December 30, 2013

How Old Are You?

The other day I was chatting to my friend K about dating.

"What age man would you consider?" she asked me.

"I don't know," I said. "I guess up to fifty... fifty two?"

Later on K confessed to me that she had thought that was really old. "Until," she said, "my fifty-one year old husband wandered into view."

K, like me, is forty-five.

Yesterday, my friends J and J came to visit me. J (the female) is forty-five. J (the male) is fifty. I know he is fifty because I was at his birthday party. But I have known J ever since he was in his mid-twenties. And whilst I don't necessarily still think of him as twenty-six (even I can perceive the difference in his hair), I cannot possibly comprehend him as being fifty. He will always be hovering in his thirties to me.
 

I'm not sure what age I see myself being, but it's certainly not forty-five. I know that I don't feel stuck in my twenties, because being around twenty-something's makes me feel about one hundred. But the word 'fifty' seems utterly preposterous, an age I can't even begin to fathom.

My parents, who are actually 69 and 70, are, in my head, around 36 and 37. Now this is odd, because that would place me at around 12. And I know I'm not 12. My eldest child is 14, so my being 12 would involve a level of time travel I can't quite wrap my head around.

Even more confusingly, I'm pretty sure I see myself as somewhere in my mid-30's. And how this works when my parents are the same age is a bit beyond me.

Now, this has nothing to do with maturity or mental age. Believe me, I have lived a thousand lives in my 45 years. Sometimes I feel far, far older than my age. At other times, I feel as naïve as a teenager. That is normal, I think. I suspect I'll feel that way till I die.

But I do believe we freeze frame ourselves somewhere in the middle of our lives. I believe that life moves quicker than our brains, and that it takes us a while to catch up. Perhaps when I'm 60, I'll feel 45. Perhaps when I'm 70, I'll feel 52.

For now, I am the same age as my parents. And that's not a bad age to be.

How old do you feel?

41 comments:

  1. Funny that i am 42 and feel great ! I don't feel that age at all i actually feel really young like under 30 .I enjoy being stupid sometimes and silly.For the past few years i was way too serious so now my hair has been let down lol :-)

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  2. I'm a couple of years older than you Kerri, but there's no way I feel like someone in my "40s"...


    I still feel like the same person I was in my 30s... maybe even my 20s, only happier and more confident...


    To me, one of the greatest insults you can give someone is to say "act your age"... I mean, what does that even mean?


    Look, I will admit that in my 40s I have developed a wisdom that I never had when I was younger, but I'm so proud that I've managed to keep a sense of whimsy and silliness from my childhood... Why do we need to "grow up"? Why do we need to "put away childish things"...


    My theory is that you should add things to your personality and character, not replace things... so I still laugh at fart jokes, I still sing and dance in public... but I can also cope with most of what life sends my way... I and a child and a man... "The Child Is The Father To The Man", afterall! :)

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  3. It depends on the day. I have a two year old so a night with out sleep can make me feel 60. Playing and hearing him giggle makes me feel 12. The last age I was until I began to stress.

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  4. In my head I and all my friends are 'in our 30s'. In reality, only I, and about three of my friends are in our 30s. The rest are in their 40s ... some very close to 50. I suspect that even when I hit 40 myself, I will forever be 'in my 30s'!

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  5. My bub is sick and teething. I feel about a hundred. But I usually feel my age (31). Depends which friends I'm hanging around with - in my main friendship group, I'm the only one with kids. So when I'm with them with the kids, I feel old. When I'm with them, on my own, I'm immediately 20 again!

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  6. Argh!! I am still having trouble admitting I am 50 ... did I just say that out loud????? In my mind I'm 35 and am staying there for as long as I can. 50 has been and still is freaking me out!!!!!!!!!

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  7. My work friends are late 20's - early 30's in my mind we are all around the same age, in reality I'm 40. I also don't see my parents as their real age ( late 60's) though I think this is more because I equate 70's with death and I'm not ready for that

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  8. I turn 41 in a matter of days. I stopped counting at 27. I remember thinking at 19 that a friend at 23 seemed so mature and adult, but when I turned 23 I certainly didn't feel that way. By my mid to late 20's I did, so that's when I stopped counting as I don't feel any different to when I was actually that age. Sure, I feel it physically some days - generally if my 2yo has had a bad night! But I totally get the 50 block - when I started dating again after my marriage ended, I thought about the same thing, and it felt so old! But as long as the person has a young mentality, without being immature, I don't have a problem with it. My friends range in age from 21 to 51 (I think, there may be a couple of older entries), so for me it's more about attitude.

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  9. I am 37 years old in real-life. Some days I feel too old and others I completely forget and when someone asks me I accidentally say 21. But I am so glad that I am not 21 any more, I would never go back there. Been there and done that. xo

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  10. I always wondered when I would be "old" like my parents, when I would choose to sit on a chair instead of the floor, when I would make adult conversation like my parents did when I was a little girl, when I would be responsible and adult-like. I am still waiting for it to happen

    I think I got stuck in my teens!

    Sometimes when my son calls me at night I am shocked that he can actually want someone who is practically younger than him to help him with a bad dream.

