I am heading (very shortly) to a ‘big birthday’, something that I am not too worried about, although it can be a bit of a watershed for many. It has however set me thinking (so perhaps it is a bit more of a deal that I think).
Just when does middle age really start these days and how should it be defined?
Now I will be the first to confirm that I do not expect to make 100, so by default on that basis I must be well into middle age if we take 50% of life as the marker. But as I am sure anyone over 30 will confirm, you get to a point in your life where you don’t actually feel any older (mentally speaking) – or certainly you don’t feel the age you are.
I am not talking physical age here – yes I am feeling my age in this respect. Things ache more and take longer to mend. That I know is not going to improve, and is part of the ageing process that we all have to look forwards to. But if we all feel mentally younger than we are how does that impact on the setting of ‘middle age’ or any ‘tags’ for that matter?
Everyone has a moment when they behave in a way which others perceive as being ‘childish’ or ‘silly’ – but I would argue that it is our ability to ‘let go’ and behave in this way that sets us apart from the beasts! Perhaps middle age should be gauged as the point at which you become ‘boring’ and unable to ‘enjoy’ yourself? Hopefully I am still a long way off this point!
I am not quite sure where I have got to with this. I am undoubtably middle-aged by current standards, but I don’t feel it! Perhaps the phrase has had its day and should be parked with some others that have fallen by the wayside? I am not looking for sympathy, or feeling sorry for myself. 50 is fine, I just think that with the changing demographics of the world generally we need to perhaps come up with some new ‘age’ tags!
After all there are going to be a lot more older people around to annoy our kids over the next few decades – so we need to get it right!