John Leonard an audience of one.

About Projects Now Archive

Ageing

In less than a weeks’ time I turn 44 years old. I’d like to point out right now that this is not an impassioned plea for presents. I’m not going to put a link to my Amazon Wishlist here.

Over the last few years, I’ve started to realise that getting old is a real thing, and the body changes. I make noises when I sit down. I’m always looking for a place to sit down. My knees hurt sometimes. I have ringing in my ears occasionally. I am beginning to reminisce about the way things were. I was never particularly nostalgic, but I catch myself occasionally donning the rose tinted spectacles and thinking back to days gone by when things were simpler and easier. I’m not in any hurry to rush back to those days, mind you - a distinct lack of internet would make it a tad difficult for me to keep myself entertained.

I am, I think, firmly approaching the territory of middle age. I suppose I would never want to admit I am actually middle aged, but I suppose at some point I just have to give in to inevitability. When I was younger, middle aged was when a person reached their forties; now I am pushing that definition back to the fifties, but that milestone is still only six years away. Never mind, I’ll be well on my way to millionairehood by then.

It’s funny how the feeling of getting old changes dramatically depending on your perspective. My sense of oncoming age is brought about more by the physical differences - the hearing, knees, hair in ears syndrome - rather than an internal sense of ageing. If you were to ask my subconscious, it would swear blind that I was about eighteen but had a massive amount of experience and memories to draw from. Nevertheless, my subconscious can’t ignore the fact that the eighteen year old it thinks it is, has a spare tyre and can’t jog up stairs as easily as it expects to be able to.

In a post like this, where I address productivity issues, or getting better after an illness, or being more determined to do better at a thing (hence the mini torrent of writing every day), I’d look to come up with a plan for improvement, but of course I can’t do that with old age, I just have to grin and bear the wispy hair and crinkling skin, the irritability and temporary deafness, the creaking knees and expanding waistline, the failing eyes and the ability to simply sit and stare into the distance for ages. I also get cold easily.

The benefits of being middle aged is that one is expected to have disposable income at this point; If I were like some friends, I would be in the position that my children would be grown up by now and ready to fly the nest, and I would have a life of a paid off mortgage, cruises, and a mercedes benz parked in the garage. But, because I like to do things differently, I am a father to a newborn, and I am discovering that life as a 44 year old new dad is pushing my energy levels to new lows every day.

Please note that despite all this, I cannot complain. I have a good life, the experiences that mean I am unlikely to make catastrophic mistakes, and the love of a beautiful woman and our beautiful little boy. I may be old, and getting older, but I am a happy man.