You might think I’m talking about the cricket score but no.
By the time this post goes out, I will have turned half a century old.
Yes, I am bloody 50!
There, I said it out loud but I still can’t quite believe it myself.
How did over half of my life go by so quickly?
Should I be having a mid-life crisis as so eloquently described by indeedably?
My Mum will no doubt ask me if it’s finally time for me to grow up?
Even if she doesn’t actually ask me, I will see it in her eyes and I’m afraid she’ll continue to be disappointed, haha!
I have to admit that I had not been looking forward to turning 50 at all. I was the same when I turned 40; seem to recall being a little down (for me) when I was 39. I ended up getting a tattoo to celebrate and it looks likely there will be a similar such celebration for this birthday…
I know it’s only a number but it still sounds so….old!
It’s just as well that I’m told I don’t look my age (or act it) and I certainly don’t feel it, although when hungover, I think I feel every single one of those years!
Weight-wise, I’m only a few pounds heavier than when I was in my 20s but size-wise, I’m actually trimmer than I was then (about half a dress size), probably due to a better diet and less alcohol.
According to the Boditrax machine I tried out six months ago, my metabolic age is 34 years old which is great and means this old girl is mostly looking after herself!
I could probably get away with lying about my age but nah, I’m crap at lying and couldn’t live with my own lies!
Anyway, my friends kept asking me last year what I wanted to do as they wanted to celebrate my five decades on this planet.
To be honest, I just felt like hiding at home to contemplate, not celebrate but I bowed to peer pressure in the end.
I’m not one for being the centre of attention and the idea of a party seemed horrific, so the alternative was to go away somewhere.
I ended up organising a trip. The whole act of booking flights for everyone, sorting out hotel and ‘loose’ itinerary actually made me look forward to celebrating my birthday.
And the trip was a big deal – not just the significance of a life milestone but because:
a) I was travelling abroad with my friends, whereas previously, we’d barely ventured out of Manchester together, never mind leave the country – two of them had expired passports so good job I checked; and
b) the group of 7 friends were made up of my two ‘circles’ of friends who hadn’t previously met (ex-work, who have known me for around 20 years and gym pals who have known me around 6-7 years).
Fortunately, my fears of clashes of personality were not founded (not that I knew of anyway!).
And so, to celebrate
becoming ancient my birthday, I decided to go on a little weekend trip away to Bruges, in Belgium.
Girls on Tour In Bruges
Of all the different European cities to visit, I opted for Bruges because I like beer and my friends like chocolate, so it seemed like a no-brainer! No, actually, what attracted me was that it looked really picturesque and historical and seemed to have a lot to offer for tourists. One member of the group had visited previously and she recommended it.
The whole trip nearly started off with a disaster however, as I realised just as we got to Brussels customs that I’d left my bag on some chairs while we were waiting for some of the others to get off the plane. I ran all the way back for it and fortunately it was still there and hadn’t been detonated as a security risk – phew!
Bruges was lovely – we did a lot of walking along cobbled streets, visited museums (including an interesting Salvador Dali exhibition), went on a brewery tour, canal trip, guided walking tour, drank lots of Belgian beer and ate some great food. Somehow, I managed to miss out on moules frites – not sure how!
The trip was not cheap – the girls (sorry Ms Ziyou, we all refer to ourselves as such!) were looking to stay centrally so I got us into a 4-star hotel right next to the canal, with lovely view and great walking right outside the hotel. We were just ten mins walk into the main square where all the pubs and restaurants were.
It was a fabulous weekend – the city had a lovely ambience, I found it very friendly. The weather was perfect – sunglasses and sun-cream made an appearance! I was very happy and humbled to have such a great group of friends who wanted to celebrate with me – it was a perfect weekend.
Anyway, I would definitely go back as there were still lots we didn’t get the chance to explore.
The Actual Day
The trip to Bruges took place last month.
Drinks and celebrations continued the weekend just gone but on the actual day of my birthday, this is what I did:
- Woke up to my usual work alarm but stayed in bed – tee hee, for the first time ever, I took the day off for my birthday! 🙂
- Opened my cards and presents – my friends got me a Fitbit!
- Did a bit of matched betting
- Went to the gym (not just to test out the Fitbit, but gotta be fit at fifty!)
- Met up with friends and had beers and food at Mash Tun, a gourmet banger and mash place.
- Home by midnight, like Cinderella!
It was a great day!
Some folks might feel that I’m too old to be aiming for FIRE but I’m not worried about what others think.
If things go according to my plan, I’ll be in a position to pull the plug 11 or 12 years before I’m eligible for the state pension and that’s pretty early in my books!
And when I say I’m going to ‘retire’, I really am going to retire, as in the original definition of the word.
Still, this might be the time for me to review my plan and evaluate my investments (too much in equities for my age?), so a post on this at some point soon.
And finally, I’m so old that the boots that I wore at uni (which I have kept as they are still in good nick) are older than my boss, who has just turned 30…I wore them into work one time on dress-down Friday to show her – she thought it was hilarious!
And on that note, hope you all have a great weekend!