Wednesday, 21 April 2010

My Big Fat Birthday

Against all odds I survived the day of my big birthday. I'm not usually bothered about my age. Obviously I'd like to be 25, or perhaps even 35, rather than the age I am, but as long as I'm healthy and still get away with wearing jeans, I'm not that worried about the advancing years.

Apart from this time.

For some curious reason I was absolutely dreading the forthcoming birthday. It was a landmark one, that may be one reason, but then I've always maintained that it's the in-between years that are hardest.

At 25 I felt as if I had to be a grown-up. I should know exactly what I wanted out of life. I didn't. I'd just got my first serious job in England and felt like an inexperienced kid in the office. I'd just got married and was trying to cope with being a naval wife. Everything was new to me; my life, my job, my friends. I felt far from being in control of anything.

By 30 I was a happy mother of a toddler and was expecting my second.

At 35 I felt as if life was passing me by. With two small children in tow, I was constantly chasing my tail and tired. I was in a job I didn't want, a house that was falling apart but no funds to refurbish it, and body that was beginning to show signs of ageing. I went on a diet that year.

At 40 the children were older and I got more sleep.  I felt young and full of energy. I spent the birthday skiing in Finland with good friends.

There was another mini-crisis at 45 when I realised I was closer to 50 than 40.

So I guess I've been smarting for this birthday for a few years now. But, my friends, it was OK! My family created a wonderful day for me, champagne and good food and brilliant company throughout the day. Because I hadn't wanted a big party, or in fact had asked everyone just to forget about the day, it was wonderful to have so many cards and flowers and presents. It was as if the day was a surprise to me too.



















And today - the day after - I feel more energetic than ever. I've been running around the house putting up pictures, clearing out boxes of files and organising books. I got the builder to make a small bench out of some old church pews we had inherited from the previous occupants of this house. Having admired the pine, which he reckons is over 100 years old, he even made some shelves out of the bits we couldn't use for the bench.

Next week this house will be on the market. Though I'm sad to leave this place with all its memories, I'm also excited about the future. More importantly, I don't feel any older than I did the day before yesterday.

16 comments:

Hunter said...

Sounds like a great birthday. And hitting those milestones is always better than the alternative. ;)

Dash said...

Helena, has nobody told you 50 is the new 40, so life begins! Happy Birthday Hope you had a smashing time, you look wonderful.
XX

Anna Maria said...

Happy Birthday, I am glad you had such a great day!

KarenG said...

And you look fantastic! Remember, those Scandinavian genes will keep you looking young for decades.

SR@MyStyle said...

Hi there-sorry I've not been around but so pleased to hear you had a wonderful Birthday, sounds like you had a fabulous time, congratulations!!

Helena Halme said...

Thank you for your nice, nice comments. More please...(just joking). xx

Wildernesschic said...

Helena I thought we were the same age but you are much older than me ... a whole year LOL
You look amazing your attitude it great and I think you have lived a life to be proud of.. plus your house .. from what I can see is looking amazing and very saleable ... Happy Birthday xxxx

Anonymous said...

Happy happy (belated) birthday Helena! This is also an occasion to say thank you for following me, my blog, and commenting! Very valuable and much appreciated. That's not you on the first photp btw, surely that's you daughter...! xx (I can't for some reason sign in with my Google Profile, but I'm Margit)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

I thought you were 35 in the pic with the cake, am sure that's down to good genes and an appreciation of the odd tipple (scientists remain strangely silent on its pickling and preservative qualities, instead choosing to harp on about the liver. Gah! It's a conspiracy).

The bench is lovely.

Young at Heart said...

thanks for your come-on-in-the-water's-fine message of hope to all us 49ers!!

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Glad you had a great birthday, I am filled with dread at being 50 but you make it sound OK, two and a half years yet....

Cheryl said...

Happy belated birthday! Your family sounds so thoughtful. And, ooo, those roses are gorgeous!!!

North West London Girl said...

Oh happy, happy belated birthday...You are gorgeous.. my HH is the same age as you this year and he is really struggling with it, and is dead against any kind of party/celebration I shall show him this posting. Glad to be back xx

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh, happy happy belated birthday. You look absolutely fabulous and I think there are lots of jeans-wearing years ahead of you!
xx MM

Helena Halme said...

You are all so kind. I was a little afraid to 'come out clean' about my age, but blogging has turned out to be the perfect antidote to feeling old.

Helena xx

Kirsten Lesko said...

Happy Birthday! Is that you in the pic? Are we honestly to believe that you are not 30?