Amanda Blair turns 50

For­get the razzmatazz – turn­ing 50 is go­ing to be a date with the couch and a cro­chet nee­dle.

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Contents -

My 50th is fast ap­proach­ing. I’m not dis­turbed about the ac­tual turn­ing 50 – apart from the odd creaky bone, in­con­ti­nence pad (note: only re­quired when deal­ing with an oc­ca­sional per­sis­tent cough) and com­fort­able shoe in­sert I’m age­ing well, like a ne Shi­raz. How­ever, I’m dis­turbed about the in­ter­est shown in “the big day”. It seems ev­ery­body has a sug­ges­tion on how I should cel­e­brate this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion, rang­ing from a dress up party for 300, a trip to Africa to go on sa­fari to get up close with a lion (why?) and one of the more lu­di­crous – lunch with my “Top 50” girl­friends. Lu­di­crous be­cause of the con­ver­sa­tion I’d have with num­ber 51 – “Look, I’m re­ally sorry. Thanks for years of loyal friend­ship but you haven’t quite made the cut. I’ll put you on the wait­list. If some­body drops out you’ll be the next lucky lady to get a seat at the ta­ble.” I’ve been ask­ing my­self some big ques­tions lead­ing up to the day. Where did 50 years go? Is there more juice in life’s lemon to suck and will it taste like lemon­ade? Why didn’t I do more kneel­ing be­fore it be­came dif cult?

Party? No. I’ll be left clean­ing up. I could get hus­band to sur­prise me and or­gan­ise some­thing, but last time I did this I un­wrapped an oven mitt and ate left­over casse­role on my 42nd birth­day. Okay, it was an at­trac­tive oven mitt and the casse­role (made by me) de­li­cious, but I think you un­der­stand my re­luc­tance.

The only gift I want is time for the things I want to do but never do, be­cause ev­ery­body else comes be­fore me. So I’m go­ing to be un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally sel sh and like So­phie Monk said so beau­ti­fully, it’s “moi for moi” time. I’ve com­piled a list of the Top 50 things I must do at 50. They’re not grand or am­bi­tious – I’ve no de­sire to con­quer Ever­est or run a marathon – but they are things that will make me happy. Like learn­ing to cook Pastit­sio the tra­di­tional way with my friend Tom’s mother Toula. Or mak­ing a quilt from my col­lec­tion of han­dem­broi­dered table­cloths and giv­ing cro­chet a crack. I’m go­ing to sit on the couch and nish knit­ting the jumper I started when my 14-year-old was in utero. Later, I want to spend a whole day on that same couch un­der a rug, ick­ing through mag­a­zines, prefer­ably in my PJs. I want days when I don’t leave the house, even if some­body has left their lunch­box or school com­puter at home. Stuff ’em. I want to climb a tree be­cause I still can and show the kids why I was “one to watch” in the Roller City Speed Skate ’84.

I want to get rid of things I don’t use like my G-strings be­cause let’s face it, a piece of string up your wa-hoozie has never been com­fort­able, and if my hus­band protests be­cause he likes them so much he’s get­ting a Mank­ini for Christ­mas. I’m go­ing to write let­ters to old friends who I miss, go to the movies dur­ing day­light hours and eat choc tops with­out guilt. I’m go­ing to read more books, in­clud­ing at least one Jane Austen. I’m en­rolling in hip hop classes so I can re­ally up the ante on em­bar­rass­ing my chil­dren at the school disco, and grow­ing a dahlia bloom. I’m form­ing a choir that sings songs only by The Car­pen­ters, and ex­plor­ing the lo­cal Mid­dle Eastern su­per­mar­ket. With­out shame I’m hir­ing a 12-year-old to teach me how to use my iPhone and I’m go­ing to start wear­ing those magni cent clothes I’ve found in op shops over the years, even if I look like Ma­genta from The Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture Show. Who cares, right? I’m 50. As she said, it’s as­tound­ing, time is eet­ing ...

WITH A M A N DA BLAIR

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