Anyone who’s listened to the podcast I do with my friend CJ (What's My Age Again?) will know I recently passed a milestone birthday. You wouldn’t have to have been listening closely to understand that I was dragged kicking and screaming over that milestone.
I didn’t like staring sixty in the face, and I hated the fact there was nothing I could do about it
Age shall not weary them...?
Sixty years of age was significant for me. In my state of New South Wales, it allows me to apply for a ‘Seniors Card’ which is problematic in itself if you don’t self-identify as a ‘senior citizen’! And in truth, I don’t. The whole raison d'etre of the podcast (which is ostensibly about aging) is that neither CJ nor myself, or in fact, many of our friends and acquaintances, see themselves as ‘old’.
Of course, when you rail against aging as publicly as I have, it doesn’t take long for well-meaning people to roll out all the platitudes: Age is just a number; You’re only as old as you feel; or my personal (but not very PC) favorite, you’re only as old as the woman you feel.
The whole experience has been extensively covered on the podcast (links below) in a much more amusing way than I think I could muster right now. I’m a month into my sixties and nothing has changed… but in a very real way, everything has changed.
A case in point: I went to the doctor for a check up today, and her demeanor seemed to be greatly altered since my last visit… she did a calculation that she’d never done before (my blood pressure X my cholesterol X half the number you first thought of, or something like that) told her that there was an 8% chance I’d develop heart disease in the next five years.
By all accounts, that result wasn’t too bad. However, the fact I was now the subject of such calculations made me feel older. Much older.
Still, as I said the CJ on the podcast, the only thing worse than turning sixty is the alternative.