Shakespeare at 35

Now that I’m getting on in years there’s this little hair that keeps appearing under my chin. I dutifully pluck it out and then it comes back and then I pluck it out again. I always know it’s time to grab the tweezers when Gareth suddenly says with an evil grin, “Hey! Shakespeare’s back!”.


I turned 35 yesterday and Shakespeare aside, I’m groovy with that. I feel good right down to my bones. It’s nice being a little older and not seeing everything through the murky prism of insecurities. They’re still there but they are more amusing than troublesome now.

It is weird how your priorities change over time; these days all I want is meaning, connection and shenanigans. I’ve thought for days how to describe this without sounding like a wanker and it will soon become obvious that I’m still struggling. Well, I’m over bullshit and fluff. I like getting beneath the surface. You know that lovely feeling of a quiet cuppa with a friend, or a heart-to-heart Skype with a long-distance Mothership, or cooking up a new scheme with a bunch of good people? When you have a laugh and get right to the heart of things? Which contrasts sharply to that feeling of being trapped in a jargon-filled meeting when you long to stand on your chair and bellow COME ON NOW, WE ALL AGREE THIS IS A PILE OF BOLLOCKS!

Of course, you have to earn a living so there will always be meetings and annoying, tedious things to do. But when you make time for good people and meaningful stuff, it balances out okay.

Wow, none of the above makes any sense whatsoever, does it? Oh well. I’ve got a cold and I’m a bit delirious, I must disclaim.

So, the thirty fifth year on the planet was ace: lots of travel, work and hilarity. One thing I noticed was that some people have started to enquire very directly about my biological clock. TICK TOCK! they say, and I could cheerfully deck them. Am I alone in this feeling!? And it always seems to be people that don’t know you so well. By contrast, we never get any pestering from our parents. I think the shoddy Vegas wedding set expectations nice and low. Plus, they’re all recently retired and probably want a quiet life!

Meet some follow Scorpiotrons

Aside from myself, Adam Ant and the bloke from A-Ha, here are some other people who were also born on November 1, who may be disturbed to discover that I crush on them big time:

  • Frances – is a pâtissier in Paris. We got to know each other after she aced the Up & Running half marathon course. She’s a kind, hilarious and insightful soul who makes fancy French cakes; there is nothing not to love. On her blog she writes and draws about what she cooks with unique and beautiful style.
  • Jen – I’ve followed her around the internet for about a decade as she writes with such raw heart and honesty. Early next year her memoir Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body And Messed With My Head finally hits the shelves and I can’t wait to read it.
  • Deborah – I do a little cheer when a new Deborah photo appears in my Instagram feed. She has the most elegant, quiet way of observing the details of life. Total class.
  • Momo – okay, her birthday is actually November 2 but she is a magnificent woman and has been training for the New York Marathon this weekend, which appears to be still going ahead despite the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Watching Momo go from her first 5K race to longer and longer distances over the past couple of years has inspired my socks off.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

43 thoughts on “Shakespeare at 35

  1. I’m going to have a hard time not using your line at my next meeting.

    Glad you are feeling happy and whole on your middle-of-the-thirties b’day, youngster. Never mind the nosy ones. Did you ever get that budgie?

    1. THE BUDGIE! I’d totally forgotten about that and then I saw the Related Posts thingy above. We haven’t even got a budgie, Jen! But there are a couple of spiders living in the bathroom!

  2. I know all about the stray hairs growing where they aren’t supposed to. It just gets worse. I have a nose hair trimmer now. Seriously, it’s ridiculous how important removing unwanted facial hair is to me.

    Older and wiser… hopefully the wise comes along with the age. Otherwise the age just pretty much sucks.

    Breeders want you to join the club so you can be just as happy (and alternatively, often quite miserable) as we are about our kids. And we are incredibly nosy & curious. I thought the same thing when I read you were 35–are she & Gareth gonna have a wee bairn soon? But I’d never, ever ask!

    Many women find it incomprehensible that another woman would not want to have kids. Not me. I LOVE my children, & would never ever ever ever have my life be any other way. BUT. There is a great appeal to me of the allures of kidlessness. Oh the places I could go! The workouts I could do! The non-stretched-marked belly I could have! The money I could save!

