Today is my birthday. I am now 58. I don’t feel 58. Well—that’s not entirely true—some days I feel every bit of 58, but . . . in general . . . if I haven’t recently over-indulged in food . . . or drink . . . or had a sleepless night . . . or done a solid four hours of weeding and pruning in the garden . . .
Okay . . . maybe I’ll qualify that. What if I say my brain doesn’t feel like it’s 58? Hmmmmm . . . I’m not really sure that’s going to work either . . .
Last Sunday, while I was out mowing my front lawn, one of my elderly neighbours stopped by to chat. Ronny is an ‘old soldier’ and as he knows I was in the army myself several centuries ago, he occasionally likes to ‘pull up a sandbag’ and reminisce. That day, however, while chatting, he asked a question which pulled me up short—‘So, when was it that you were you based in Germany, Sal?’ A simple, straightforward question—and for the life of me I couldn’t answer it. I mean, I remember being in Germany (my mind has not completely abandoned me . . . yet . . . ) but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what year I got there or when I left . . .
In my defence, and before you start giving me a hard time about my advancing years, I should point out that I have always been dreadful at remembering what-happened-when. I also always think something happened much more recently than it actually did. I reckon I would immediately become the number one suspect in any murder enquiry when the interviewing officer asks ‘ . . . and where were you on the morning of *insert any date here* ?’—because I wouldn’t have a bloody clue . . . )
Anyway, as it seems I can no longer completely rely on my body or my brain, perhaps I should say my ‘inner Sally’ doesn’t feel 58. That might work. My ‘inner Sally’ doesn’t feel any different than she did ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago. (At least I don’t think she does, but, you know, my brain . . . If I can’t remember where she was 30 years ago, chances are I probably won’t remember how she felt either. This is getting tricky . . . )
Seriously though, turning 58 honestly bothers me no more than turning 57 did. As a good friend of mine likes to (constantly) remind me—‘any day above ground is a good day’—and if adding another candle to my cake means getting a bigger cake, so be it.
It is probably just as well I have a sense of humour about these things anyway. Last week it was gleefully (a little too gleefully I thought) pointed out to me that soon I would be able to tell people I was ‘no longer middle-aged’. WTF! Me? Middle-aged? I don’t mind owning up be being 58, but who said anything about being middle-aged? I want to see the proof . . .
‘Sure-fire signs you’re in the throes of middle-age‘
Losing touch with everyday technology such as tablets and TVs
(I have a computer, tablet, kindle, TV and mobile phone. Okay the mobile is kaput and I haven’t replaced it yet, but I do have one . . . )
Feeling stiff, groaning when you bend down, talking a lot about your joints / ailments
(Not so very much. Honest. And I mostly only mention it to the dogs . . . )
Needing an afternoon nap
(Hardly ever . . . except maybe after a particularly taxing morning, or a workout, or mowing the lawn, or an extra-late night . . . )
Thinking policemen / teachers / doctors all look really young
( . . . and, hopefully, cute . . . )
Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style
(Sniff. I like to think I still have some style even if my heels are becoming slightly lower . . .)
Forgetting people’s names
(I’m sorry—who are you?)
Booking on to a cruise
(Not yet, but I have friends who have . . . you know who you are . . .)
Misplacing your glasses / bag / car keys etc.
(Okay. Possibly. Sometimes.)
Complaining about the rubbish on television these days
(Well. Seriously. There really is a lot of crappy TV out there.)
Gasping for a cup of tea
(How is this a middle-aged thing?)
When you can’t lose six pounds in two days any more
(What do they mean ‘any more’?)
Falling asleep after one glass of wine
(It’s a BIG glass)
When you know your alcohol limit
As far as I can see the list above proves nothing.
You will note that nowhere . . . no.where . . . does it mention the number 58 . . .