Today’s my birthday and I planned to celebrate with a cappuccino at a bar with the best view in Rome: it overlooks the Italian Men’s Swimming Team training pool. Forget the Coliseum or the Spanish Steps; this is the first sight you should see in Rome.
However, I had a poorly child at home so, instead of checking out buff swimmers, I was reduced to drinking tea whilst watching our caretaker, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Yoda, trimming his knobweed.* It’s one way to spend a birthday.
After I was finally able to drag my eyes away from this hunky Star Wars doppelganger, I saw that a friend had sent me this quote:
I could read this two ways. Does it mean how old would you think you were if you didn’t know your age? Or how old would you like to be if you didn’t know your age?
Mentally, I like to think I have a pretty youthful attitude to life. In fact, my daughter told me this morning that I am as immature as a 5 year old. It’s true that I find slapstick, knob jokes and the word merkin amusing. However, I can also be a bit of a worrier, more so than in my youth – although that’s probably from having children, rather than ageing. Once you have kids, there’s SO much to worry about.
Physically, I’m healthy and aim for a fairly youthful jeans and Converse look, without straying into mutton dressed as lamb territory. I’m fortunate to have my own stylist (aged 12) who tells me in no uncertain terms when I look totally ridiculous. For some reason, attempting to head out on the school run dressed in dungarees and a beret came in the ‘Oh my god, you’re so embarrassing, GO AND CHANGE’ category. On the not-so-good hand, I’m beset with the twinges and niggles that come with being in my ‘40s, slightly overweight and suffering from hypo-flexibility (I told you, it’s a REAL THING).
So, if I didn’t know how old I was, I’d probably think I was about 35 (yes, I’ve knocked quite a bit off – but, tough, it’s my blog).
But how old would I like to be? Tricky. I’d love to go back to my teenage years if there was no school, homework or pimples. My twenties were fabulous except for the stress of university exams, working in a job I hated and the death of my Mum. Maybe my thirties? I had a career break, was at home with two lovely small children and hadn’t started having all the aches and pains that I have now. But I was sleep deprived for five years, changed hundreds of nappies and went through the terrible twos twice. Forties?? I’m on another career break, I’m experiencing life in Rome and my children are becoming independent. But I have to deal with Italian bureaucracy, missing friends and family, and my children are becoming independent (it’s a double-edged sword).
Ok, I’ve got it. I’d like to be living the life I’m living now, but be ten years younger and not lose any of the experiences I’ve had. Back to the drawing board with that time machine…
If you understand the question better than I did, how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
*Knobweed is a plant, in case you’re wondering. I’ll let you know if I catch Signor Yoda trimming anything else.