I guess because lifestyles are changing and we are being active longer in life, there has been a resetting of the stages of life. Now I’m trying to figure out where I fit.
Adulthood used to start at 21. Now, most 21 year olds are still living at home or are supported by their parents, so we certainly can’t call them “adults.”
With adulthood starting so late now, 50 is the new 30, they say. I wish they had said that when I was 50. I would have enjoyed another shot at being 30 after I had learned a little more about life. As it was, I missed the re-do.
Middle age starts at 60 now rather than 45, but “middle age” isn’t accurate when most of us are only living into our 90s if we’re lucky. (If math is not your subject, you’d have to live to 120 for 60 to be middle aged.)
So how do you know when you are officially OLD if “age is just a number”? Can I still claim middle age?
According to the jokes, you’re old when your back goes out more than you do. You’re old when you stop buying green bananas. You’re old when the candles cost more than the cake.
At this point, my back is still okay, I buy green bananas, and I haven’t had a birthday cake for years. I was still in a quandary until I began to compare what older people do to what younger people do.
If you’re a senior citizen, you probably didn’t stay up to see the New Year in like the young folks. You went to bed at 10 p.m. or so, knowing that the New Year was coming whether you watched the ball drop or not. I, however, got home about 1:00 that morning. So, am I not old?
You’re old if you were born during or not long after World War II ended. You grew up hearing about that war and proud of your country. You said the Pledge of Allegiance in school every day and sang along with the National Anthem at every sporting event you ever attended. You’ve stopped watching sports events where the players kneel during that Anthem.
Most senior adults are probably more conservative than liberal. Winston Churchill once said, “If you aren’t a liberal at 20 you have no heart. If you aren’t a conservative at 40, you have no brain.”
That has been true for me. I think I was liberal at 20, more to irritate and challenge my elders than because I really believed the liberal line. Now that my elders are pretty much gone and I have no one left to challenge, my brain tells me that a conservative stance works better for mankind in the long run, and I seem to be on that long run.
Today, you are old if you still write in cursive. Modern children can’t do that, which is okay because by the time they find the hot entries in your diary after you die, they won’t be able to read your stunning revelations.
You are also old if you don’t understand your grandchildren’s motive for attending college being “to find my place in the universe.” You still think going to college is about finding a job. The first thing I think when I hear that a young person is majoring in “general studies” or “art history” is, well, there’s a young person with a so-called education who will be an old person still asking his parents for money to pay his car insurance.
Sleep patterns change as the years pile up. It’s no problem to get up at 6 a.m. now, whereas in my youth I was challenged by rising before 10:00. Oh, I arrived at school before 8:00 every morning, but I can’t say I was fully awake. I don’t need as much sleep now, and sadly, I don’t sleep as well as I did then.
You also develop a different approach to food as you age. Dinner time now is closer to 5:00 than to 8:00, and if you do eat a heavy meal you put the Tums on your nightstand.
Older people don’t depend on technology as younger people do.
If four older people go to dinner, they actually put their phones away and talk to each other.
They still write reminders on yellow sticky notes or little tablets they keep close. They put their notes on the refrigerator. They do not tap out notes to themselves on their phones, where they will forget where they are.
Older people prefer paper. I still like to consult a paper map on a trip and don’t fully trust my GPS. I like a real calendar on my desk and rarely use the one on my phone. I can figure a 60 percent discount at Dirt Cheap without a calculator. I read real books and real newspapers and find it tedious to read a computer screen, not to mention how hard it is on my eyes.
I have never asked Siri anything, and Alexa does not turn on my music or set the timer on my stove while I’m still at Walmart.
Losing my phone would be an inconvenience, not a disaster.
I don’t have Smart TV. I watch whatever is on cable TV without Hulu or Amazon Prime or streaming. It limits the frustrating choices in life.
Oh my! According to my own observations, it appears that I am-- I hate to say it-- old! But maybe we’ll keep adjusting the limits until my age (which is none of your business) will be young again!