Thursday, March 27, 2014

I could dance all f*ck'n day ... oh yes I could

So ... it's been a while.  A lot has been bubbling away in my mind but nothing I've really wanted to write about.  That is, until today.

You see, I turned fifty last year and oh my goodness ... the moaning and grumbling and dislike for growing older that has spewed forth from me has been, well, a little lot over the top.

A couple of days ago I read something that stopped me in my tracks and gave me cause to take a long hard look at myself and the amazing privilege I have of growing older.

My friend Rebecca Sparrow wrote a blog post about embracing ageing and why her babysitter, Emma has made her feel this way.   Emma is 22 and has stage 4 melanoma ... to put it bluntly, this is a death sentence.  Emma won't turn 50, she won't turn 40 and it's possible she won't even turn 30.   Those years included some of the best times of my life ... life being the operative word.

I am alive and healthy.  I am also fifty and damn lucky to be so.  It's funny how I can look at that number now and not feel the angst I felt as little as seven days ago.  Reading Bec's post gave me cause to sit down and reflect on what being fifty means. 

I am lucky.  So very lucky.   My beautiful friend Suzy Connor died from cancer almost two years ago ... she didn't reach fifty, but while she was with us she gave life a damn good shake.  In fact I have worn a Suzy Connor Challenge charity bracelet on my wrist since she left us, to remind me that I am here.  In a way I have let her down by being so negative about turning fifty.

Another friend Tracy Rudd also died from cancer just over a year ago ... she also didn't reach fifty.  So many other people won't have the privilege of reaching fifty.  I am lucky.  I am fifty.

Over the last few days I've reflected on growing older and have realised some things that I'd not noticed before - some really important and empowering things.

I may be fifty but that doesn't mean I've stopped growing emotionally, spiritually and knowledge wise.  There is still so much I don't know and so much I still want to see and do. 

I will own the wrinkles around my eyes and mouth - they mean I have laughed and laughed and that my life has been filled with joyous moments.

I will also own the mistakes I've made, the lessons I've learned and relish in the way being fifty gives me a different perspective.

I have noticed that I worry less about small things.

I'm less self conscious.  I am much more comfortable with who I am and what I do and don't know.

Of course I still have some insecurities - to not have would make me arrogant.  But I'm okay with that.  Those insecurities will help me to continue to grow.

I will own my grey hairs because, well, they are mine, but I will cover them up with hair dye because I'm not quite ready to embrace grey hair yet.  I 'll save my Helen Mirren phase for when I reach sixty. Then look out ... I'll not only keep the grey hair but I'll be running around, on a beach in a bathing suit.  Oh yes I will!

This morning I saw a video on my Facebook feed ... thank you Nicky Pawsey Foster for sharing it.

The 88 year old lady in this video cemented very clearly in my mind that growing old is to be embraced and those of us who have the privilege of partaking in it ... should grab life as hard as we can and dance the shiz out of it.     As she says at the end of the video ... "I could dance all f*ck'n day".

She's right you know. 

Life may not be the party you expected, but while you are here you might as well dance!



  1. Great post, Annie! So true as well. I'm a cancer survivor and grateful everyday to be here. I went through my treatment with a girl I became good friends with. Hers was found too late and she didn't survive. She was 18 at the time. She didn't get to turn 21, or to even share in my 21st celebrations. It is humbling when it's put like that. I'm gunna turn 24 this year, even though I'm still young, some people don't even get there.

  2. Beautiful Annie. And so true xx

  3. Loved this post Annie, like you I turned 50 last year and let me tell you I am going to keep dancing as long as I can!!! Thanks for sharing your stuff, I always love it and it always has some kind of positive affect on my life..XXXX

  4. Ah, Annie, I love you. This is wonderful. Emma's feeling a real sense of purpose after having shared her story ... there's such a ripple affect when we tell our truths. xxx

  5. Oh so, so true Annie! I vividly recall whinging to my hubby just before my 29th Birthday that I was turning 30 and hadn't really done much with my life - except have two kids! Unlike him, I hadn't travelled etc and was feeling like I was getting old and didn't have enough to show for it. PA-THE-TIC huh? A week later I was diagnosed with cancer. A week after that, a had a radical hysterectomy. So how would it have been if I hadn't had my two beautiful kids as young as I had? How lucky was I to have had the gift of children at all! To have found the cancer when we did?

    Well, as you know, I won that battle, and I continue to fight others. I now bless each day I'm on this earth and able to share my story. I don't know Emma personally, but I do know both you and Bec - and your posts on this topic make me both happy and proud to call you my friends. The world needs more people like all three of you...

    1. Oops...typo there! That should be my 30th Birthday, but I'm sure you've kinda worked that out by now xx

  6. Hi Annie I turned 50 in Jan with great joy, relief and gratitude. Too many friends would love to have had the pleasure. I swung high over a river on a rope swing then plunged in deep. Metaphor for life! Blogged about it too. Good to read your post.

  7. I will be fifty this year and I'm just glad to be alive at all this week. Instead of me writing this comment, I could be sitting....somewhere....watching you all comment on my Facebook eulogy. Life is amazeballs, no matter the number you're up to.

  8. I am going to keep dancing as long as I can its my passion. gatwick north parking
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  10. Mind boggling post, Annie! So legitimate too. I'm a threat survivor and appreciative normal to be here. I encountered my treatment with a young woman I ended up being incredible colleagues with. Hers was found past the final turning point and she didn't survive. She was 18 at the time. She didn't find the opportunity to turn 21, or to attempt and offer in my 21st celebrations. It is bringing down when it's put that way. I'm gunna turn 24 this year, in spite of the way that I'm so far energetic, a couple of individuals don't arrive.for more know about entertaining,
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

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