Sunday 9 September 2018

Middle aged now?

We are not big on celebrating birthdays in my household, hubby is against marking them and I have kept them very minimal with my older kids (hugs and kisses and allowing them to choose a toy when shopping).  In contrast my younger two are obsessed with the idea of birthdays, having cousins their age who do celebrate birthdays with beautiful themes parties and lots of gifts.

In more recent years, birthdays have been a time to reflect for me.  I turned 39 a few days ago and it felt like a very big number. I have never feared telling people my age honestly, I figure as long as I have done something positive and productive with my years I don’t have any complaints and I don’t feel a need to appear desperately more youthful than I actually am.  Saying that it felt very much like I was transitioning from one phase of my life to another – maybe from young woman to middle aged woman?  It’s not something I struggle with.  I think I have been preparing myself for this mentally for some time.

Instead I look back over the years and I think about how much time I have left, almost forty years gone and who says I have that many more – can I expect to live to seventy or eighty? That would be a good lifespan.

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The lifespan of my Ummah is from sixty to seventy (years).” (Hadith No. 2331, Chapters on Zuhd, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4).

I look back at the last almost forty years and it must seem like a long time for someone who us young, but subhan’Allah it feels like it has passed so quickly:
Ten years of childhood, innocent memories and a simpler time
Ten years of teenage, full of awkwardness, struggling to find my place in the world and discovering a fierceness in myself
Ten years of loving marriage alhamdulillah and the blessing of motherhood with small children
Ten years of a balancing act of faith, marriage, older children, younger children, work and ageing in-laws and parents.

I feel like the luckiest woman in the world alhamdulillah to be blessed with these things.

Still no grey hairs or winkles alhamdulillah
Plumper now than the waif-like girl I once was
I feel beautiful inside and out where I once felt awkward or self-conscious
Sometimes I feel a little battle-scarred
Sometimes I wish I had taken better care of myself, but I was so lost in taking care of everyone else
My limitless energy seems to have found it’s limit, but I still feel strong and I pray that Allah SWT keeps me strong and energetic enough to fulfil my duties insh’Allah
I question my parenting sometimes as my teens (mouthily) find themselves and then find relief in the sweetness and adoration of my two little ones.
I find all those years of work have come in to themselves as everything that comes my way at work feels easy and I am starting to do more fulfilling and challenging work

I think of the time I have left, and I am very clear that we are not even promised another minute let along another forty years:

Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. (Quran 3:185)

39 years went so quickly, I am terrified that whatever is left will go in a flash, I am wary of what little I have to present to my Maker when it is all said and done.  I think of all of the things I want to do – the passion for life, for beautiful things and places, for good food and interesting company, the appetite for fun and new experiences, the love of books, nature, creativity and people in general.  I think how 100 years many times over isn’t enough to cram it all in.  I feel frightened that I am too immersed in this world and it is a distraction from the next one.  I am grateful for this ability to be happy and find happiness in everything that Allah SWT has blessed me with.  I am grateful that Alllah SWT has promised us another life after this that never ends, maybe something we don’t deserve, but certainly something that I can strive towards insh’Allah.

So as I pass my 39th birthday, I revisit what I have achieved, what I still want to do and where my focus should be.  A re-calibration and a reminder that life is so very short and each day is precious beyond measure.


  1. Salams sister, I'm a 25 year old mum of two, however I started reading your blog quiet a few years ago, even before I got married, so probably like six or seven years ago. I used to love reading your posts back then but do even more so now cause I can relate to you on marriage and motherhood. I always check for new posts. You're an amazing and selfless sister mashallah, I really admire how much you do for your family. Keep the posts coming cause I thoroughly enjoy reading each one :)

  2. Happy birthday! May you have a year full of health, happiness and success.Ameen.
    I totally agree with you. Sometimes it feels likes so much need to be done but Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah we are blessed that we have a family and little kids to take care of..but all this really teaches us the value of our parents and make us realize that they have spent golden time of their life in nurturing us...May Allah bless all the parents with health and a long life.Ameen

  3. JazaakAllaah so much for your blog sister. I have been following you for about 5 years now.ive benefited in ways you can't imagine. Please post more often x

  4. Happy birthday. You have had a rich and full life and I wish you all the best <3

  5. Masha allah a beautiful post.
    I turned 37 this year and often reflect on where the time has gone.
    My eldest is 7 so i havent reached the teenage issues yet but i worry my faith and my parenting skills are not strong enough for the future. You are a role model to me and give me clarity to my thoughts. I pray allah blesses you a d your family with the best in both worlds.. x

  6. As Salaamu Alaikum

    Beautiful Mashaaa'ALLAH.

    I also have been following your blog for many years and its helped me understand certain challenges in my life and at times just a little something for me to sit back and relax reading... jzk khair so much for all your honest and thoughtful posts.