“At my age anything unexpected that isn’t medical or mortal should be celebrated.”A quote attributed to Kathleen Brennan.
If any say “at my age”, she’s for sure not 6 years old… or 20 or 30 years old either for that matter. She could be in her 40s but then she is not old enough and not entitled to say it. Yet, it is a panic age and foresight women breaks up in divorces, changing life styles.
If any in age 50 use the phrase “in my age”, she’s got a point and at 50 the body obvious is failing with to keep it up with whatever is to keep up. But it’s still silly if she believe in something like that. Because age 50+ today is not (in the West) as aged 50 was only 3 – 4 decades ago. There is still a long time future to expect.
But at 60 it looks like it’s time to gather yourself to face the life fact of mortality – and at 70 you’ve got it right. The time left is short!
I don’t know how it happened – but to my surprise I became 70 this year. Once becoming 60 was bad enough, but shortly I closed my eyes and imagined that I still didn’t look like my true age. But now a decade later I have to bite the bullet and realize that I am “old” and be what I am. And since my parents died at age 72 and 75, it’s like a hair-raising horror story!
Now this me, newly 70-year-old, the formula “my age” still feels like a suit not made for me, one size too big and further: badly tailor-made. But I try to live in my saggy suit – and then I realize to my surprise it seems to be forbidden for you to even mention “aging” and “mortality” for those close around but younger than you. “Now, don’t say things like that, no one know who goes first and when”, they hush you down. True, but still more people dies “at my age” than in those younger-than-you generations! So why not be allowed to speak loudly about what is urgent for you to talk about?
(At the contrary, you are allowed and even expected to have (had) a pension insurance and funeral saving!) (Like in past times having condoms in the wallet, just in case!)
It is not as much that I actually want or need to talk about difficulties in aging and of the coming death, it is that it is uncomfortable for people around you if you do it that arouses my curiosity for the topic. Do we have here an elephant in the room? Is it some kind of taboo around life challenges in higher ages? Don’t mention you haven’t come to terms with your mortality (at your age)? Don’t mention you still are able to fall in love and want to have sex and closeness with someone special (at your age)?
And yet again, people just love to tell to you “age is nothing but a number” if you come to only mention you are not young any more. Well, if age is just a number – please tell it to my hurting hips in my wakeup nights!
I suspect this attempts muzzling old people is for to hold us back in the gate from become unpleasantly serious about life as it raises younger people’s suppressed anxiety about their own existence, can it be?
This platitude is preferably followed by another “life is short, so why be serious about it!” Yes, why indeed?!
Maybe because it is true “you only live once” and you are no doubt mortal – and this is your only chance to be serious about anything in your precious life!