Saturday, January 17, 2015

How Old Do You Feel?

I saw Liam Neeson in an interview the other day. They asked him how old he felt (he’s 62). He said he didn’t see himself doing action films any more, but he really feels about 37. 

I read a long time ago that when you ask the older generation how old they feel, it is generally somewhere in the 30s. I wonder why that is. Do we peak in our 30s and continue to fondly remember those days?
Once I hit 60 and thought back on it, I realized that mentally I am probably 35... somewhere in mid 30s.

My body tells me different, of course. My knees are shot, my back is shot, I need hearing aids and a refill of my glasses prescription, my brain doesn’t respond as quickly as I would like and memory lapses, in light of my mother’s dementia, worry me. But still, I will turn 72 in a month and there is no way that I feel 72.

(Well, maybe today I do.  With continuing intestinal problems, I contacted my doctor who says to wait until Monday and then report back to her)

There seems to be a HUGE market in anti-aging creams, pills, and surgical procedures. I never understood that. I’m 72. I want to be treated like I’m 72. I earned the respect given to a person my age. I don’t want people to look at me, see this unnaturally young face and assume that I can do things that younger people do, which not only can I not do, but which I have no interest in doing.

Age is such a strange thing. I don’t understand why people are embarrassed to be a certain age. My grandmother went so far as going to the big old fashioned family bible and changing the year of her birth. I still don’t know exactly how old she was when she died.

My friend’s children gave her a surprise birthday party when she turned 60 and she had a toddler-like tantrum because it meant that everybody knew how old she was and she had been trying to keep her age secret. I couldn’t understand that.

I have salt and pepper hair and wrinkles and age spots and I earned them all and am proud of them.
Besides, the longer you live the more memories you have.  Someone from The Lamplighters posted a great picture yesterday.  It's from 1995 and it's when the entire company packed up a show and took it to the 2nd annual Gilbert & Sullivan festival in Buxton, England.

What a wonderful trip that was.  One of the reasons I'm sorry the Lamplighters book 3 never got written is because this story is now untold.  We brought my mother.  She had never experienced theater at all, really, and at this intensity, it was quite an experience for her -- two G&S shows a day for the length of the festival.

Walt was part of the set crew and they had to build the set on the street outside the theater.  Our show (Princess Ida) got great scores from the judge ("adjucator") and the photo below is in front of the theater, when we were all dressed up to go to the awards banquet, where we won all the big awards, and I got a kiss from my favorite D'Oyly Carte performer, John Reed, when I presented him with copies of our two histories.

I think it was more theater than my mother bargained for, but when it was over, we took her to Amsterdam so she could visit with her in-laws there.  She was about Walt's age when we went, and now I understand why it was so exhausting for her!


Harriet said...

No one seems to understand why I have no interest in "anti-aging" products. If you're not aging, you're dead.

I wouldn't mind having the energy I had at fifty, but heck, I'm still kicking.

Mary Z said...

I'm with you. I've bloody well earned all of these gray hairs and wrinkles (laugh lines?) and I'm going to flaunt them! And I want all the discounts I can get, too. LOL