On Age

September 27, 2007

How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?

I love this question. I’ve decided that the answer is relative. Yesterday afternoon I drug myself out the door from work to my car, settled in, turned the key in the ignition and started out of the parking lot. I felt older than dirt. It was one of those days when the farther along I got, the behinder I was. Then the satellite radio kicked in with a live show with John Prine. There he was, talking his intro in a country kind of comfortable way, and then he broke into this song. I opened the windows, pumped up the volume and laughed and sang. It lifted me up and took me back almost 20 years to when I first heard it. Then I remembered how it always made me think of my dad, and I went back another 20 years. Music does that for me.

Sometimes I see someone I knew from back in the day, and they always look so old. Then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realize that I look that way too. In my mind’s eye a few years may have passed. Maybe.

One day shortly after Willi and I were married, we ran into a lady at the grocery store that recognized me from a few years before. We made small talk, and then she asked me if he was my son. I was crushed. I am only six months his senior. I guess he aged more gracefully than me. I always teased him about how maybe he should find some sweet young thing. But I wasn’t serious. She must have thought that’s what I did.

When my mom was my age, she had an 11 year old daughter. That seems so completely out of the realm of reality. How in the heck did we both survive that? Menopause met puberty head on. Now that thought makes me feel old.

My boss is 35. Enough said about that.

When we are in the car, singing along to some song at the top of our lungs, and the car behind us drowns us out, we both feel old. Wouldn’t you just love to get out, walk over to them, reach in and turn it down? I would.

And what’s with having the wisdom of the ages? Now that I have it, what do I do with it?

I asked one of my friends at work how old she would be. She’s a few years older than me and her answer was 21.

Willi said he would be 50. I’d have to say I feel the same. I’m not that old, and I’m surely not that young. When I get to feeling invincible, my body reminds me that I’m not. But when I get to feeling old, my mind reminds me that I’m not. So I must be somewhere in between, which is just about right where I am.

How about you? How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?

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15 Responses to “On Age”

  1. her indoors Says:

    love the question ‘How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?’ lol
    me i would be 29, still in my twenties not yet thirty and far enough away from in my forties!

  2. corky Says:

    I’s still be a kid. No doubt about it. I could stand to lose a couple of pounds but everything else is perfectly in place.

  3. nessa Says:

    We were just talking about this yesterday. I’ll be 49 soon but in my head I’m in my mid-twenties.

  4. dilling Says:

    That is one of my favorite songs! Ever! I don’t know how old I am, but I have been this old for about fifteen years….before that, I was a snot-nosed brat…..I think I will get older one more time… maybe in ten years or so…then I will be done with it.

  5. tod Says:

    Great post!

    I’d love to say in my twenties. On a good day I feel thirtyish and when my back is hurting I feel like a miserable old git!

  6. Betty Says:

    I think I’d be 21 again. That was a very good year!

  7. mjd Says:

    I have loved being 60, but 46, 26, and 17 were wonderful years. However, 60 does sound incredibly old for me. (not old for others) When I walk by a mirror, for a moment, I think, “Who is that old lady with the gray hair?” Then, I realize that is me.

  8. pjlibrarian Says:

    I think I have always felt younger than my years and still do. Must go back to the youthful thinking women of my Mom’s family. They all set great examples, plus they all lived for many, many years. When I go through menopause my wee one will be in her beginning teens. I have always wondered will I be a mellow mom or one that my wee one wonders what happened to her mom’s mind. Hopeful my outlook will reflect my inner child, but with a parental twist.

  9. milkandhoney Says:

    Well. I guess I’d say 30. I’ll be 29 in a month, and 29 just sounds like such a drag. I’d skip straight to 30 now if I could. I feel like maybe at 30, I’ll finally have it all figured out. Then again, 10 years ago I thought I’d have it all figured out by 28.

  10. daddy d Says:

    Great question. But I don’t know the answer for my self. I hit the golf ball better than ever before. Other activities are not so sharp, but I keep on working on everything. Ben Franklin said the body is like a book cover. It wears out over time. No matter we still must go on the best we can.

  11. Susan Says:

    If I can keep the essential me (which seems to be a good age) I would like to be back in my 20’s. Nothing ached, I didn’t seem to need to eat or sleep and best of all I was much more perky (as opposed to saggy!)

  12. Cazzie Says:

    I feel wonderful and great and I feel like I am 21 again with all this energy 🙂

  13. Tink Says:

    Great question! I guess it depends… Sometimes, when Hoop and I are goofing off in the toy section of Walmart, I feel 10. When I’m paying bills and looking at our unfinished house, I feel 35. But very rarely do I feel my age, 24.


  14. It depends on the day. When my back hurts before I’ve finished fixing breakfast, I’m 89. When my heart sings at the sight of an eagle or the sound of the wind and driving rain, I’m six. I have more self-confidence at 65 than before my 60s, and I wouldn’t trade that. But, I’d like to trade out the part about forgetting the right word. When I do that, I feel my age but not in a good way.


  15. I like who I am right now at age 49 although I do sometimes despair about being on the abyss looking into a half century of age. I guess if I could de-age my body, I would want to return to my mid-twenties. But, truly, I like myself much better at my current age. I’m more self-confident, not afraid to make a stand for what I believe and I’m happier.


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