    Then again I think I need quite a bit more therapy.

    xxx

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  11. I remember thinking when I was at school how 'old' grown ups were. 40 was like almost dead. Now as I head towards 40 I know that I am far from dead (although some days....) Most days though I feel somewhere around my late twenties but like you, there are times when I feel young and naive and wonder when I will actually 'grow up'. It's funny though, when I hang around at school pick up I still feel so young, all the other mothers seem so old and grown up, yet they are similar ages, and younger! Weird.

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  12. I am 32 and will be 33 in a few months, but I think I am stuck firmly at 26. Maybe once I hit 35 I'll age a little.

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  13. Hmm, is K's husband C? Probably wouldn't consider him old - but that is probably because I gather he is still very fit! At 42, I still feel about 32 - except when I realise I am losing my flexibility - ie. at today's bikram yoga, with a very young and good looking instructor (picture a younger Hugh Jackman, a bit wolverine, but less hairy and more surfy. I realised I am not very flexible - and I did want to be more impressive - sadly). BTW - was reminded of you at the shops today when I saw Simon Baker on the cover of TV week (apparently he's 44). Not sure if that is relevant …

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  14. The calendar may say I am sixty - but in my head I am probably in my 30's. Which is odd as my daughter is 35 and my son is 33, but we have always been good friends. I think it has also helped that so many of their friends have played in my show bands - and because of that we have socialized over the years. I don't feel like the kid I was in college, or when I first got married, but I do feel like the young dad I was when my own kids were little ... I was 25 and 27 when they were born.

    Of course, as much as my mind tells me I am still that young stud ... my body constantly reminds me of the truth. :-(

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  15. Depends when you were sixty (I was born in April). Someone mentioned seniors' reductions today. That hadn't even crossed my mind!

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  16. I relate to your post immensely, Kerri, and agree with the fact that our chronological age is often at odds with our mental view of ourselves. I am a bit older than you but do not reveal my age (it's the one thing my mother was devious about and I am emulating her!)


    Regarding men, I know I generalise and sound both ageist and sexist when I say that men don't travel as well as women as they get older. Men over 50 often go to seed...white hair or bald and chubby around the middle. It's very shallow of me to declare this, I know it is all about character and innate traits...such as intelligence and wit. (Didn't Henry Kissinger say "Power is the greatest aphrodisiac"?!)
    But then my theory is that if you've got to take your clothes off in front of one, there has to be at least a sliver of PHYSICAL chemistry. (Sue me!)

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  17. I think I have you there Rosemary. I turn 61 on February 25. I have been getting the senior price at the movies for almost a year now. Actually, I got my first senior discount when I turned 50 ... at a hotel.

    Of course, I console myself with the fact that in April ... my wife turns 62! ;-)

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  18. It's funny - until I was 30, if you asked me my age I always knew it immediately. After 30 - I have needed to think a moment,

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  19. Of one thing I am certain - we don't look as old as our grandparents did when they were our current age. Happy New Year and every success for 2014.

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  20. Kathy www.yinyangmother.comJanuary 1, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Well I'm the same age as you Kerri and lately I have seen myself as moving into my forties. However my 'old man' is 53 - the eight years difference between us felt quite a bit more when we first met and I was 22 and he was almost 31 with a child and a broken marriage. So all relative. Having an older partner is something to consider - I do think it makes you feel younger, but then a toy boy......Hope 2014 is a better year for you Kerrie full of dreams and possibilities.

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  21. They say you're only as young as the man you feel. Well I'm almost 48 and my husband is about to turn 42. But most mornings I feel about 80trillion and he's up bright and early acting like a responsible adult. My head still feels about 16 so I might stick to that and forget that I'm closer to the half century than I thought.

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  22. Hmmm... decisions, decisions....! x

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  23. Now THAT is certainly true. Though my paternal grandmother died at a nice old age with barely a wrinkle... but she was genetically blessed.

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  24. Agree.... but physical chemistry can grow from liking someone as a person.... don't you think?

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  25. Nah. You're not the oldest one here. I feel 102.

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  26. Yes! K's husband is C. And you are right. He is super fit and has an excellent body. I know this because I saw him naked once... but that's another story altogether....

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  27. LOL. There isn't enough therapy in the world for us....

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  28. Agree. I would never go back to 21. 41, though? That's another story...

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  29. I think you're right. Maybe I need to be more open minded!

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  30. No! 70's do not equate with death. Maybe 100. But not 70.

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  31. Aw... I was already stressing at 12 if that makes you feel any better!

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  32. Agree with all the above. Except the fart jokes. I am a Lady.

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  33. Oh how funny and interesting.
    I feel forever 39 though I am quite a bit more than that now...it was the year I lost faith in the universe after a loved one died. I go back to moments before life changed at 39 to rekindle my happy carefree self, so so strange as I have a full life with work and kids...thank you for the trigger.

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  34. Yes, I think you might have written about it once or twice - Clearly made an impression! We used to to spend a lot of time with K and C quite a number of years ago (and, through your book The Little book of Anxiety, I've got back in contact with K but haven't seen C for a long while. Sounds like he hasn't changed!

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