My perception of old age changes as I grow older.So, perhaps does yours. My mother’s does for sure. She often tells me, you are just in your 40s, you have a long life ahead and enough time to do what you want. I wonder whether she was so kind to herself in her 40s.
During a class room discussion one of my students talked of how a 40-year old, middle aged man thoughtlessly reprimanded him for nothing. The old man, had no business messing with me, the boy thundered. I did not like the way the 40-year old was being described, as if his age was his fault. Luckily before I verbalized my discontent, I realized why I was so sensitive ,I had just hit the 40 mark and was perhaps, not very happy about where I was.
To a younger me, if 40 was the far beyond the prime then 60s and 70s were pre-historic. It’s like the question I get asked often, especially by those of my students who I taught quite some time back in my 14 year teaching career. Mam, You still teach!!!???? (Some times it makes me feel that I should be in a museum!)
To my father in his sweet 70s I often say, how dare you think that you are old? It pains me no end when my mother says that the doctor took the liberty of experimenting with her medicine because she was old.
Whether I admit it or not, age does get to me and I find myself cribbing and crying about my poor old nerves.
When I hear myself mouth the very same inanities as my parents and especially those which I enjoyed making fun of , I really know that I am going down the hill,diving into the sunset of my life, ready to kick the bucket…
I have watched a young man live the life of 60 year old in his 30s. He seriously and sincerely believed that mentally,emotionally,spiritually he was at par with his grand old uncle. I have also seen a 50 year old show enough zeal and zest for life that would make a teenager go green with envy.
As I reach another anniversary of my accidental advent on the planet, I push the bar of youth a notch higher, after all age is just a number, what say???