In case I’ve not mentioned it before, I turn 40 at the end of this year. I think I’m suffering more angst about this than I let myself believe, because I talk about it to everyone. In the course of all this talking, I’ve heard a brilliant description of a mid-life crisis, which I’m going to share with you. My friend said, “It’s a period of mourning, in which you have to grieve the dreams you are never going to achieve, and set out to achieve the ones that are still possible.”
To me, that makes a spectacular amount of sense. And just in case you’re worried about me, let me assure you that these are some of things I’m not grieving:
1. My chance to be a supermodel
2. My Formula One career
3. My bestselling album
However, I am focusing intensely on the dreams that are still achievable:
1. Completing my novel and submitting it to a literary agent or two
2. Getting fit
I am writing industriously and have the strong bones of Chapter Three, which is now 5,000 words long. This week I plan to go back and add the meat.
I have also been a gym member for a month, and am going religiously in the mornings and sometimes at the weekend. I do the circuit and some cardio, or the circuit and a class. I’ve tried spinning, Pilates and a German speciality called Bauch, Beine, Po which targets tummy, legs and bum. It hurts. After the gym, I cross the road to a fabulous cafe, order myself a huge steaming Milchkaffee and write, write, write in my notebook.
Then there is a third, smaller, thing about which I feel just as intense: my hair. I have, ahem, natural highlights, folks. About a year ago, I wrote about my dilemma about whether to continue colouring my hair and since then I have not returned to the salon. Instead, I am in the middle of a real-life attempt to live with the grey. And the grey is winning.
By the end of this year, I hope to be a thin, grey novelist.
I’m workin’ that midlife crisis, baby!
(Does that sound a bit young?)