Age is … whatever number it is

I’ve long pondered the implications of age, but especially turning 50, even months before it actually happened.

My primary insight remains the same — that I don’t know what 50 feels like because I don’t know what 50 is supposed to feel like — but to be honest, the whole thing is probably a fool’s errand, anyway.

After all, it’s mostly because we have a thing for ages divisible by 10, and to a lesser degree five, but when that first number is a five … now, we’re talking.

But in conducting this probably pointless search for meaning, I came across a fascinating piece by Jennifer Senior about not how old your body feels (my now-permanently sore heel says hi), but how old you think you are.

This past thanksgiving, I asked my mother how old she was in her head. She didn’t pause, didn’t look up, didn’t even ask me to repeat the question, which would have been natural, given that it was both syntactically awkward and a little odd. We were in my brother’s dining room, setting the table. My mother folded another napkin. ‘Forty-five,’ she said.

She is 76.”

Before our lives drifted apart, I had a close friend who is three years younger than me.

That makes her a year older than my brother, but since she was in my friend group, I always thought of her as being older than if she had been a friend of his.

Ever since I was a teenager and noticed the kids in my Saturday-morning bowling league were getting younger and I wasn’t, a lot of my perception of age has to do with the people around me.

Old for the bowling league, young for my pickleball group, basically in the middle where I work.

Young for the Josh Groban concert, old for Maren Morris that same week, holy-crap-we’re-going-to-be-ancient for Maggie Rogers.

Yet when I stop thinking about how old everyone is, life just … happens.

I win or lose at pickleball.

Advice gets given, problems solved, I’m saved from my stupidity at work.

The music takes me to a delightful place.

But even if I’m not fixated on how old everyone is, my brain never has any illusions that my age is any different than it is.

And right now, that’s 50.

Even if I still don’t know what that means.

A man and his Mangione

Suzi and I saw “Tootsie” in Hartford yesterday. Although I never saw the movie upon which the musical is based, I’m familiar enough with the center story to know that maybe it’s fortunate they played Knoxville earlier this year.

Like usual, we went downstairs to sit in the pink chairs before the show started, and while we waited, a guy walked past us whistling Chuck Mangione.

If you didn’t just think “Who’s that?” you’re probably a fan of “King of the Hill” (never watched it) or you know this song.

So maybe our dude is into flugelhorn, but what was really interesting is that he was also whistling after he came out of the bathroom, which leads to one question.

Was he whistling all while doing his business, or did he stop, do his business … and then start whistling all over again.

Either way, it’s pretty impressive dedication.

Since we last saw each other…

Speaking of birthdays divisible by 10, Renata turned 30 … and her book came out, including the line “I’m sorry I didn’t know who I was going to be at the age of 50 when I was only twenty-f***ing-five.” (It was good.)

Betsy has a pretty good idea for dealing with life.

Thomas tells the story of an interesting life.

Kristian is looking forward to spring.

From Heather: “When you show yourself, you make more space in the world for other people to show themselves. When you smile at a grumbly stranger on the subway, you make more space for teddy bears to come out and play.”

If Austin is actually going to deal with strangers, it would be nice for more of them to respond.

Becky and I are working on the same thing.

Would I like more people to see my stuff? Of course, but what Fran is describing seems like a nightmare.

Pea Green’s older boy is starting to get to that age.

Vee has started over.

Meg provides insight as to how her brain works.

The more ice-cream based policy we have, the better. (The rest of the thread … not nearly as amusing, but then again, it’s not supposed to be.)

This is going to be on our PBS station soon. When Suzi showed me the listing and said I know who Robson Green is, my brain just about exploded trying to figure it out. (He plays Geordie on “Grantchester.”)

It’s the gym, so I’m not sure if offering ice cream would get them to stop, so mild electric shocks under the seat may be required.

I feel seen.

Maybe I have this to look forward to in Hartford in the (very) distant future.

Yes, yes I have.

You can never, ever turn your back.

Build an app that prepares the food, cooks it and then puts the dishes in the dishwasher, and I’ll be interested. (I’ll take care of the eating part.)


11 thoughts on “Age is … whatever number it is

  1. This post is relatable. I’ll be turning 60 next year and it doesn’t feel possible. I often wonder where the years went. In the end, though, I’m not sure what 60 is supposed to feel like or how a 60 year old is supposed to act. I just know that when I was younger 60 felt really old. Now it doesn’t any more. I still have a lot of life left in me. My mum turned 90 last weekend and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

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