Thursday, 31 January 2008

Life begins at 44

According to the Guardian, 50 is the new 70. Or something. Stephen Moss’s article ‘It’s official: happiness resumes at 50’ comments on some research that shows you’re going to be the most depressed in your life at the age of 44. After that, apparently, it gets better. Not from here it doesn’t. Maybe it’s different for men. Moss says:
"The first 40 years of life is text, the rest is commentary," wrote Schopenhauer. .. I reached 50 last year, and far from being distressed by that supposedly defining moment, I've never felt better. I now accept that I am deep into my commentary period, and am enjoying it hugely.
Personally, I was pretty happy at 44. It felt good to be a grown-up at last. I would have quite liked to stop the clock then. There’s a lot of difference between being one side of 45 and being the ‘wrong side’. It’s embarrassing, for a start. And after a while, you begin realising that someone’s been stealing your life. It sounds as if Stephen Moss is happy to hand his over. I’m not ready to do that yet. I’m not ready for wisdom if that means accepting things. Because that means giving up. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel ready for that, even at 70.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Why Madonna is amazing

A conversation at work: Colleague: ‘Madonna is my hero. She’s amazing. She’s nearly 50.’ Me: ‘What’s so amazing about being nearly 50?’ I’m living a lie. People don’t know how old I am. I’ve always looked younger than I am. When I was 21 this was really annoying. Now I like it a bit better. I remember when I was a child hearing jokes about how women lie about their age. I never understood the jokes. But now I understand why they do it. It’s not vanity. It’s not trying to deceive people. It’s to see if anyone will notice. I wonder how long it will take before I start saying: ‘I’m 83 you know.’

Friday, 25 January 2008

Why should I worry?

Yes, I am a mature adult and I know there are other things I should be worrying about than whether I am still cool. And I do worry about other things. I worry about:
  • climate change.
  • getting fat.
  • globalisation.
  • the bills.
  • turning into my mother.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Woke up this morning, I was older than Elvis

‘Woke up this morning, I was older than Elvis.’ Is it just me or is that a great first line for a song? Yes, you get the blues when you realise you’re not young any more.

I’ve never been able to write songs so I’m writing this instead.

I’ve been wondering what I would say if someone asked what my blog was about and came up with the following:

  • How to stay hip when you are in your 40s, and whether it’s actually a good idea anyway.
  • or, if I’m feeling pretentious: The cultural implications of approaching middle age.
  • or, if I’m being really honest: What the hell is happening to me?
Elvis was the hippest person who ever lived. Well, maybe not all the time, but that doesn’t matter. It never bothered me when I passed the age Marilyn died (I’m not even sure what age that was) because I never identified with her. Maybe it’s because I was born when one of his songs was number one, but I always wanted to be Elvis Presley.

The problem is, when you’re older than Elvis, you can’t ask yourself ‘what would Elvis do?’. Because he never was 44. You’ve got to work it out for yourself. It’s one of the things this blog will be about. There might be others. I’ll see how it goes.