When your baby sister turns 50 you know you are getting old. My little sister was 50 a few weeks ago and it was definitely one of those 'how the hell did that happen?' moments. (I'm sure it was for her, too.)
I'm not actually that much older than her. But four years' difference feels like a lot when you're, well, four. Now she has almost caught up with me so I bought her a card that said: 'You're at that perfect age... old enough to know better but still young enough not to care'. With a picture of an old dear gleefully pouring a tipple into a teapot.
It was supposed to be a joke, but it's one of those jokes that has a lot of truth in it. Because I've discovered one of the consolations of middle age. What I really like about being this age is that, for much of the time, I don't really give a shit.
Don't get me wrong, I care deeply about a lot of stuff: injustice, climate change, art, music. What I don't care about so much is what people think of me. And that's quite liberating.
I've had conversations with friends when we acknowledged that we are the people our younger selves laughed at. And realised we didn't care. Because we know how to enjoy life, and we don't let being embarrassed stop us. That definitely comes with age.