Monday, May 6, 2013

Middle-Aged vs Old

I started saying I was middle-aged when I turned forty and that was twenty years ago. I still feel middle-aged but now the idea of Old is starting to creep into my consciousness.

It was like that in my late thirties. I was constantly thinking about the middle-aged thing as thirty-seven turned to thirty-eight, and then flipped over into thirty-nine. When should I start calling myself middle-aged, what should I do about it? It turned out turning forty was much ado about nothing. Of course my body was changing and my face recorded it. Over the last twenty years I would sometimes be surprised by what I would see in the mirror. Our sense of self tells us, "I am who I always was." However, middle-age brought a slow shift in my behavior that was less noticeable but more profound then the lines etched on my face.

A beautiful night and a full moon used to fill me with feelings of WANT. I would want romance, adventure, kisses in the moonlight or a fast ride on a motorcycle. I still feel when such a night surprises me with its soft beauty. I might even go outside and stand silent in the moonlight. There is still longing but it's made up of melancholy and awareness of beauty. I don't feel that wild call anymore. I am fully middle-aged.

This Saturday was such a night. Michael and I went to a concert and took the MAX in and out of downtown. The train was packed with young people radiating restless energy. Where is the party, where is my new love? The chatter was of parties and places to be and people to be with. I was just glad to watch them and then get in my car and go home.

Old will probably be the same. If old age comes as middle-age came, I have time, but it WILL come. I will notice sometime in my seventies that I no longer care as much, or I care in a different way. I will watch the movers and doers and they will be to me as the young people on the train. I will wish them well as they steer this old world. I am old now, I will think, its your turn.