Hey Wait a Minute – Am I Middle-Aged?
Recently, when it took me weeks to recover from what started as a simple cold, in a rare moment I found myself wondering if it had to do at all with the fact that I am now approaching my late forties. I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw. It seemed as though a routine flu caused me to age to such a degree in only two short weeks, that the telltale signs of reaching middle age caught up with me without my having noticed.
I am not someone who buys into aging and I especially do not feel that being in one’s forties in this day and age is anywhere near close to getting old. While some of my contemporaries have taken to saying things like “I’m almost fifty years old” three years before that milestone actually arrives, I nod politely and think “Maybe YOU are almost fifty but don’t look at me.”
Since having had an accident more than four years ago, pain and stiffness in the ankle I broke severely are now a part of my daily life, even though I try not to give in to it or let it stand in my way.
After years of wear and tear, I suppose it is only natural that some body parts, like any other equipment or machinery, may start to slow down. Having said that, I come from a family where my older relatives rarely complain of ailments, even when they have them, and go about their activities as they always have. Perhaps that is why I have very little patience to listen to others when they complain about every ache and pain.
Keeping in good physical condition goes a long way as far as being able to carry out other activities such as walking and even taking long flights of stairs when necessary. So does attitude! Sure things might happen to my joints, and yes, I will age just like everybody else. But that does not mean that I should not try my best to feel good and think young for as long as I can.
I don’t mind some of the rights of passage that come with becoming middle aged (although I admit that even when I say it, it makes me cringe a little bit). I cannot deny lines near my eyes and I was appalled recently when I noticed that I was getting a few more grey hairs – no matter, they will be quickly concealed by my hairdresser.
When a friend my own age tells me he or she feels his or her age “in their bones” or I see one of my peers having to take a break while walking up a flight of stairs, I find it quite disturbing.
I do confess to being tired after a long day and not having the desire to go out at night nearly as often as I used to. Perhaps this has to do with getting older, or maybe it simply means that I am merely content with my life.
I had to stop and reel myself in when I started to be bothered by loud music and even loud, inconsiderate talking. Where I used to crave action and excitement, now sometimes all I want is some peace and quiet.
It has taken me a long time to get to know myself, apparently, if I were to take this middle age thing literally, for approximately half of my life. Nevertheless, it has been an interesting experience.
Although I am forty-eight years old, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as middle-aged. The truth is though, in a way I don’t mind being called Ma’am, nor being given the respect that goes along with the title.
If others are happy to consider themselves in their fifties before their time, that is their business. All I can do is take care of myself, maintain a positive attitude and hope for the best, no matter how old I am.
Middle age may have tried to creep up on me when I wasn’t looking; I can accept how old I am, but that does not mean that I have to give in to everything that stereotypes imply goes along with it.
I am happy to report that I am feeling fine and back to myself again. In fact, if anyone asked me how old I am I would have to stop and think before answering; no matter – when I need a reminder, I am sure there will be someone out there who will be only too happy to call me “Ma’am”.♦
Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2015