When Is It OK to Admit That You Might Not Be Young Anymore?

Am I getting old?  Or am I just getting lazy?

Sixty-something is one of those awkward stages in life. Like middle-school. Or kindergarten. Life is changing, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for change. Sometimes a kid feels like he can’t wait for kindergarten or middle school.  Other times, the same kid wants everything to stay the same. Maybe we could put off kindergarten or middle school until next year? Probably not. Ready or not, change comes on its own schedule.

I think this particular awkward stage starts at around age 51. Am I middle-aged, or am I beginning to feel old? Is it my imagination, or is it really harder to land a job when you’re past 50?

The awkward stage gets discombobulating between 61 and 65. Those commercials on TV for miracle prescription drugs — are those commercials talking to me?

After you hit the big six-oh, it’s not so easy to pretend that you’re middle-aged. Lots of folks over 60 claim they don’t feel any different than they did in their 30s and 40s. (Let’s do a three-mile fun run. Let’s start a new business. Let’s visit China.) Are these folks in denial? Or do they just have younger genes than me?

At 61, I definitely don’t feel middle-aged anymore, and it’s definitely not easy to get a new job, or buy health insurance. But I won’t qualify full Social Security until age 66, and I don’t qualify for Medicare. I’m in between. It’s an awkward stage.

I still have responsibilities, work to do, but my short-term memory isn’t so reliable. I keep a list so I won’t forget anything important.

After breakfast, first thing I feel like is taking a nap. Is that a sign that I’m getting old? Or am I just getting lazy? Was I always this lazy? Maybe it’s depression? Or Seasonal Affective Disorder? Do they have a pill that will make me feel ready to take on the world?

I have to stop blogging now. Looking at the computer screen makes my eyes feel dry and scratchy. Yes, those commercials for soothing eye drops are talking to me.

Here’s my plan: One soothing drop in each eye. Look at the list to make sure there’s nothing that can’t be put off. Take a nap.

I’ll think about getting old tomorrow.

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11 Comments

Filed under Aging, Health

11 responses to “When Is It OK to Admit That You Might Not Be Young Anymore?

  1. I am 52 and am a member of AARP. As I look through one of their magazines, I realize that a lot of the articles discuss social security and medicare. This information just isn’t relevant to a person in her early 50s, so I probably won’t renew my subscription.

    It seems that if an organization wants to sell you something, they will fit you into one of their broad categories. I have definitely by-passed midde age, but don’t feel like a senior citizen, yet, and can’t even begin to think of retiring for many years. I think someone needs to come up with a name for the category of people who fall into the age bracket of 48 – 62. (Besides calling us baby boomers.)

    And the thing with the nap – I think that happens at almost every age. What do babies do after they eat their first meal of the day? They take a nap.

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  2. Judy, thanks for reading and commenting. Welcome to that awkward age. Wait until they start offering you the senior discount at McDonalds, or the movies.

    I think I tried to hang onto middle age until I was about 58. At 62, I’m collecting Social Security, but I’m fighting the “senior citizen” label. That’s for people over 70!

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  3. Old is always ten years older than you are, but as I approach my 59th birthday, it’s getting harder to tell myself that I look “young for my age.” When I was hanging out with my parents recently (who are 84 and 85) I felt a lot perkier. It was bad enough that during a parent conference five years ago when I was 54, a mother talked about how her ex-husband was 50 – ANCIENT! she and her daughter had no idea I was even older.

    While my parents were here we went looking for a card for my uncle who’s turning 90. He has dementia, so it’s not like he’s going to know who gave it to him. I kind of liked the one that said, “I smell old people.” Geez, do I want to be at the other end of that joke some day? Growing old “gracefully” is a crock, but Botox can make you look less worried about the prospect. 🙂

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  4. Chris

    63 too young to retire, too old to start a new business. Too young for medicare, too poor to wait to collect social security. The economic situation has caused my business which was small to begin with to be virtually non exsistant. The costs to remain in business such as liability insurance, workmans comp., commerical truck insurance, medical insurance has placed be where I am now in limbo. I have my health so I can be grateful for that!

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  5. I read your post and wished I’d wtirten it

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  6. Well, you put me in an age bracket. 48 John? I think raise that to at least 50, and maybe a little higher? Sigh… Soon, I’ll be able to call about the life insurance they sell on TV, for people between 50 and ancient. And, you seem so young to me. Wait! I think that last sentence puts me right there with you (and the other old timers). Truly, I would like to take a nap now.

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  7. Thanks, Dogkisses! Since I’ve immersed myself in writing an Ebook, I’ve been energized and not taking so many naps. But it’s hard to self-regulate when you live and work in one room, and I’m to the point now of overworking. I’m exhausted but wide awake.

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  8. I’m so sixty but pretend I’m a hipster.

    Hang in.

    Regards

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  9. I wrote a piece on “napping”……I’m a great believer…….and I’m waaaaaay past sixty five.

    http://trooperstale.com/

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  10. Richard N

    I’m 64 and I sure have mixed feelings about it. Some days I ‘feel like’ I could walk 10 miles. Other days, I just try to get through as best I can and hope I don’t have to call the paramedics. Very odd time. My mind seems to work pretty well, but my body… well… not so happy. Lots of problems, though (happily) none are life threatening. Like glaucoma.
    I do look younger than I am. Most folks are surprised to find out my age. I always have issues at places when I try to get a senior discount. Like a senior bus pass. The lady was ‘really’ angry at me, but I had all the right ID. She was so sure I was trying to scam the system… LOL. My Mom is 89, still drives, and looks maybe 70. My 67 year old sister can pass for 40. The point is that I guess we got good ‘looks’ genes… but we are all fighting various diseases and truly don’t feel as good as we look.
    Anyway… yeah… I do feel old quite often. And, yes, I’ve had to make lifestyle adjustments because of it. Like the bus. DMV won’t issue me a license due to my eyesight. That, alone, has had a huge impact on how I feel about myself… and my age.
    Yeah, I love a good early afternoon nap !!

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    • Thanks for the thoughtful note, Richard. I was 61 when I wrote this post, and now I’m 64. People always say I look younger, but I feel a little bit older with each passing month.

      I hope your eyesight will improve. I’ve always thought that losing one’s sight would be one of the worst hardships. My number one hobby is reading. But loss of mobility — whether it’s trouble walking, or no longer being able to drive — is a major loss of freedom.

      I’ve been thinking for a while that it’s prudent for people to try to find a home that’s on one level (no stairs) and close to public transportation. It’s best to position ourselves for conveniences before we really need them. Once a person is in serious decline, it becomes more difficult to make decisions, and even more difficult to make major changes.

      Good to have family and friends nearby who you can help and who can help you!

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