Last weekend, I had the weird déjà vu experience of interviewing an Emergency Services worker who my wife used to babysit many, many years ago when he was just a toddler. It made me realize that not only am I not getting any younger but, consequently, I also happen to be getting a whole lot older. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?
In any case, that encounter, plus a whole lot of other recent experiences made me start thinking about all those subtle signs that start cropping up at some point in your life and make you realize that, hey, you’re definitely on that slippery slope into agedness.
One sure sign was when my eldest daughter and her boyfriend recently made an offer to purchase their first home. It took me back to when my wife and I were doing the same thing 25+ years ago and considered ourselves to be full-fledged adults. When your kids are suddenly going through the identical experience, it makes you appreciate exactly how far along you are on the journey of life.
Of course, there are plenty of other road signs that you’re getting old. Here are just a few:
1) The music you listened to when you were growing up is now so old it no longer even qualifies to be played on the oldies radio stations.
2) Not only are you constantly complaining about your aches and pains, your children have started to complain regularly about theirs, as well.
3) The old expressions you use are so out of date you constantly have to explain them – and they don’t even appear in the dictionary anymore. Instead, they’ve now become the conversational equivalent of cave drawings.
4) When you watch “old celebrities” on television or read about them in magazines, you suddenly realize they’re the same age as you are. And, frankly, none of them are looking all that great anymore.
5) Virtually all the technology you grew up with (tape recorders, VHS machines, CD players, home phones, etc.) is now obsolete. Miraculously, the one technology you figured was gone forever, vinyl records, inexplicably lives on.
6) Inevitably, you have to compare the prices of everything you buy with what it cost when you were growing up. That’s followed by a sentence that goes something like, “Why, when I was a kid you could buy…”
7) You enjoy playing the “Dead or Alive” game with all the movie stars, singers, and sports figures you grew up with. Not surprisingly, every time you play, you end up with more on the dead list than the live one.
8) Crooked, inept politicians from years past start to look more and more attractive compared with some of the choices available today. Richard M. Nixon, come back! All is forgiven.
9) You constantly need to make a list of where you put the list of the lists of all the things you’re supposed to do today. After much searching, you’re able to locate that list in the back of the refrigerator where you mistakenly put it. Now you start wondering that – if the list is in the fridge – where the heck is that jug of milk you were supposed to put away? Once that’s all sorted out, you begin the search for your reading glasses, which are, obviously, required to read the list of the list of the list. Then you forget what you were looking for in the first place and decide to take a nap on the couch. Repeat as necessary.
10) The hapless Toronto Maple Leafs of your youth are now perennial Stanley Cup Champions. Hmmm. Apparently, I’m not as ancient as I thought.
There’s a silly old expression that goes something like, “You’re only as old as you feel.” In case you’ve already forgotten, check out #3 on the list above and see why it’s an old expression. Who actually uses that phrase when, instead, you start feeling old pretty much all the time and the first question you pose to your spouse each morning is, “How’d you sleep last night?”
In any case, if you’re feeling old today, take solace. You’re not alone. It happens to all of us and it’s pretty much unavoidable, no matter how much you fight it. So, to everyone reading this, here’s to getting old. Cheers! May you enjoy every moment of it. Now, with all due respect, “Get off my lawn.”