Up until I hit 37, I'd never felt old. I don't have much grey hair, in fact thanks to the magic of L'Oreal I don't have any at all most of the time, I am blessed with a relatively wrinkle free face, much padded out by my less than slim build, I am no more tired than the average mum of mini children and I have relatively little problem recalling all the minutiae that goes into running day to day life. But just recently I have been really feeling my age.
Without concealer my face looks a fright, with dark brown circles surrounding my eyes and red veins spidering out across my cheeks, I think that even if I ever did manage to lose my spare set of tyres my poor old skin would never bounce back, my hands are beginning to take on the mangled look of my mother's thanks to a shared propensity to arthritis and when I bend down I find myself making those creaking and puffing noises I associated with someone much older. But now I begin to realise that I am fast becoming that someone.
I know that others will laugh at this pseudo mid-life crisis, and I am aware that I am hardly ancient, but it's just that I suddenly don't feel young any more. Well at least not physically, inside I think we all stick somewhere between 17-25 forever, but outside I am beginning to show the wear and tear of the years.
Of course shifting a few stone and taking the time to take better care of myself would probably help, but I don't think it would turn back the clock. I always used to scorn the nip and tuck brigade, and swore that I would grow old gracefully. Sadly it is dawning on me that without a perfect bone structure and devoting a life to preserving yourself then grace deserts most of us with the advancing years and the cheat's route looks ever more appealing.
I am probably too much of a chicken and definitely too poor to actually go under the knife, but I no longer think those blessed with more courage and cash who do are quite as pathetic.
I am sure that this melancholy patch was partially inspired by my sons animated discussion as to what they were planning to do with me once I was dead. First we covered how graves are dug and my eldest and most devoted son's initial plan was to build his house above mine in order to stay close to me. Then he hit upon the idea of exhuming my skeleton and placing it in a glass case labelled 'My mummy's bones'. I am sure his future wife would be thrilled to have my old bones adorning her sitting room!
I know it's a sign of their great affection for me, but it's a little depressing that they are already planning for my demise when I haven't even hit the big 4-0 yet.
Another thing that plays into my malaise is that I foolishly married a younger man. While Hollywood's cougars might hook up with a toy boy to make them seem more vigorous and vivacious, all it makes me feel is old. While I stand on the brink of celebrating hitting my fourth decade next year, he will be younger than I am now as I blow out those 40 candles and he never lets me forget it.
Still at the very least getting older has to give me the right to finally admit that I actually prefer a night in with the telly above any other form of entertainment and my idea of heaven is a cosy bed, a good book and a lie in in the morning. There are some comforts to getting old after all.