We all make jokes about 'Ooh, must be getting old' when we'd rather stay at home than go out, or when we have a mental block about someone's name, but if you understand any of the following, you're not 'getting' old at all.
You've already got there.
Nice one, Mr Bowie, but I'm not sure you meant the person who thinks Oasis and Nirvana are new music, who hasn't worn high heels in 15 years and who not only has a favourite teaspoon, but thinks her coffee tastes different if an alternative is used.
|In all its glory.
If it's the first and third Tuesday of the month...
When the next day is 'normal' bin day, ie not recycling or garden rubbish, I empty all the small bins into the big one and tie up the full bin liner so I can take it downstairs and put in the wheelie bin. That's normal, right? As is sometimes taking it down the night before, and going out late at night to pull the bin out onto the street in case the bin men come earlier than usual.
Now ... this what I call old:
Not only having put the bin out the night before, but looking out of window next morning and feeling smug because I did so. Especially if it's raining. And reporting on this achievement to my husband, expecting a metaphorical pat on the back.
The other day I took a brief look at the Billboard Music Awards hashtag on Twitter, and found that I had not actually heard of any of the artistes aside from Mariah Carey (who was probably getting an award for most glamorous old timer, or something), and Taylor Swift, though I do not believe I have heard any of her records, and certainly couldn't name one. The rest all appeared to be Korean children.
You know you've crossed the Rubicon when you become aware of the restorative powers of a cup of tea and a toasted teacake. Around 20 years ago I worked in a café in Cromer and wondered why this was the mid-afternoon snack of choice for all the pensioners who would come in. Now, I understand.
'You look the same as you did when I first knew you!'
In your 50s, when you meet up with friends you've known forever but haven't seen for a while, you each think the other looks about the same. Of course neither of you actually do, but you know each others' faces so well, and your favourable impression is helped along by the fact that you're too vain to wear your glasses, so everyone is in soft focus.
However, when you get into your 60s, you know it's all falling apart for both of you. There are no cries of 'You don't look any different!' Not least of all because you've given in to the glasses thing, otherwise you'd fall down the step to the loo in that nice café you've chosen for lunch. No, you no longer automatically meet in a pub!
|With my friend Abi, last Friday
Sometimes, when you happen across the social media bio of Gen Z people, you genuinely don't know what half of it means.
3w4, she/her, aro ace queer, Side A ...
'You tell me about your aches and pains, and I'll tell you about mine.'
Nowadays you might feel the cold more - and each morning you do a quick assessment of which bits hurt most: the arthritic knuckles, the arm you used to carry a heavy bag yesterday, the lower back pain, the sciatica...
|My spectacular osteo-arthritic finger. They're all varying degrees of bad, but this beauty hurts so much and constantly; I've just got used to it (and yes, I've tried everything imaginable, waiting for steroid injections!).
The years pass by ever more quickly...
You know how when you were a child in the 1960s or 70s, you would see pictures of your parents from the 30s and 40s and think how funny and old-fashioned they looked. You may have recently realised that there was less of a gap between the 30s/40s and your own childhood/teenage years, than there is between the years of your own youth, and NOW. If you know what I mean.
|Mum, early 1950s
'But then we grew up in a time without social media...'
You don't just think that the 1970s and 80s was a better time, you know it was. Even the long dark teatime of the soul that was the late afternoon in on a winter Sunday, when there was nothing to watch on telly (because there were only 3 channels) and the pubs had shut at 2 pm and would not open again until 7. What the hell, it was character-building!
Every day, something makes you feel grateful for having your youth when you did, not least of all because you got to see all those rock bands in their heydays, because you could smoke in pubs, and there weren't any bouncers on the door and it was safe to walk home alone at night and people ate real food and had family meal times and you can remember when this was all fields.....
With various chums (and a couple of my sister, below) from about 1975 - 1980. Bottom right, above, was with Ray, my first long-term boyfriend. Before camera phones, digital cameras, etc... the photo booths were much used!