    Of course, I did not have this attitude 10-15 years ago. I was ALL about babies then. At 42, my biological need to reproduce is long gone.

    Glad you had a great birthday!

    1. Ahhh Laura, you crack me up! I will await the first noise hair with horror. Hehe!

      It’s totally cool if people ask nicely like your good self, but when it’s a TICK TOCK OLD GIRL, YOU’RE ABOUT TO SHRIVEL UP AND BECOME IRRELEVANT kind of enquiry it really gets on my goat! 🙂

  3. Oh yeah, the whole tick-tock conversation! I get it too 🙂 I’m a few years behind you but I’ve come to similar conclusions lately – it’s all about meaning, connecting with good people and having fun. It is nice, as you put it, not viewing everything through the prism of insecurities as much any more. My mum really was right, you do care less as you get older! xx

    PS: I get Shakespeares too…but I call them “old ladies”!! xx

  4. Oh you are such a sweetheart ! Thank-you. It was an immense pleasure to meet you this year, first virtually and then for reals with tea and cake. Cannae wait to see what the next twelve months are going to turn up for you! And three (quiet) cheers for those simple moments of shared reflection xxx

  5. Happy Birthday, Shauna! I turned 35 a few weeks ago too. Was a bit freaked for an hour or two. Over it now. I think…
    NOT over the Tick Tock comments though. My response tends to be, “I’d like more dogs.”

  6. Dude, I discovered a chin hair almost exactly a year ago. It was completely horrifying! Great timing for Halloween 🙂 Though that’s not even the most terrifying place I’ve grown wayward hairs.

  7. So there’s hope for the 20somethings? I hear 30’s are the new 20’s… I should be clubbing and forgetting mens names! But that cuppa with a friend sounds like a nice little Saturday. I find we attract what we are ourselves, like ‘we are what we eat’.. So my cuppa friends are growing and the clubbers are all out while im sound asleep to my meditation music, cold cuppa at my side!

  8. Damn, just checked and found that my stray neck hair is back – why does getting older have to bring so many unwanted “gifts”???

    p.s. I had a cuppa by myself yesterday and pretended you were sitting across the table with a strong espresso drink. Not the same but it will have to do.

  9. Shauna–half namesake! Happy Birthday! I remember turning 35 like it was yesterday–it was NOT. LOL

    Many more my dear and hey, just be glad you only have one whisker that refuses to go away. I started with one. NOW, at the tender age of 43, I have 5. They work in shifts to thwart my tweezing efforts, going so far as to send in a stealth agent that comes in gray. GRAY!!! Its curled and hanging like the hair on the chin of goat before I even realize it been there all along. May you never experience such vexation. 🙂

    Dig you much my dear and I hope you had a splenderific birthday!

    Hugs and sunshine from southern CA,

  10. Happy birthday my love. One hair? You lucky minx. I’ve had many chin hairs for many years, so much that I get them lasered!
    I’ve noticed the baby worries furrowing exponentially since I turned 35 last year, it really gives me the irrits, and I can foresee that it will only get worse after we get married. Was considering regarding a media release about it to shut them all up…

    1. It does. Jase and I made the mistake of mentioning the ‘W’ word earlier this year and the reaction was entirely centred on babies. It made me want to smack people.

  11. I had no idea you were SO OLD. I thought you were, maybe, 29.

    BTW, that hair on your chin? It won’t remain lonesome for long. Prepare yourself…

    Welcome to old age, Shauna, and a very happy birthday to you!

  12. happy birthday shauna – it is terrible that I never realised before that you shared a birthday with my boys – 35 is a great age and people who hassle about biological clocks are often just insensitive. Hope the year ahead brings good things and fun surprises

  13. Yes, the baby thing. I’m 41 now and I think it’s beginning to calm down, but at 37-39 it was at fever pitch with the rude questions and.. well, there was everything but begging on hands and knees from our parents. What IRKS me to death about it, is that people seem to have assumed that we ‘can’t’ have kids and that the problem is on my end. Someone came right out and asked me if I’d tried hormone therapy. The ones that think we don’t want kids also seem to have concluded that this is my doing. Nobody considers the possibilities that the man might have a problem, or that the man might not want children (I’m not say that’s the case, but it could be, couldn’t it?). Due to the fact that all questions about the matter piss us off, we have elected to maintain a mysterious non-disclosure about it all. People love to theorise. Lastly, I love kids and have a very close relationship with my nieces and nephews. Adore them and I’m not sure I could love them more if they were my own. Discussing a child abuse issue with a bunch of mums, I kept hearing ‘As a parent, I just don’t know how anyone could hurt a child; as a parent, it disgusts me that such things happen in our country’. Like, as a non-parent, it’s beyond me to be horrified that people hurt children.

