I have decided that because this year has been so shitty, I am not going to count my next birthday. What does it matter anyway how old I am. Not that everybody agrees. Apparently it matters quite a lot – we over 60’s are stuck in COVID world and are continually referred to as the ‘elderly’ and the ‘vulnerable’. Bloody cheek. This labeling isn’t helping my mental health.
Interesting it was only last year that The Office for National Statistics said although 65 has traditionally been seen as the start of old age, 70 could be seen as the “new 65”. And that’s they said is because many people who reach this milestone birthday can still expect to live another 15 years. If that’s the case then 60 is just middle age.
Anyway, come December I am going to be 60 again. I didn’t have a 60th birthday as I was stuck in a Berlin ICU hospital watching over one of my children who had fallen off a balcony on his head and trying to get nurses to understand my broken German. Really what kind of language puts adjective verbs and almost everything else at the end of a sentence. The hospitals and doctors were brilliant which is more than I can say for the bedside manner of some of the nurses. I was told by my German girlfriend not to take it personally it is a cultural thing.
I didn’t particularly mind missing my 60th as I have never been one for big parties. It did however take me a while to accept 60 as I have been lying about my age since I turned 40 much to the annoyance of my younger cousins who complain that they have now overtaken me.
Of course, I wouldn’t have lied if we didn’t live in such an ageist society. When I left the BBC at the age of 50 I was the oldest by at least 15 years of my team. For me not being entirely truthful was about avoiding being judged – and yes that does happen. Fortunately, I look good and I know I could easily pass for someone in their mid-fifties. So why wouldn’t I?
At the weekend the clocks went back – so if they – whoever they are can fiddle with the time then so can I. “When you don’t take charge of time you become father time’s bitch,” not sure who said that and its a bit sexist but well, I ain’t nobody’s bitch.
Einstein determined that time is relative –in other words, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference. Admittedly right now COVID is skew-whiffing (maybe I have just made this word up I am well known for my malapropisms) time because despite doing very little time seems to have sped up considerably.
I still remember as a child waiting impatiently for the birthdays, holidays or Wishing Day to come round. Yes Wishing Day – you mean you didn’t have a Wishing Day? Ours was the middle of September. We would sit on the rocking chair in the lounge and make a wish which would then magically turn up in the oven. Obviously not on. And it really did feel like magic. My mother would have spent weeks trying to find out what our wish would be. One-year Brian and I suspected that maybe there weren’t any magic fairies, so I decided to test the magic. I wished for a dollies cradle which I was sure my mother would never have guessed. And when I ran to the oven – there it was a beautiful little lace trimmed dollies cradle. Well my maternal grandpa was a magician!
So, I am not working, I have no ties, I have nobody telling me what to do, and if my time is relative to my life then I am going to be the boss. I guess it’s about a mindset. I know because I can waste entire afternoons.
Now I just need to walk the walk rather than talk the talk.
“Let’s be careful out there”