That you wake up one day with a waist nearly the size of your hip measurement;
That those cute dimples that appear when you smile leave a permanent dent;
That your dreams of running like you used to turn into dreams of walking like you used to;
That suddenly you seem to have another chin and oh my goodness are they jowls!
That the time has come to embrace comfort- in with elastic at the waist, out with any heels above 2 inches;
That your foundation, on the rare occasions you wear it,needs to be geared towards coverage and evening out skin tone;
That even with many years of robust skin care regimes you will have lines and wrinkles, of unknown origin, and not at all related to laughter lines;
That the trendy texting you used to do is like Latin to next generation texters.
That you discover your bottomless pit of patient and tolerance does in fact have a defined depth;
That looking back with nostalgia gives you more joy than looking forward with hope;
That losing one and then both of your parents is a grief so deep it changes you and that, even in death ,you seek their love and approval because you know they still walk by your side.
You understand through experience that the sun rises even after the darkest night and sets on the darkest day;
You have evidence based opinions backed by life ;
You can work that comfort chic; go girl!
You can laugh at yourself without embarrassment; and don’t care about the lines your laughter makes;
That you can love the skin you are in and it’s worth continuing to care about it and yourself;
You have friendships that have lasted as many as 5 decades , so far;
You can still write a good letter and know the joy of receiving one;
That Facebook, messenger, Skype and Zoom are a lifeline but not a place to live your life;
Some days, most days even, you don’t wear make up and the postman/ delivery man still smiles at you;
Garden centres become your retail therapy and who knew they sold all that other lovely stuff as well!
You see joy in the little things, like a new flower, a bird singing, the first journey from their nest of the baby blackbirds; the little hug from your partner that lets you know you matter;
Which gives hope for the future but in a more measured way; you learn that a good life is not about the grand gestures but the small everyday kindnesses and you appreciate each and every one of them.
You know life is precious, time passes more quickly that you ever believed possible, so you find moments to just be still, and listen to nature’s conversations.
You learn that anger is negative energy that saps your soul so you pick your battles more wisely with the right words at the right moment.
You are more thankful for each moment and each day.
Most of all, as I saw recently you realise the truth that “ you are given this life because you are strong enough to live it”. You are and you will.
So, head up, shoulders back, smile and embrace the day.