I have diagnosed myself as suffering from thirty-itis.  The symptoms first presented themselves the day immediately following my twenty ninth birthday and have been steadily increasing in severity ever since. 

This thirty-itis is a strange old feeling. So far, I am healthy, proportional with minimal wrinkle-age, swing-age and sag-age and have so far managed to maintain a sense of humour.  So why am I moaning?  Am I just a spoilt brat in decaying clothing?

I am determined that my looks will not go down without a fight!  Let’s start with my skin… now, where is my free pamper certificate that I got with last year’s Easter egg?
In the salon waiting area, I wander around the products for retail and put on my ‘serious client’ face, paranoid the therapists would announce me as the ‘cheapskate freebie one’.  I’m shown to the treatment room on the next floor where the walls are decorated in brown, stylish print and have these fabulous chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.  The therapist tells me to she is going to leave the room for a couple of minutes while I strip off to my knickers and then lay face down on the couch thing.  Eh? Knickers? I’m having a back massage, why do my kecks have to come off? Did I mention that I am a massage virgin?
So I get in the near naked and hop onto the couch.  Thank goodness I have a decent pair of full bum pants on!  Laying face down is a bit of a problem.  Squished boobs do not make for a comfortable position!  There is no hole in the couch to put my face through so I squish my nose as well.  I am sure the therapist will think me odd not to have turned my face to the side but I can never relax if I had to worry about the expression on my face….do I look like I am enjoying it?  Do I look like I am enjoying it too much? Nope, squished nose suits me better!
My therapist returns and as she enquires about my comfort she lowers my towel and tucks it into my undies.  It feels worryingly arousing.  I shut my eyes tight and make a mental note to self to use the other voucher on a facial, no way am I offering it to my husband now!  Soft floaty music is playing in the background.  After 10 minutes or so of wishing the birdies outside would quit tweeting I realise it is part of the mood symphony. 
The massage oil smells lovely and feels warm on my skin.  As the candles flicker in the dim lights, the stroking sensations feel good.  Despite all this though I can’t for the life of me relax. I start to get annoyed with myself for not relaxing so I concentrate.  Concentrating on relaxing is futile.  Achieving Zen seems nigh on impossible.
Around fifteen minutes into the treatment I am finally finding that relaxation is finally kicking in.  I try to focus to avoid it kicking out again.  The therapist’s hands are just above my butt massaging deeply towards my hips.  Ahh Nooo.   Body unused to combination of relaxation and bran flakes for breakfast!  Must squeeze bum cheeks!  IBS is unkind at the best of times but why now? ‘Don’t fart’ replaces my ‘must relax’ mantra which has been humming around my head since the start.

The therapist then begins the light tickling strokes before backing away.  She softly informs me that she is off to get me a glass of water; I am to remain as I am and stay relaxed.  Well I obviously fooled her but remaining so close to a candle is a bad idea.  

Next up….rock hard body.  Attainable at the gym I am told, so here I go…
I am quite happily doing my own thing on the various apparatus, not particularly working up a sweat in my six year old tracksuit and pre-child sports bra which has the ability of flattening my knockers to a six year olds proportion.  Then in she saunters, Miss Gym Bunny 2008.  Perfectly preened and toned she prances in front of the mirror doing stretches that would make my eyes water before hopping aboard the treadmill.  While I am doing a brisk walk she immediately increases her speed to jog, all light and springy, I fear she makes me look frumpy, lumpy and lazy.  I increase my speed to a jog to match, she increases to a sprint.  I adjust my settings to match and immediately am struck by a sudden and vicious stitch. I slam on the emergency stop for the first time ever.  The machine stops, I don’t.  I find myself in a sprawling heap wondering if anyone is noticing the blood spurting from my nostril.  She carries on running regardless.  Maybe I should try digging out my old workout DVDs (ok, I admit it, they are VHS from 1990s)

Tomorrow will be my thirtieth birthday.  After a few hectic days of battling the inevitable I stand before the mirror.  Am I the person I expected to be at thirty or have I at least managed to achieve the exterior shell of that person?  I have achieved the typical third decade milestones and feel I have made a success of them, as in husband, children, house, career and the usual material possessions.  Am I so shallow that I allow myself to wallow in self pity because time is about to leather my looks in the same way that it has transformed every other beauty into a boot since the beginning of time?

I believe I will be happy to leave my twenties behind along with all the self analysis and pressures of deciding who or what I want to be.  I am confident that life will be less heavy simply due to my being wise enough to keep most matters in proportion and also feeling too old to give monkeys about matters which used to devastate me.  I plan to just go with the flow and hope that the waters are calm with the occasional slip stream into excitingly murky waters. After all, I’ve heard us girlies get dirty at thirty, Wey hey!

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