves of nausea, not sleeping, moodswings, it’s the pits. When she is good she’s the best person in the world to be around and when she’s not, she is thunder personified. She’s in year 6 in a small school and bored out of her brain. I cannot wait for her to be in high school next year and have her world and friendship group and education flourish around her. It’s going to be the best. Maggie is 6 and delightful. A constant reminder of little things and little people and who my girls used to be. She’s funny. She wishes her sisters would play with her. She still wakes early and is learning so much every day. She’s still my baby and gets away with everything, and on a number of occasions this past week has heard me say more than ever that “Im too old for this shit”. The big age gap between the kids is mostly a blessing and I wouldn’t change a thing, but I’m 44, I have been mothering for 15 years almost and I am tired and cranky when I am up constantly in the night. I am not a perfect Mum, I never have been, and still learning how to make it all work. Between work, and home life, it’s a juggle that I don’t always get right.

Rob is wonderful as ever. My constant. Our constant. Again his work has been completely decimated with this round of Covid and it’s hard to watch. He never fails to make us all laugh. From working at home constantly for the past 11 years to now heading off to work each day, things are different with us. He washes, unpacks the dishwasher, he gets things done, but he also gets me huffing and puffing and loud sighing at the way things get done. They are done I know, leave it be. I go to bed too early and we seem to spend little quality time together doing things we both enjoy, together. Being married at 44 isn’t sexy or exciting. It’s being there for each other, it’s small acts of kindness, it’s laughing at the same old jokes, listening to rants, coming in for a hug, massaging sore parts of our bodies that seem sore for no reason than being 44 and sleeping as caused pain. It’s being united with the kids when there is trouble. It’s understanding history, of knowing every part of someone. I’m tired, uninteresting of an evening and exhausted most of the time and a sighing pain to live with I’m sure. I’m flabby nd wrinkly. I’m too old and tired to stop the sighs though and just don’t give a shit about things I used to – like looking a certain way. I hope he still loves me despite it all. I know he does. Thank god he does.

The Daphne is blooming and smells amazing when I walk out the front door.
My family are healthy and happy.
The sun shines and dries the washing in August.
The gin is strong at the end of the day.
The news is on loop.
The days get longer.
I am so grateful for my work.
We eat dinner together at night as a family and it’s wonderful. It’s everything.
Life at 44 is not without angst or stress, but it’s so good.
And I am grateful for all of it, and everyone in it.

Comments

  1. So beautifully written 😎

  2. this is beautiful
    happy pre-birthday weekend
    cheers Kate

  3. Well this is lovely. We live in Tassie and like where you are we totally get that our freedoms now are delicious, but likely short lived. Also feeling the anger towards the government and the disastrous vaccine rollout. I love that you appreciate all the things and reading this post has made me smile.

  4. Oh Beth, you’ve tugged those heartstrings again here. I have a stunning 14 year old too, who makes me wonder every day, in all sorts of ways. As does the tween lad.
    Have a lovely birthday x

  5. Here’s to you beautiful Beth on your 44th birthday weekend! 🥂 Like always, your writing is straight from your heart and a pleasure to read. Happy Birthday x

  6. Beautiful. Happy Birthday 🎈

  7. Love all your wrote here.
    You share life as it IS!
    Why I love to read what you are up to.
    It’s awesome that you have continued blogging dear Beth.
    Sending love & gratitude to YOU!
    Almost 44 year old.
    Denyse xx

  8. Really beautiful written Beth. Happy birthday and I love that you make every day count. No matter what’s happening out there in the world we can still control what’s happening in our homes and bring comfort to our family there. Never more important than now. So cheers to you abd I hope there’s an Anne Cake tonight. Sending 😘❤️🥂🎂💋

  9. Love this, thank you! and a big happy birthday to you

  10. Michelle Duncan says

    Thank you, I needed to read that today. As usual you write so well and so honestly!

    Happy pre birthday Beth – may there be loads of Anne Cake and gin to see you through the weekend….

  11. HBD for Monday Beth!
    Life is not without its troubles or stresses but as you said, it’s still good xx

  12. Jodie Madge says

    One of THE best reads I’ve read in a long time ♥️ I felt all of that ☺️♥️ Thanks for sharing! And cheers to 44 🥂🎂

  13. I always love your writing and I’m grateful for all the sharing you’ve done over the years. It is SO comforting to read the words you write which always seem to articulate what many of us are thinking and feeling. Thank you and happy (almost) birthday!

  14. What a lovely update, I hope you have a nice pre-birthday weekend.

    Genuine question though, why are people (my husband included) angry with the political leaders over the current situation? What would we have them do differently?

    I’m in Port Stephens where we are now in week 2 of hard lockdown. We have had 0 cases in the past 12+ months of this pandemic and now, because some Sydneysiders WOULD NOT stay home, we have Covid in our region. People who came to party. People who came to visit other. People who could not do the right thing and stay home.

    What could Gladys have done to prevent this? I just don’t get it.

    Please know I’m not trying to attack anyone, I’m genuinely curious to know why.

    Mel xx

  15. I have followed you for many years and I think this may be the best thing I have read. So much pure emotion and love. I got teary.

  16. Hapoy Birthday Beth,
    You keep things real !
    My favourite Blogger 💞

  17. What a killer blog post, Bevvo. I hope you have some delicious food planned for Monday. I hate summer but oh, the longer days and true blue weekend sunshine are little slices of magic. Happy birthday!

  18. So beautiful Beth, you’ve captured motherhood & marriage and aging and love. Thank you for sharing your life, it’s a joy to behold warts and all 💕

  19. Beautiful Beth

  20. I loved this post so much. Tears came to my eyes, it’s all a bit much sometimes, hey. But the kids keep growing and the daphne keeps blooming. Better times are ahead. Happy birthday Beth x

  21. Happiest of happy days! Enjoy your birthday and being a palindrome! I loved your reflections! Best gift to yourself is to turn off the news and listen to whatever is your happy music instead. 😁🎁❤️🎂🎶🎉🥳

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