Settling Down

Today’s quote, from Sylvia’s Letters Home, resonates with my twentysomething self, when ‘settling down’ was a terrifying phrase, and prospect

I am afraid of getting older. I am afraid of getting married. Spare me from cooking three meals a day. Spare me the relentless cage of routine and rote. I want to be free. 


When I was younger, I couldn’t bear it when relatives and friends asked ‘is it not about time you settled down?’. Why? Why do I want to do that, I said, indignantly. I’m having too much fun. I’m earning, I’m spending and I’m living.

All wanted to do was party, and party some more. I wanted to remain ‘free’ as long as I could. Squeeze every last drop of life out of life. I had all the dramas you expect to have in your youth – amazing parties, staying up all night, being heartbroken, falling  in ‘love’ all the time with all the wrong people, and generally avoiding acting too much like an adult.

Of course, it can’t last forever, but I think I had a pretty good kick of the ball. But there comes a time when cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner is more appealing than driving through mealtimes and surviving on takeouts and ready meals.

When staying in, lying on the couch watching TV is more appealing than any nightclub or pub crawl.

And having never really wanted to get married, I realise now I had never met, or allowed myself to meet, the ‘right one’.

Thankfully, by the age of 43 I wasn’t too old – someone atill wanted to marry me, and it was the best day of my life!

I love cooking for my husband. I love my routine – our routine. I haven’t changed, I still love a party, a drink, a wild night out and still buck against the trend, whatever the trend might be.

But my routine is not a cage, it’s a cocoon. It’s a warm, cosy, familiar, safe place that I love to live in, and that I still free free in.

Wisdom definitely does come with age!