I keep trying to figure out what ‘old’ means.
When I was a child, anyone over 20 was old.
When I was in my teens, I couldn’t trust anyone over 30.
When I went to college, my world was made up mostly of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
This week one of my nieces celebrates her 40th birthday and one of my sisters celebrates her 60th. My sons are in their 30s. My parents are in their 90s.
I try to imagine retiring. Even early retirement is at least five years away, realistically retirement is on the other side of several mountains.
But I don’t *feel* old. I may tire more easily and sleep less soundly, but there are still several lifetimes’ worth of things I want to do.
My dogs certainly keep me active, which I’m sure helps…
I am surrounded by college students and lots of other people younger than I – I sometimes wonder who they see when they look at me. Some old fart who gets in the way? Or someone with some experience and expertise who can teach them something and smooth their transition to the next phase of their lives?
Maybe I should spend more time in front of the mirror, but there isn’t time for that and, aside from making sure I won’t scare children and horses, I’m ready to face the world in whatever shape today has given me.
What scares me is seeing some people in their 30s and 40s who seem old to me – not by virtue of wisdom but because they seem exhausted and disengaged from life. They seem to have lost sight of how much fun, how rewarding and challenging and lovely life can be. I worry about them.
Maybe they should get a dog.