How Old Is “Old”?

Beth face

I woke up this morning feeling old. Nothing in particular bothered me; my joints weren’t aching, I didn’t have to pee, I could reach the water glass on the nightstand without using the ‘grabber’ (the grabber is one of those as seen on tv tools, you squeeze the trigger-handle and pinchers on the end of a long metal extension grab things that you can’t reach…). Why did I feel old?

My birthday is in two weeks. I’ll be sixty. How the hell can I be turning sixty? I was thirty two yesterday. Sixty sounds very old to me. I remember twenty-nine like it was last week. I remember being the youngest person at, pick one: the bar, the conference, party, game, meeting, workshop… No more. Now my ‘bosses’ are usually at least twenty years younger than I am. I get asked if I’m fifty-five, then receive senior discounts at theaters, coffee shops, casinos and other establishments that believe those of us who’ve survived this long on the planet should be compensated for being no longer relevant to the rest of you movers and shakers, techies and makers, hackers and slackers and trendy bare-backers.

It’s weird, being old. Am I oldI accept my age. I accept that all-nighters out on the town are (probably) a thing of the past. I’ve finally realized that no, I probably won’t ever be a grandma because, silly me, I never got around to having kids. I’ll never again be the first to strip off all her clothes and jump into the river, pool, office party conga line… That’s OK. I’m fortunate to have friends who are in their thirties, forties. Really. Friends, not because I’m friends with their parents but because we enjoy each others company, share similar interests, can talk to each other about anything. Sometimes they ask for my advice. I’m flattered when they do as my advice hasn’t always been what any sane person would would want, much less ask for. I consider myself lucky to have these folks in my life. What a lovely gift!

If I’m feeling old at almost sixty, how will I feel at sixty-five? Seventy? Eighty? I never imagined I would live to be this age. Sixty. How the hell did it happen? Like life itself, it just happened. And, as strange as it feels sometimes, it’s OK.bamboo face