I started my first blog in 2004. Back then nobody knew what a blog was. At least not in Denmark. And nobody understood the idea of writing posts and publishing them on the internet without a formal editor looking through them first.
How many people do you know today who have a blog? Quite a lot, right?
Because anybody can blog! And I recommend it to everybody who feels passionate about something. Blogging is a perfect way to share your thoughts and ideas and you get immediate response. Blogging is much more fun than writing books.
But back to 2004. I was 27 in 2007. Back then I would have fit perfectly in the blogging community but there wasn’t any community at the time. There weren’t any blog readers either.
THE GRANNY OF BLOGGING
Now I’m 39 and that makes me some kind of granny among today’s bloggers struggling with the fact that one day they will turn 30. Being 27 and being 39 is like being worlds apart!
When I have the time, I enjoy reading blogs written by young people. And I admire them for their energy. They also struggle a lot, I find. They work so hard trying to figure out who they are or who the world wants them to be while also trying to come at ease with who they really are.
They expect so much from themselves and their demands are so high. They need the perfect body, the perfect look, the perfect this, that and the other. They spend hours in the gym working to get that body and they photo document the process with transformation photos. In their underwear. I have no problem with underwear, I’m just really relieved that I don’t have to post photos of myself in my underwear (and you can be happy too!).
Back in 2004, I don’t remember anybody posting photos of themselves in their underwear.
That’s when I feel that being 39 really beats being 27. You get milder as you age. More relaxed. It comes with knowing who you are, I think. What other people think of me or expect of me becomes less relevant.
Of course I don’t particularly appreciate having cellulite or stretch marks or ugly scars or loose skin and it’s really not cool to look like Spongebob Squarepants if you miss sleep one night. But compared to how my kids thrive, it seems less important.
At the same time, I definitely feel a strange pressure to stay young and fit. And to not have wrinkles. Because apparently nobody should have wrinkles.
Or maybe you are allowed to have them but if your face is in the magazines, they photoshop the wrinkles off your face. And I appreciate that. Because who wants to stand there being the only one who is all natural next to all the other white, even, porcelain like faces? Not me…
So you stop smiling when someone takes your photos because smiling shows off to many wrinkles. And you stop letting people photograph you in bright daylight because that is just too brutal and you can in no way recognize the face you see.
But isn’t it strange that we aren’t allowed to look like we do?
Take Denmark’s former Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Like her or not, she was a very pretty lady. A great example of ageing with grace. But then suddenly her eyebrows were drawn up to the middle of her forehead and her skin stopped moving when she spoke.
And what a pity! Since she was such a good example of looking good at any age.
I feel the pressure about looking young forever. I do. I’m not immune to that. But I still think it’s wrong and that it sends a wrong message that we should change all the time to look younger.
Sometimes when I stand in front of the mirror and discover a new set of wrinkles (they kind of come in groups, I find). I can get a bit worried. Where will this end? It will only go downhill from here.
Every day I look at myself is the youngest I’ll look. I will only look older from now on. And the only chance of my wrinkles to disappear is if I gain weight. And I don’t really see that as a solution.
But if you’re 39, you have wrinkles. You do! And that’s annoying, I know, but it’s part of the game. You get to look older too. Especially if you move your face which you do because you’re human.
And it really makes no sense trying to change things that are inevitable. You cannot stop time – so why try?
SELF ACCEPTANCE OR LAZINESS
When I was younger, I judged myself just as hard as I see young people do today. There was just no room for weakness. Today I don’t look so much at what happens at any given day. I look at myself from a helicopter’s perspective to see if I’m over all happy with myself.
And I’m not always happy with myself but I accept more slacking because I have come to realize that if something was really important, I would work to change it. I love having a tidy house for example. But I hate cleaning and tidying and my house is always one big mess. If it was really important to me, I would change it but apparently it’s not.
I’m also not willing to do what it takes to lose those 5 kilos that all women seem to be wanting to lose. It becomes less important when I look at what I would have to give up to get there. And that’s how we make decisions all the time. Is it worth the time? The effort? Maybe not..
I’ll be 40 next year and I can’t wait.
I spend my 30’s doing a bunch of serious things like having children, starting a carreer, worrying about my carreer and about making enough money, changing the course of my life and finding myself and my life purpose. My 40’s will bring much more calm (I suspect).
My kids are big, we have a nice house, good financial situation, I get to sleep every night without someone waking me up and I have enough energy to bring some of the fun stuff back to the table. I’ll take a wrinkle or two for that any day!
It’s not like being in your late 30’s makes you old and wise. Not at all. And that’s not my point. My point is that getting older isn’t so bad. You get a lot of good stuff to go with those wrinkles and grey hair.
So I thought, maybe we should all just ask ourselves this question: Where is my focus – and is it really important in the big picture?
I think I’ll practise that.