I want to talk about being thirty-two.

I LOVE being thirty-two. I have said before that I didn’t really feel like a man until I was about 26. I was a late bloomer. I have no idea why but around the time I got married (at 26), things changed. They say you are a completely different person every seven years due to every cell being renewed in that time… Maybe it was something like that? And now, being my thirties, I seem to be living a few clichés that I really don’t mind living.

It’s true, you really couldn’t care less about what people think. I’ve never really been one for people’s approval anyway. But now in my thirties, I couldn't give a toss if someone didn't like me. That’s their choice, and there are a fair few people I can’t stand to be fair…

I also kind of love that I am not expected to be this fabulous, young thing with the latest hair cut and trends dripping off me. I mean, that is hard work! Your twenties, when all that mattered was what you were wearing and to which occasion, was fun… but call me boring all you like, I’d rather head out for a film or to a nice restaurant for the night when we have the evening off dad duties. Don’t get me wrong, the odd night OUT OUT (probably two or three times a year these days?) where I get disgustingly drunk are always fun and VERY much needed sometimes… but my god, parenting with a hangover is probably the hardest thing I think you can endure as a dad (we feel it so much more than the mums don't you know!). So those nights are now happening a lot less. And I’m not too sad about it.

There is something so lovely about being happy. Settled. Comfortable. Those words honestly used to fill me with fear. But nowadays my circle of friends is tight, I have a good career, I am finding balance in everything… there really is so much to be said for letting go and just doing what makes you happy.

Has becoming a dad made this feeling more prevalent? Maybe. The nights out and splashing cash on myself naturally reduced once I became a dad. I am much more selective on what I buy for myself these days and I often think 'are those £10 cocktails really worth it?' when I know I will feel sick for two days afterwards and could’ve spent that money on something else much more rewarding. (Yet i still do it every now and then, why don't i learn?)

Ok... I have just read this back and to someone in their twenties, single with no children, I probably sound like their worst nightmare. I would’ve thought the same thing in my twenties. If I ever worry about any of the above though I like to just think of David Beckham. A retired dad of four and how hot he is these days… Compare that to the twenty-year-old Only Way Is Essex-type lads drinking all night in the bars. I know which guy I’d rather hang out with…


Old Man Tom