Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

Me, 42. Picture by Alejandra Moral & make-up/hair by Anastasia Parquet

As much as I try to deny it, I am turning 42 by the end of the year. Sigh. The thing is, I feel 15 in my head. And I have never felt better. But the sad reality is that, just like everybody else, I am not getting any younger. My energy levels are not the same: after a  couple of weeks spent caring for the whole family and the business while hubby is away, I am knackered. The good news is that I look less like a monkey because of Jasmin, the lovely lady who threaded my growing moustache and shaped my thick eyebrows. But the bags under my eyes seem to be here to stay, and it doesn’t feel good. And who said acne is just for teenagers? I seem to have started a competition with my older daughter on that one –she is actually better than me at covering the pimples with foundation. Damn it-. To make matters even worse, I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without putting on weight. Well, not any more. And the last time I had a haircut, we removed 25 grey hairs. Against only two not so long ago. Life is cruel. And it keeps getting worse. Seriously, why?


It is time to face the music: I need to upgrade my maintenance regime. But is it really worth it? Should I try to fight the ageing process or just embrace it, and not care about the way I look? I sometimes wonder. What is the point of going to the gym more often, of making sure that I stick to the right diet, and spend forever at the hair salon? I will get older anyway. In short, it is a fight that I am bound to lose. So why bother? Why am I so vain? Well, maybe because I am French. So here it is: I won’t give up. The best is yet to come. And to prove my point, I seem to be spending my time doing photo shoots and castings…I can’t tell you more, it is all hush hush at this stage, but watch this space.

The thing is, I know that I have to be careful. There is a tsunami of divorces amongst my friends, and I would like to remain happily married as long as possible. Which probably means that I have to make an effort (So unjust: men look sexier and more mature with grey hair, women just look older. That said, all this running has paid off, my tummy is much, much flatter than before, and I feel great).

Guys are so lucky: do you know how much it hurts to wax your legs, underarms and…the rest? Do you really?  We women all pretend that it is fine, and we are used to it but it doesn’t make it a nice experience, just a very common one.

So here it is: I am a fighter and will not let myself get defeated by a silly number. No matter what. Things will continue to get better. I will never be a has-been, and always a will-be. Because that’s the way it is. Just like good wine, I seem to get better with age.
And that’s what I will keep telling myself. What about you, how to you cope with getting older?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Good post! Men fight the aging process too! At least I do! I turned 42 back in march and I still feel and have the mind of a teen myself. Yes the grey I can have because I am a man, but I am always at the barbers having my hair trimmed and my eyebrows threaded too. If I didn’t they would be wild and out of control. I say fight it, because we can! Leave getting old till we can’t anymore!

    • I love the spirit! The thing is, it never gets easier. Never. Damn it.

  • I don’t fear getting older at all. People say they want to be young but most wouldn’t want to be 28 again! Happy birthday and enjoy getting older bc I prefer that to the other alternative…

    • I know, Naomi, I know. That said, it is getting harder, right? I woke up thinking that I should try Botox. Am feeling quite sad right now…

  • I was always afraid of getting old, but the truth is, I feel better and more confident about how I look now than in my 20’s, so maybe I’ll even feel better in my 40’s, who knows! You say you’re tired, but your post is full of energy and positivity, I’d just say, keep on going, take care of yourself , it’s always worth it!

    • I will do, Anne, I will do. I need to cheer up: life starts at 40, really. The truth is, i have never felt better. But somehow I don’t like getting older.

  • I’m about the same age. I can understand trying to figure out, why bother. But then I look in the mirror and I remember why. If for no one else, I do it for myself.

    • Same here. I do it for me. And I hope that it will pay off, eventually!

  • Lou

    I’m 52, and I think we just feel better about ourselves when we look our best too. And others respond to that. We don’t need to look younger, just our best for the age we are and for who we are.
    you look great, Muriel!

    • Thank you, Lou, I want to grow old like you. maybe, who knows, I will look my best at 80!

  • Lovely post, full of vitality. It hit home here because the day you posted this, I turned 46. I’m trying to work this one out too – the weight is slowly creeping on, but the five-year-old lurking inside still hates sport to hell and back and loves peanuts far too much to give them up. I don’t want to use age as an excuse for letting myself go to pot (belly) but I don’t want to deprive myself of everything, either. I suspect that my yearly MOT (blood test) will decide on where things go from here – cholesterol levels in particular.
    I’m looking forward to reading more about the photo shoots and castings… Could it be for l’Oréal adverts, flicking your hair and murmuring ‘parce que je le vaux bien?” Or playing the role of a French super sleuth “au feminine” at the West End? Watching this space…. 😀

    • No, no L’Oreal adverts (I wish), but the important thing is that I am having fun. If I am selected, it could be huge, but we are not there yet. Just like you, I love food too much. Good luck with the MOT, as you say. When does it get easier?

  • You’re still a spring chicken, Muriel. Your forties are a great age to be. It all starts seriously falling apart in your fifties where I am now. 🙂

    So, it’s food supplements, lots of fresh organic veggies, lots of walks (I hate jogging), etc. for me, and without going on a diet, I am at a stable weight which my dearly beloved thinks is too low because I’ve lost my wobbly bits. 🙂

    So you keep on as you are. Are you casting for a chat show? Good luck with whatever it is, anyway. 🙂

    • Don’t tell me this. The fifties are even more difficult? No, no, no. Right, I need some chocolate here and now.

  • The only thing that’s bothering me so far about getting older are the white hairs…Aside from that Im handling it quite well. I think you look amazing btw.

    • Thank you Janine! I hate the white hairs. Absolutely hate it. That said, I will soon have to do something about it…

    • Yep, I have to dye my hair too. 🙂

  • Ah you most certainly do get better dear. And hey I know how u feel. Waxed my chest once. Will NEVER do it again haha ☺

    • Waxed your chest? really? Why would you do this? I must have hurt terribly!

    • Oh yeah terrible it was indeed! Just to feel good i guess… lesson learned tho lol 🙂

  • You look absolutely great! Actually your forties and fifties can be your best years. My fifties were mine – looked ten years younger and felt great. Don’t even think about the aging process. At least not until you’re in your sixties. Then you’ll know what it really feels like. Just enjoy how you look and keep on feeling on top of the world.

    • Thank you Penelope. It is true that, for me, life seems to have started at 40. I hope that the best is yet to come!

  • Someone said 50 is the new 30… Not sure, I’ve been 50 a few times already and I can feel the body slowing down. I wish I was more active, but some days are just hard.

    Enjoy the days, stay fit and active, mentally and physically and all will be fine, I believe.

    The thing that I’ve always wondered (and I wrote a blog post asking about it, but did not get an answer), when men shave their chest, where do they stop? I mean I can see in my minds eye, a line running down the sides, where the shaved portion meets the unshaved portion…. no? How is it done? An August born like me will just have to run that razor all over…..

    • I am the wrong person to answer this, sloword: I don’t know. In fact, I don’t mind hairy men. Maybe it’s just me 🙂

  • Happy belated birthday, dear Muriel! You are alive. xxoo

    • I am indeed alive and well. And you are right, this needs to be celebrated!