I’m officially middle-aged, and totally fine with that | Blaise Tapp
A few days ago I ‘celebrated’ my 45th birthday, at which point I officially reached middle age.
Although the threshold for the last age bracket before free bus pass qualification isn't rigid, it would be pig-headed of me to deny what is staring me directly in the face, and I don’t want to be one of those tedious types who thinks they can carry on pretending to be young until they require surgical stockings.
Anyway, for the first time ever, I actually feel middle-aged and am relieved because, after all, this is a time in one’s life when being sensible is mandatory.
It’s a landmark beyond the imagination of the 21-year-old me, who was lucky to make 22 following a late night mishap with a chicken burger and a bedsit grill.
But here I am and I’m determined to enjoy being able to play the ‘life experience’ card on a regular basis and offer free advice whether the recipient wants it or not.
Of course, there are many things I shall miss about being young, including being able to stay up all night before doing an honest day’s work.
Nowadays, a night on the town is usually followed by an unproductive weekend and the need to spend plenty of time in a darkened room.
Back in my twenties and early thirties I could eat and drink what I wanted and often did.
Now, an invitation to go out for a curry and a few pints of fizzy beer is only accepted following a rigorous examination of the pros and cons.
The main con being at least a week of unbearable heartburn, which increasingly feels like a dress rehearsal for something far more serious.
I also try to avoid supping coffee once the morning has ended and the calorie content on everything I buy, although often disregarded, now passes for essential reading.
Another area where I now show my age is music and although I’m mightily proud that our 12-year-old has inherited some of my musical tastes, I have caught myself describing some of the more modern tunes she listens to as a ‘row’ or ‘racket’.
I will tell anybody who wants to know that music of the 1990s surpasses that of the 1960s when it comes to its influence on British culture.
I can see younger friends and colleagues’ eyes glaze over when I detail the various famous clubs and bars I visited in my youth and don’t get me started on the various gigs I’ve witnessed over the years.
Even though I realise that these not-so-epic tales of yesteryear are interesting to me only, it doesn’t stop me from droning on about them and that’s the point of being that little bit older – you care a lot less about what others think about you.
This is largely why I am not remotely bothered that my beard is beginning to resemble a badger’s tail and also why I care not a jot that our kids recoil with embarrassment whenever I pull on my flat cap.
Despite the years of laughing at those friends who spend their free time brushing up on their putting and driving skills, I have recently made it known that I am open to learning how to play golf.
While I’m not sure whether I’d ever want to own a jumper with an eagle motif, let alone a funny pair of trousers, it does seem like a pastime that a man of my age should consider taking up.
At the risk of sounding like an inspirational Facebook meme, I appreciate the fact that age is just a number and that how old you are shouldn’t necessarily dictate how you live your life.
That’s all well and good until you suffer a broken night’s sleep due to that beef madras and late night mug of latte.
That’s when being middle aged really kicks in.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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