by, 12-01-2011 at 05:30 PM (1069 Views)
I am 53 this year and can now see old age approaching like an unwelcome guest, a distant figure still, but coming over the horizon inexorably heading my way. Soon it will move in and impose itself, demanding consideration, everything will be deferred to it, stopping me from doing the things I want, stopping me wanting to do them.
There are several constants a man can use to measure the passage of time - the age of policemen or the age of doctors and teachers (no, they don’t get younger, that's you getting older). I particularly remember when underwear models began to be younger than me, that was quite a shock I can tell you. These external temporal measures are important, because although time goes flying by faster and faster, inside you feel the same. Then suddenly you're a 12 year old boy in a grown man's body.
The physical symptoms of ageing are certainly starting to show up. I need glasses to drive, my body aches at the end of the day, and my joints feel stiff in the morning. My hair – what's left of it - is mostly grey, and I feel like having a lie down after lunch. This is all fair enough and to be expected, but what has really shaken me is not the physical symptoms but the mental. That 12 year old inside me is growing up at last. I am becoming confident that I know best, I feel I am always right even when I'm wrong – something I couldn't bear in the elders of my youth. It is a trait that grows along with nasal hair but without a handy grooming gizmo to prune it back. I am fighting against it, but I know I am destined to become a curmudgeonly old git.