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Life in a small town.

Old Age.

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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.
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Comments

  1. Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
    I bet these two will keep the 12 year old active for a long time and the curmudgeon at bay :

    http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k7...9_987379_n.jpg

    If it’s any consolation, I’ve needed glasses to drive from the moment I got my license.

    From “The Old Dogs” words by Shel Silverstein:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViX-v...eature=related

    PS - I'm not too far behind you.

    .
  2. qimissung's Avatar
    You are such a good writer. Have you ever thought about writing a book of essays?

    I mean if Andy Rooney (RIP) can do it, surely you could, too! And it would provide a nest egg for your old age.

    Unfortunately, I'm a little ahead of both of you, and sadly, if this year is any indication, it does not bode well for me.
  3. JuniperWoolf's Avatar
    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.
    Haha, bad news for us then, many of the younger forum members (myself included) seem to have been born with that trait.
  4. prendrelemick's Avatar
    Ah yes grandkids,- keep you young whilst wearing you out.


    In 53 years I count my greatest achievement as having "Best Friends" status with my grandaughter.
  5. Virgil's Avatar
    Prend, this is brilliant. I'm going to turn 50 in a couple of weeks and I was debating writing something up. Now that you have I think I will too. You know when I realized I was getting old is when ball players started to retire at a younger age than I was. Having a two year old is not typical for a fifty year old, and I do have to say it makes me feel younger.
  6. Jack of Hearts's Avatar
    Eh, mick you're a lucky one with your gift of language.

    Anxiety about time passing is normal though... this reader is 30 years younger than you and he feels it too.

    There's something sweet in knowing things don't stay the same. It says be there, be in the moment because it's escaping and it's miracle anything ever added up to this anyway, that all the entropy in the universe should culminate in you watching your grandchildren play in the sunshine.

    Love your blog. It's terrific.







    J
  7. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    A very good blog entry... enjoyed reading it.
  8. prendrelemick's Avatar
    Thanks everyone.

    Virgil, you'll have to write it now. We can compare notes.
    Jack, Once again you have set me thinking along new lines.
  9. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    53 is not so old Mick, not really. My Mum turned 71 this year and she's still out and about and healthy and active. Sure there is probably some slowing down, but perhaps you're more alert to it than you were because you're conscious of the number. Perhaps it is better to focus on what you have gained? Or alternatively, you could start auditioning for Grumpy Old Men in which case a whole new career path would open up for you. It's all positive, anyway

    This was a nice read, as always. You have a very nice way of putting things across.
  10. Edward Alick's Avatar
    my grandma turn 84 this year and she can cooking diner for us though she moving slow down. i love my grandma very munch.