Eventually…

Relax, this isn’t going to be all morbid and doom & gloomy.

Whenever you have a birthday impending, you’re allowed to either a) reminisce, or b) muse about the concept of aging. I’ve gone for the latter, as it suits my waffling style much better, and my memory is rubbish.

I don’t mind being the age I am. Without giving it away exactly, if I get to the average life expectancy for a UK resident, then I’m about half way there. That’s not so bad. People seem to read too much into age, and there’s a stigma attached to certain milestones, 30, 40, 50 etc. that almost obliges one to feel ‘old’ when the milestone is passed. But there’s no physical change, not on an exact date.

We get older every day, physically deteriorating for the majority of it, maybe mentally too. Or not… “Older and Wiser”? I’m pretty sure I’m wiser than I was 20 years ago, maybe a little wiser than I was 10 years ago. Wiser than I was 12 months ago? Yes, probably, but not so much as you’d notice. Developing wisdom is the mental version of getting grey hairs, it’s (hopefully) a very gradual process. Not that you’d pluck a few bits of wisdom out of your head so people didn’t notice, or dye your wisdom so people could pretend not to notice, but you get the idea.

I like getting older. I get to see and experience more new stuff, even if I forget half of it. I don’t think “Oh no, I’m getting old!” It’s not like I have any choice, and not like anyone else does either. It’s much better to accept it, get on with it and make the most of what you have.

Of course what goes on in your head is separated from the physical aspect of aging. A lot of people seem to adopt the ‘King Canute’ approach to getting older, fighting against it, trying to deny it’s happening to them. Wrinkles are the enemy, you can spend a fortune combating them, with different products for different budgets. From moisturiser to face packs, all the way up to botox and more radical surgery. Anything to avoid appearing older! Back to the grey hairs again… Women and men are both targeted by the advertisers, reliably informed how much more confident they will be if they just discreetly hide those inevitable telltale signs.

I dread to think how many years of their lives some people spend in the pursuit of staying younger. What a shocking waste. Nothing could really be more counter-productive.

Going to the gym’s a slightly different issue. It’s not my cup of tea, but each to their own really, some people like that kind of thing. I’m not sure whether the phenomenon of  middle-age-spread is genuine or just perceived, but if it is real, thankfully it hasn’t stricken me yet, touch wood (Klopf Auf Holz!). If it does strike, I don’t think I’ll start going to the gym. In fact I definitely won’t…

A slightly more disturbing  phenomenon amongst the aging population is the penchant for retro discos, where you can pretend you’ve traveled back to your teenage years by dressing up like a stereotype and dancing to the most generic music of your chosen era. My retro disco would be set in the ’80s, but the vast majority of music made in the 1980s was godawful. Of course there was a fair bit of decent stuff too, but I know very well they wouldn’t be playing any of it at an ’80s disco. Even if they were, I wouldn’t go. It’s not the 1980s any more and I can’t see the benefit of trying to pretend that it is, even if only for one night.

So, I’m not getting any younger, and neither are you, or anybody else. Don’t spend your time fretting about it, don’t waste your energies trying to stop it,  just make the most of it while you can. You might live to be a hundred, or you might get run over tomorrow…

Oops, that was a little morbid, sorry!

Until next time, whenever that might be, hopefully not too long…

Peace… ses x