Monday, November 27, 2006

the enigma of age

It would seem I'm getting old. OK, I'll temper that - older.

I know everyone looks at me and presumes I'm young - they thought I was about 21 at the hairdresser last week - and the "Real Age" website reliably informed me that my real age is 24.1 Of course I could be younger if I ate more vegetables and slept more hours.

But all this aside, I see the signs of age creeping up on me.

Grey hair - we're not just talking a few grey hairs here. Even someone at work thought I'd had highlights put in! I'm doing my best to grey gracefully and resist the colouring craze, but I'm shocked at just how many greys adorn my head. I don't believe the old wives tale that every grey hair you pull out is replaced by two so I frequently scour through and pull out as many as I can. Soon I will have to stop doing this for risk of large patches of baldness developing.

Crinkly lines around the eyes. Obviously no one else can see these, since they think I am such a young one - but my skin is changing as we speak. It's just not as supple and juicy and fresh as it used to be. It might look smooth, but come close and you can see the tension and stretching and drying out going on there. My one comfort is that most people don't inspect my face as closely as I do!

Tiredness. I'm always tired and life just takes it out of me. The vigour de youth is fading (if that isn't French - it is now). Having said that, I've been feeling pretty energised the last few days - the sun has been shining, it's actually been hot enough to discard long sleeves and shoes, and the variety of summer fruit we now have available is enough to set anyone to skipping with joy!

Stodginess. I wouldn't let Frank ride the motorbike fast. I almost didn't take my shoes off at the beach the other day - because sand is annoying in your shoes. That is so sad.

Agism. Have you noticed how 25 is really very young? Too young to be travelling the world alone. Or getting married. Or making major decisions! And 21? Still in nappies. It's all so relative! Some of you are reading this and can't believe I feel old at 31. I will say this to you - remember when you were 31? It was the oldest you'd ever been up to that point in time. That means for you, 31 was old! Right now that is me - I know in my head that 31 is young but I feel old. This is the oldest I have ever been!

I just have a sense that life is rapidly passing me by. I always thought it was great to be Gen X, enjoying the experience of life, bucking the system. Now I just feel trapped between Baby Boomers (and their forefathers) who just don't get the postmodern world leave alone adjust to it, and Gen Y who take in 1000 things at once and leave us Gen Xers for dead in the adjustment stakes. We're the hinge generation and it's not a comfortable place to be, always twisting backwards and forwards trying to bridge the gap between two vastly different worlds.

It's not all complaint worthy though! I love that I finally reached 30 - took a while but I got there. I'm proud of the life experience and wisdom (such as it is) that the big 3-0 represents. I understand myself better now than I ever did (still working on self management though!) and I can read situations and people pretty well.

Yeah, I like being 31. I even don't mind a few crinkly lines here and there. On other people. They look beautiful then!

This post is therefore a kick up my pants.

Relish life. Throw myself into crazy, joyful activities for the fun of it. Enjoy where I've got to. Age gracefully and graciously. Humour the young. Respect the old. Be comfortable in my own skin.

(How do you feel about being the oldest you've ever been?!)


At 6:53 am, November 28, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

Given that i'm the same age....we're definitely still very young! Actually i am feeling old and i'm looking older too but I'm choosing to ignore that and get on with things :)

At 7:11 am, November 28, 2006, Blogger Cecily said...

I haven't picked it in any of your photos... I was writing this and thinking "but robyn doesn't look as old as me". LOL

At 1:34 pm, November 28, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

Maybe its all a matter of perspective because I think I look older! Or possibly photos are more forgiving than the harsh reality of a mirror? You'll just have to come visit and see for yourself! ;)

At 3:21 pm, November 28, 2006, Anonymous sandy said...

You're both still very young. When your 49 and about to be 50 you should read this post. It'll surprise you!


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