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.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:00 pm
Blaise is considering joining the legions of older golfers. Picture by Shutterstock

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.

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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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