    Lastly, to round off my rant about a world that is a dick head, I was at a party and people were laughing about how now everyone was old and married and had kids, when someone noticed my presence and drunkenly exclaimed ‘OH MY GOD, I’m SO SORRY Sara, how insensitive of us, I didn’t mean to make you feel left out! (and on and on.. god, it was embarrassing, I hadn’t even been listening in that closely).

    1. Sorry, I said ‘lastly’ twice in that comment. Clearly I have a lot to say on the matter. I might write a book called ‘no you cannot ask me if I’m having unprotected sex three times a week’. I mean, that’s what people are really enquiring about when they say ‘babies?’

  14. ugh chin hairs! I have one too and I always crank at my husband when he doesn’t tell me that it’s super noticeable. I’m 35 too… maybe it’s a rite of mid-30s passage? Why didn’t someone warn me?

    We too got the “when are you going to have a baby?” questions. It used to make me so cranky because we were trying and it wasn’t happening as quickly as I would have liked. I make sure I never ask the question now because I remember how annoying I found it.

    I think the question is just a conversation gap filler for people. People should stick to other gap filler questions like “what have you been up to?” or “nice weather, hey?”. We’ve got one child and now we’re getting the “when are you going to have no 2” questions. It’s a process people!

  15. happy b-day, shauna! i have old memories of watching my mom plucking her chin hairs in the mirror & now that i am 31, i have them, too! 😛 my husband & i are not having kids, either. i have some medical issues that make it difficult & expensive, tho not impossible. i adore my husband & love our quiet life together. nice house, sweet little dog. i don’t love my job, but eh, what are ya gonna do?

  16. Happy [belated] Birthday, Shauna! I’ve been out of touch for quite some time, but am back to keeping up with your delightful insights and tales (initially heard about you from a People review of your book, then bought and loved it). I’m turning 40 just after New Year, but have been feeling the exact same things you wrote about above for a coupla years now. Especially the bollocks workaday nonsense. Keeping margin in life and focusing on a few important friendships/things has helped me stay sane. I’m in sales though, so the BS-o-meter is usually cranked pretty high. A good, real convo with a friend or Hubs always calms it back down.

    Anyway, blahblahblah. Point was, I think you’re lovely. I wish I knew you IRL. Happy 35th!

    1. Hey it’s good to see you here Ahdra, welcome aboard. And thanks! Man I can only imagine the Sales BS-o-meter, the marketing one is a hoot I tells ya.

  17. I knew it was time to leave Atlanta when, at age 29, I had someone I’d just met ask me when I was going to settle down and start a family.

    WTF, people. Like that was the ONLY THING INTERESTING ABOUT ME. When I would start to reproduce.

    As a happily childless 47-yr-old (my b’day was Nov. 3) may I add my wishes for a wonderful 36th year for you, Shauna.

    1. Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu too chacha! another early novemberite, we gotta stick together 😉 Can’t believe people were harassing you at age 29, yikes!

  18. Happy Belated Birthday. I have been traveling a bit myself this year and missed this post while celebrating my own birthday (Nov. 2, missed the first by a mere 20 minutes or so) cruising with my family. Thanks for the reminder to lay off the baby question with my thirty year old:)

  19. I definitely need some sort of an explanation for these chin hairs – I get them and I’m 22! I call it my Bristle. Yes, capitalised.

    And a belated happy birthday to you!

  20. While I often feel like a dinosaur at 35 (perhaps bc I work at a university full of 18 y/os), I love that it means me and my husband can cuddle up with a cup of tea and play tetris on a Saturday and call it fun. I now relish those conversations with people who exude calmness instead of pining to go out clubbing. It’s great to be at an age where I am the least worried about my looks than I ever have been. 35 and post baby, I feel accomplished if i show up to work dressed in matching clothes and showered (most days)!

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