When do we become old?

How old are you?
Is it anywhere as old as you feel?
When we were young our parents were old.
Now we are parents when do we become “old”?

The other day I was out with some people I know,
and they were admiring my purple hair,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cabbit/3405207865/">cabbit</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
(that was a post in itself titled
“I have the perfect face for blogging”)
One of them remarked,
“You can get away with that, as you’re only a young one”.

Now thanks to genetics I know,
I am regularly considered to look younger than my years,
but this woman was not a lot older than I.
For a moment I said nothing,
wondering would I just be happy to be the age she thought I was.
Then I decided to come clean.

How old do you think I am?
She knocked a good 15 years of me.
I looked at her, and again wondered would I tell.
However I decided I would,
so I said “Add fifteen years.
She and the others in the group were all taken aback.
They discussed it afterwards at length,
as if I wasn’t there,much to my embarrassment.

I began to regret telling them.
Not because I am sorry to be the age I am,
but I wondered would they in fact treat me differently?

A few years ago,
my husband and I went away childless, for a week skiing.
It was fantastic.
We had had children within one year of marriage,
so had not had many years as just a couple.

When we arrived I warned suggested that we say we had just one child,
who was 2 years old, instead of four aged 6-16 years.
My other half had no problem denying our children.
We had a great time, skiing and partying.
However as the week went on our secret came out.
And I know for a fact it was not me who squealed!

As more people found out,
they felt the need to express their surprise.
Most of the comments were along the lines,
“I can’t believe you have a 16 year old”.

This is exactly what happens also in everyday life.
I build up a bond with people through work or leisure,
and we get on great.
Then one day they discover my eldest child’s age,
and they get all freaked out.
Why? What has changed in that moment?

I am still the same person standing in front of them.
I have not aged 15 years in a moment.
My age is irrelevant.

If I act young at heart it is not because I look it,photo credit: Jeremy Bronson via photopin cc
it is because I feel it.
The age of my children is also irrelevant.
I began having children,
when most couples are trying to find each other.
That is one of the reasons my children are older than most would think.

But why does my age really matter?
What does it tell you and in fact does it change your opinion once you know?

As a teenager and in my early twenties,
I felt weary of life and a lot older than I do now.
Today I am more content and have a lot more energy.
Despite being older I feel younger.

So regardless of my real age,
I am going to live my life glad that I have if anything grown younger over the years.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonfong/5635564997/">Lon Fong Photography-trying to catch up!</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
And I will continue to celebrate the fact that whatever my age,
inside I am still a young girl with a lot of attitude!

However I might just reconsider being so honest,
the next time someone asks me my age,
or calls me “a young one”.

photo credit: cabbit via photopin cc
photo credit: Dubgael via photopin cc
photo credit: Lon Fong Photography-trying to catch up! via photopin cc


22 thoughts on “When do we become old?

  1. I have the opposite ‘problem’ – throughout my life, folk have always thought me to be older than I am

    This was to my advantage when I was a teenager since I never got questioned when buying drinks in a pub before I was old enough to do so legally – (this also made me very popular with younger looking school-friends who always sent me up to the bar to order the drinks)

    [It was probably the beard I grew when a teenager that made me look older than my chronological age]

    Then, in my 30’s I started to go grey and ended in the ridiculous situation of having a mop of grey hair while my dad still had a fine head of black hair.

    When I meet new people now, I am almost always asked if I’m retired – (in case you were wondering yourself, I’ve a few years to go yet – unfortunately)

    Being grey does have some advantages, though.

    I cut my own hair but 5 or 6 years ago I nipped into the local barber shop on a whim. While he was cutting my hair, I read the card on the wall with the prices on it. When he had finished, I was counting out the money for the cut before he had rung it up on the till. To my surprise, he asked for an amount that was half what I was preparing to pay. While I put some of the notes in my hand back in my wallet and waited for my change, I checked the price list again – 1/2 price for OAPs on a Tuesday it said. The barber obviously thought I was a pensioner. Did I correct his erroneous assumption and pay the proper price ?

    What do you think? πŸ˜†

    1. Mmm let me guess? You were honest and told him? Not likely. Every cloud has a silver lining. I remember when I lived in Australia in my 20s I used to get into the local swimming pool as an Under 14.
      My husband said when he met me first (he is six years older) his friends used to question him as to my age. But as I say who cares what age we are? It should not matter. As long as we are not told to act our age!

  2. like you, i had my children very young and frequently have freaked out people when sharing just how old my 3 daughters, and 6 grandchildren are especially with my dating experiences. i love bein eg my age though and enjoying them while i still have some of my wits about me )

    1. My attitude is “Ah sure it will grow out and if its bad I can always re dye it!”. The first time I did it I texted my friend to say it was looking very purple, she drove over she was so stressed. Needless to say I wasn’t! It is a lot tamer now than before although a friend (male) asked me last week did I mean for it to be purple!

    1. Peter Pan Syndrome is a great way to be! Children are so conservative, in time they too will age and hopefully lighten up also, at least I hope mine will. πŸ™‚

  3. live young and free my dear. I am relatively young, but I feel ancient, partly because I treat my body like crap, pretty sure it will all catch up to me one of these days

    1. Not at all. It is in our minds we count and feel our age and I think you have the capacity to remain young for a very long time to come.

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