1 EAGLETON NOTES: Age Is a State of Mind



Wednesday 17 July 2013

Age Is a State of Mind

I have been having my leg pulled a because of an article in that rag the UK's Daily Mail.  Frankly if one reads that then one has no right to cast aspersions of any sort on anyone about age or any other thing.   However I do feel obliged to respond.

Apparently researchers have come to the conclusion that there are 50 signs that indicate that we are ageing.  I was rather gobsmacked to read the list.  I've divided it up into sections and omitted a few.  The grammar of the list is that of the journalist, not of me.

Allowance has to be made in my categorisation and comments for the fact that my Mum said I was born with my pension book in my hand.  In actual fact it took me until I was in my sixties before I became really young.

These are things which never, well hardly ever, apply to me; my comments are in parentheses: 

  • Saying "In my day."
  • Saying "It wasn't like that when I was young."
  • Falling asleep in front of the TV.
  • Needing an afternoon nap.
  • Struggling to use technology. [I've always been a gadget geek.]
  • You start complaining about more things. [I complain far less than I used to.  Life is far more precious now and I find relatively little in everyday life to complain about and I've stopped campaigning on the Big Issues - that's for the young.]
  • Complaining about the rubbish on TV these days. [It's better now than it ever was - although I'm not sure that's a huge compliment.]
  • Misplacing your glasses/bag/keys etc. [One of the hardly evers.]
  • Preferring a night in with a board game than a night out on the town. [I never could stand board games and I never could stand nights out on the town either,]
  • You talk to colleagues who are so young they don't know what an Opal Fruit is. [If you have colleagues you can't be that old.  I never was very fond of Opal Fruits.]
  • You start taking slippers to a friends house. 
  • Taking a keen interest in the Antiques Road Show.
  • Falling asleep after one glass of wine. [I used to do that at one point in my life even  when in the middle of a meal, until the doctor casually mentioned that one of the heart pills I was taking could have that effect.  He changed it and the problem disappeared.]
  • Never going out without your coat. [What's a coat?  Oh yes.  The thing I wear for funerals: a Crombie I bought before I came to Lewis 40 years ago.  It's still going strong - for funerals.]
  • Taking a flask of tea or coffee on a day out.  [I avoid drinking tea or coffee when out because of the inevitable consequences.]
  • Always driving in the slow lane or below 70 in the middle lane of a motorway. [Don't get me started on that one!]
  • Consider going on a 'no children' cruise for a holiday. {Never have, never will.]
  • Gasping for a cup of tea.  [Never have and don't anticipate that I ever will.]
I have had the following feelings or traits for as long as I can recall:

  • Thinking that policemen, doctors and teachers look young.
  • Putting everyday items in the wrong place
  • Hating noisy pubs.
  • Choosing clothes for comfort rather than for style. [Preferably comfort and style.]
  • Forgetting people's names. [Ever since an incident in 1965.]
  • Not knowing any songs in the Top Ten. [Actually as a teenager at school I was pretty clued up but I didn't know the Top Ten was still going.  Is the New Musical Express still published?]
  • Joining the National Trust. [I joined in my early 20s!]
  • Drinking sherry. [I stopped doing that many years ago.  With the exception of Tio Pepe - long story.]
  • Finding you have no idea what young people are talking about. [I had that problem when I was a child/teenager/adult.]
These are fairly recent acquisitions:

  • Really enjoying crosswords or puzzles.
  • Feeling stiff.
  • Obsessive gardening or bird feeding. [Well almost obsessive this summer.]
I'm not sure where this one falls:

  • Feeling you have the right to tell people exactly what you think even if it isn't polite. [I often have the feeling but I rarely act upon it.]

What do you think of the researcher's list?


  1. I think most of the things on that list for me would fall either under 'never did' or 'always did'. What does that make me? Middle aged?

    1. Pretty much the same as I am Monica. I'm just a bit more midge aged than you are.

    2. Are you trying to be funny or did your fingers slip on the keyboard or is that a special Hebredian kind of age? 'midge aged' ... Caused a wry smile here 'cos I'm having trouble enough with just one nasty insect bite since last weekend. Certainly not making me feel any younger...

    3. Oh how funny Monica. I think I must have misspelt it and the spillchucker has substituted midge as being the nearest to my misspelling. Either that oir I really was having a senior moment.

  2. Je m'en fous. Maybe that should be added to the list.

  3. A really funny list. As for me -- I'm always gasping for a cup of tea. In fact as a young teenager, my grandmother and I used to sit at one end of the dining table sharing a pot of tea, while all the rest of the family drank coffee.

    Ever since I was a teenager, I've always hated board games, especially when I had to play with my husband's sister, who was so competitive that she always chose new games for which no one else knew the rules, which made it easier for her to win, and believe me, she HAD to win, which made for some very uncomfortable moments.

    I've never been a pub crawler either, even at the age when many of my friends were. I guess I never really was young, and as someone said the other day, that rowboat has left the quay! xoxo

    1. Well, Carol, we've got a dislike of boardgames in common anyway. I do drink tea - Green, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong and Red Bush mainly: I just never gasp for it.

  4. I gasp for coffee.
    I will sleep in front of tv if I am tired and bored... or i eat too much sugar!
    Apart from that I think I am ageing quite well - ask me again in 20 years.

    1. Okay Fiona 20 years it will be. By then you won't even be as old as I am now so you are young both in body and in spirit.

  5. That last one.
    It rings very loudly for me, although I am very rarely rude when I do it.

    1. Jaz I suspect that many of us feel like that but few of us have the courage when it comes to the moment. Good to see you back in Blogland it really is.

  6. I have a friend who tells no one - not even her son - how old she is. S she never thinks in terms of age, and I think this must be wonderfully liberating

    1. Frances my Mother was the same until we discovered her date of birth on her christening napkin. She was a great example of not thinking in terms of age and had friends much older and much younger than herself. It wasn't until she reached her 90s that she became really proud of her age. I think you are correct. It was/is liberating.

  7. Sorry to say that most of the items on that list have been with me for quite some time, so maybe I'm wayyyy past middle-age!!!
    Falling asleep in front of the tv.....I've got that down to an art.

    1. In all probability, Virginia, you are just plain, downright normal. I'm never sure that I think very much of these 'findings' researchers come up with.

  8. This morning in my local newspaper my eyes fell on this quote ascribed to Mark Twain: "When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it's a sure sign you're getting old."
    While I was searching for the original quote in English (because of course in the paper it was in Swedish translation), I also found another by the same author: "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

    1. What apposite quotes Monica. Mark Twain, mind you, it would seem, had a quote for almost everything.


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