“I was forced to live far beyond my years when just a child, now I have reversed the order and intend to remain young indefinitely.” Mary Pickford
As another year begins so too does the time for reflection. How the last 12 months went- the highs, the lows and what hopes I hold for the next 12 months. And one glaring detail which I am increasingly drawn to, like the ill-fated moth towards that darn flame, is that with each passing year my age is ever increasing. I don’t have to wait until my actual birth date to be another year older; it begins the moment the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. From that moment on I am looking at the next year of my life as one looks down the barrel of a gun – with cold steel determination. I will shoot – I will age. It is as ridiculously simple as that. I may acknowledge this fact of science and I accept it and if asked, I do not hesitate to reveal my age. However as each year passes I can’t help but think of John Donne’s famous bit about not asking for whom the bell is tolling because guess what, it “tolls for thee.” And even if he had in mind a more complex political interpretation other than it simply meaning we are all getting older and therefore closer to death, I can’t help but feel I’d rather keep such questions, and their answers, to myself. So there I am standing around the table, the prerequisite glass of bubbly in one hand, a bloody bell tolling, albeit on the tv, a new year commencing and my brain, like the drink in my glass, bubbling up with worries and concerns. It’s less Happy New Year, more Oh My God Another Year ? But I decided after some more champers, my sister had brought a really good bottle, that this was a good thing, that like Mary Pickford, I might age but that doesn’t mean I have to grow old. Mary, born Gladys Marie Smith, started her acting career when she was only seven years old. She went on to become the most famous woman in the world during the 1910s and 20s with films such as In the Bishop’s Carriage and Hearts Adrift. She was the biggest movie star of her day second only to Charlie Chaplin. However the arrival of talkies lead to the demise of her stardom and in 1933 she retired from acting. She remained involved with the film industry however and was a most significant player as she was one of the co-founders of United Artists, a distribution company that offered independent film produces access to its own screens therefore allowing for a lot more creative freedom for film makers and producers. Granted I didn’t start working at such a young age -although I do recall a newspaper round when I was not that much older and all the recognition I got was a very unfriendly dog in an estate not far from where I lived. But I digress. Back to the party. The guests left and I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote my resolutions for 2014. After the excess and indulgences of the holidays there was the usual – drink less, eat less, blah blah blah but this year I added a new one. I have resolved to accept the inevitable; yes the numbers are going up, the idea of reversing them a cute movie idea but nothing more, but what I can do is remain true to that sense of myself that will forever be blooming, inexperienced, a little green. A fledgling.And I will most definitely not be settling into a pair of purple trousers any time soon, unless of course they are shiny sequined skinnies. So let’s raise a glass of bubbly( so much for that first resolution) to aging yet remaining young.