It doesn’t matter how much imagination or empathy you’ve got, sometimes it’s hard to know what something feels like til you’re doing it.
What I’m doing these days is being nearly 50.
(Less than a fortnight, since you ask.)
From the advantage of youth, you’d have thought that 50 was the end of the world – the beige gateway to a scrapheap of mint-sucking old biddies. That by the time you reach that outpost, you’ll be more or less exhausted, past it and just waiting for the tartan blanket of dotage to be pulled up to your whiskery chin.
Turns out, it’s not really like that. It feels exactly the same as being nearly 40, nearly 30 and, probably, nearly 20, though I can’t remember that far back.
There is one thing, though. There’s the pressure – the pressure to resist being here with every artificially plumped-up cell of my body.Fight age, defy the years, hide the signs, disguise the inevitable.
Fight age, defy the years, hide the signs, disguise the inevitable – failure to mask, dye or conceal is letting the side down, apparently.
Good grief. What is going on?
Are we expected to pretend that we aren’t, in fact, almost five decades old with all that comes with it? Seems so. How can we, then, square up all the wisdom, adventures, loves and losses that it took this long to acquire?
Along with the grey hairs and wrinkles, I have also been given the awareness that I may, in fact, be mortal, the clock is ticking and I’ve got too damn much to do to worry about resisting the inevitable and putting on a facade.
Look at all the pictures I took in about five minutes – not one of them said something helpful like:
- Face cream that smells nice and makes you look pretty
- Sun lotion to make you comfortable in your own skin
- Eye serum that feels nice
- OK, you’re wrinkled, but this’ll make you feel happier
- Fight the signs of time-wasting
- You’ll look like you, only slightly more moist
- Wear this, it won’t make much difference, but you’ll feel like you made an effort
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