A Slow Realisation
It catches up unawares -age. Suddenly you're elderly, aged, senior citizen, or plain old. What me!!! How and when did it come to this. I still consider myself 34! Mature but not yet middle age. I remember a conversation drifting into age, with someone in her 60s when I was actually around 34 and she saying "you feel exactly the same inside but its just that on the outside you look old". She said the "you look old" with a slight whin. Now I understand where she's coming from. Only I don't look old, fortunately. I'm not yet 64 but not far off. The view age being as you feel is now more nuanced, rather than motivating. Yes, its true there is a biological age in which the state of our bodies can make us physically younger or older than our chronological number but there is little bridging the generation gap or time past. For example, I don't remember exactly when I slipped out of the latest music and dance scene or fashions but obviously, since I don't know, or have interest in the latest crazes, as I once did; I did. What of the point I stopped being the one being screamed at for playing loud music, criticized for too much of a cleavage, dress too short to the one complaining about loud music? I have been absolutely determined not to do the youth of today thing" but yes...... but; sometimes find myself momentarily veering into it. So I've learned to keep shut.
High Octane Sleep Off
One thing about aging is that you can't avoid the all round decline. You may of course remain fit, active and sharp but at a price. While I have the energy to have packed itinerary doing what I must over several days consecutively, it takes an equal number of days to recover. I don't do sleepless nights due to migraine but have a feeling I would probably doze during the day if migraine didn't stop me. Keeping fit and eating right I started to really do at 40 but found I am having to exercise and reconfigure my eating habits again, just to stay slim. I have been unable to keep belly fat at the levels I want and get nostalgic remembering my absolutely flat tight stomach of yester years. I count myself lucky I didn't middle age spread till my 50s but it took me a while for my to understand my belly wouldn't revert to what it once was, despite good diet and moderate exercise. Of course I could enter into strict diet and fitness mode but the truth is I don't want to, unless for health reasons. In which case I would rather cheat with liposuction, than spend half my time on the treadmill of vanity.
I don't want the latest gadgetry and instinctively reach for pen and paper to write an address or other info rather than 'snap a picture' or QR code. I still ask for information from people, whom promptly refer to 'the website', sadly. Its a reflection of where I'm coming from, my foundations are disappearing, the topography has changed. I am forced to text and use Apps but refuse to use earphones so I can keep up with calls while on the move. I prefer a book to Kindle and would prefer to use my phone just for calls, not a myriad of 'Apps' to call a ride or order food. What was wrong with the mini cab and Take Away. Its habits formed over years, not traditional or 'set in my ways'. In fact I am quite gadget competent but I realise its not my comfort zone. I don't believe HD, surround sound, smart TV offers any greater entertainment than the Black and White of those days, anymore than a plethora of channels of low grade programmes. I must say thanks for auto tuning though. Also one doesn't have to reposition the aerial to get to a clear picture, or lose it while engrossed in something worth watching.
As a woman the obvious one is the monthly cycle which for me went on much longer than for most. Not suffering either, from the usual symptoms of change, I can say I am happy that monthly drudgery is over, particularly as for me it was a terrible drudgery. I have been colouring my hair since my late teens for effect but now tame those whites that have grown from a few strands, I could pluck or snip, to whole patches. I note 2 white eyebrow hairs and eyelashes, so now try not go out without mascara or eyebrow pencil. I am thinking I may resort to semi permanent colour but not yet. I recall with amusement noticing my first white p*bic hair. Quelle horreur as the French would say. When sniping became a losing battle, I had to make a colossal decision to use temporary colour, then decided it was too messy but wouldn't be going to a salon. Yep, these are some of the 'sleep wrestling decisions' with which one has been confronted. A good thing though, underarm hair regrows much slower and p*bes remain in control for longer too.
I was never a grade A fashionista, so my dress sense hasn't changed much. However, I notice I instinctively withdraw from buying something that I decide is 'too young'. Its not the mutton dressed as lamb syndrome but rather a sense of inappropriate appearance. I think yes, if I were 'a few' years younger. The truth is I don't necessarily want to look young. I am mature and something in me wants to reflect it, without coming off as past it. There is a certain ease that comes having been there and done that, got the badge. You little ones have your fun. I am keen for things that are comfortable without being dowdy or frumpish. I will not wear heels that, as I tell myself, I will totter in, or put that familiar strain (to women) on my calves. Never been a heavy make - up wearer. I am not into any expensive craze to rejuvenate my skin or wear fake things on my eyes or/and nails. I'm happy with where I am on this but have no criticism for those that do.
My Disappearing World
Now I live in a world when the majority of the previous generation have gone and I understand I am edging toward there now. Even if I live to 100, the features and characteristics of those years will be entirely different from the "days of my youth". Its a good thing, not bad. Reflecting every stage of my life has brought new perspectives, experiences, appreciation and growth. I wonder why some people try to hold on to their youth?? I feel gosh, you're missing out on so much and "youth" isn't always that great, anyway. When I turned 30 that was a serious milestone and then 40 (I'm getting on) but thereafter I just eased into it. There has never been apprehension since. Perhaps I caught the attitude to age from my continent of origin, which is respect and reverence, rather than past it and decrepit, as it is in the West.
Sometimes I wonder what a generation gap means for the youngsters today, growing up in a digital age. The most obvious is the language barrier, I have only a little inkling of the current street/ urban/ slang speak. I must sound like Shakespeare to them, I sometimes think. I think Iget it, I was young once, the parameters are just different. I am certainly lucky for the era into which was born. Caught incremental changes that came with LPs ( and scratches, not the club type) then tapes, to discs (careful of fingers) before streaming and downloads. I honestly feel the youth missed something of a whirlwind era, the digital age is somewhat settled now. I say this with no confidence. Perhaps they will be saying; in a flash, in a snap of the fingers, as time flies and they are here "I miss those days we travelled by plane, buying the tickets rushing to the airport. Now its beaming, robots and rocket to Mars......." Or maybe nostalgia for Alexa and wide screen TVs in an age of holograms and asking the air by micro chip in mouth!!
Its the cycle of life. Soon enough I'll be gone. No regrets, leaving the woes of living behind. C'est la vie!