I am getting old. I neither feel old or particularly act old, yet time is advancing. I no longer leap out of my chair and my hair takes less time to wash yet strangely enough my face takes a bit longer. My “snap,crackle and pop” is no longer my choice of cereal but the sounds my joints make as I haul my carcase out of bed to make Wife her morning cup of coffee. I find that getting up of the sofa involves making a grunting noise normally associated with female tennis stars. I pick things off the floor by bending over in stages and surprise myself when I actually see my toes. Old age is inevitable yet creeps up like brakes fading on a car. When did I turn into my father? I remember him as a grumpy,old-fashioned,opinionated and intolerant man. I look in the mirror or hear myself chuntering away as I read the news and the answer becomes apparent, it was when I became his age!
Some phrases are a signpost on the way to old age. “Back in the day”, “You have it so good today”, and “You treat this bloody house like a hotel”. Of course not having children I never use the last phrase. The killer, the one that attracts your presence to the grim reaper and is guaranteed to display your age comes to us all…
” When I was your age!”.
Those words had scarcely left my lips when a guy wearing black and carrying an old agricultural implement tapped me on the shoulder and said “Hello!” I panicked. I blustered. Too late. It was over! I was never going to be young again. My mid-life crises of a motorbike and a train set became mere distractions on a one way journey to creaky bones and bifocals.
Is old age all that bad? I have not reached my half-century yet and I still enjoy life. I have fun, I go to the pub and even enjoy rock festivals. I cannot, in all honesty, say that i wish to be a callow youth again. I enjoy the fact that I no longer care much for what other people think of me and would prefer to be my slightly rotund shape with cash than my poor but flat stomached younger version. I had a wonderful time as a teenager and my twenties and thirties were fun too, but now I know how to enjoy myself and my confidence to try new things enables me to have a fun life.
All that said, it is a rare man who would not like to be young again.The energy, the vigour, the hair…! But can I please do it with money next time? Please?