I had a strange experience recently. I was listening to a radio show. I can't remember which one but it was the standard 'zany, overbearing, male presenter with woman present only to reinforce his greatness' situation and they were singing the lyrics, 'Hey how you doin? Sorry you couldn't get through.' I didn't hear the set up to the joke but the jaunty pop sound lifted my spirits. The presenter said, 'Nothing like a bit of Little Mix in the morning.' And my whole body was enveloped in a fog of pure rage. That was not Little Mix! That could never be Little Mix. That was and always would be Curiousity Killed the Cat (ask your mum). I was startled with how violent I felt about it, I mean it was a mildly catchy song not one of the great wonders of the world, so what if it had been wrongly attributed? To anyone else listening is had and always would be a Little Mix song. The reason I was so moved by this DJs (in my eyes) indisretion is because for the first time in my life I feel old.
I've never had a real problem with aging. Before I had my son I cetainly kept an eye on my furiously ticking biological clock and I sometimes bristled with envy if I read about some 20 year old making a million from having the nation watch them vomit in their shoes or whatever but I didn't feel any huge amount of angst about aging. If anything as I got older my body and mind where starting to feel like a pair of leather boots that I had finally broken in. So I really have no clue as to why the approach of my 35th birthday started to make me feel so uncomfortable. More than uncomfortable - a little bit sick. Once my niece Chishona came to visit me and we went down to the pier and bought a ticket for the Waltzers. We were the only ones on the ride so the man decided to give us some extra spins on the house. After about a minute started to feel violently sick. I kept trying to signal to the man to stop but he interpreted my actions as encouragement and no matter how hard I tried the world would not stop spinning. I feel just like I did that day.
Given my new found anti aging stance I decided to do a mission this week that will help to halt (or at least slow down) the process. One of the wonderful things about being a kid is that you never stop learning and so every day is always an adventure. My mission this week was to try and learn something new each day and so, in my heart at least, stay young. Here's what I learned:
INSTAGRAM On the first day there was Instagram. It's a part of social media I love but I've not got my head round completely. I ended up feasting on information about apps and filters and stayed up until 1AM to watch a webcast from Instagram queen Hilary Rushford. I learned that it's a great idea to give dedicated time to one subject (just set a time limit).
CRYSTALS I think crystals are pretty but I've never learned about them because I'm quite cynical about the properties people assign to them. I really loved learning about how they are thought to help your health and life and ended up buying three new aura bejazzling rocks. I still don't think there's anything in it* but I learned that learning isn't always being about being right or wrong and the new additions to my home make me smile.
GUIDED MEDITATION You can't learn about crystals without touching on meditation. It made me think about my recent failed attempt to meditate and I wondered if having someone to lead me through it might help. As I studied I became more and more convinced that if I found the perfect guided meditation, the secret would be unlocked. I ended up googling late into the night and fell asleep feeling frustrated and totally not zen. In the morning I just picked a meditation at random and did it and it was alright. I learned that learning isn't about perfectionism, it's about experiencing and you can still learn from something that's not quite right.
VAMPIRES I watched a cheesy film about vampires. It was definitely a how can I recover those minutes of my life moment. After the film I decided to learn about the history of vampires and it was pretty fascinating - the whole True Blood fever was starting to make sense. I even appreciated the film more. I learned that learning can make a bad thing good.
MARKETING My mentor recommended a podcast to me. I was a little hesitant. I think that I viewed the concept of marketing overwhelming. Of course that made this the perfect time to go for it. The podcast was so enlightening that it completely opened up how I feel about my blog and career and future.
RAP SONG I was going to learn the lyrics to 'Jump Around'. It's my son's favourite song and at parties I always bust out the first line and then mumble into my beer for the rest but I was so taken by the lessons from the day before I decided to continue with blog planning. And that's the thing about learning, when you stumble on something that lights you up you never want to stop and if you never stop learning, it keeps you feeling young.
*crystals if you are listening, I totally believe in you.