Things they don’t tell you about growing old

OK, I’m not that old, 47 if you really need to ask, but I can remember a time when that seemed ancient, so bear with me on this one. I’m feeling all grown up for once, as I’m writing this whilst awaiting my first day as a Juror. Have you noticed, you never see young people sitting in the jury box on a crime drama, now I know why, it’s oldies that can be relied on not to fidget for the 6 hours a day required. Or perhaps we are considered more fair and just in our advancing years.

On reflection, there are a few more things that I’ve recently noticed only come about with age.

Food – is it me, or is it the case that when you pass 40, the calorie count on your food has to be counted as double? When I was young I could (and did) eat for England without any effect on my waistline. Now it seems I only have to do the online shopping and I have gained a pound or two. Perhaps I should stop buying online and think of a 2 hour stint fighting my way around the local jungle gym, commonly known as Sainsburys, as part of my weekly exercise regime?

Hair – unlike some of my contemporaries, I am blessed with a full head of hair. This is a great relief because I am the spitting image of Grandad Hall, and he was as bald as a coot by the age of 30. But, as my darling 7 year old daughter politely pointed out (in a busy café) you can see the grey ones emerging. That’s not a real concern, after all, the likes of Clooney et al look half decent with the salt’n’pepper effect. What concerns me is that no one told me that my ears and nose would start to sprout their own magnificent follicles. What’s the etiquette here? Do you back comb, or give them a centre parting?


Image by Anders Ljungberg via Flickr

Emotions – now, I like to think of myself as a sentimentalist, after all I like a good Royal Wedding, especially when the Bridesmaid…let me get back to the point (rambling is another sign of aging apparently). But the other day I was on the tube and reading an article about the first repatriation of a fallen hero – Royal Marine Sgt Barry John Weston. All of a sudden I started to cry. Not just a moist eye, but big fat tears falling on the page. The lady next to me saw what was happening, and seeing the article that I was reading, she kindly asked if I was OK and did I know the soldier. Yes I was OK, and no, I didn’t know him. So, why the tears? But I also find myself welling up at the most inopportune moments such as the movies, playing with the kids etc This is very odd for me, after all I didn’t cry when my Grandma died (I was 23) but I blubbed for 2 days when my cat died (41) and the oncoming guilt trip after that realisation has set me off again.

The Gout by James Gillray. Published May 14th ...

Image via Wikipedia

Health – this a bit odd for me, I was a sickly child so maybe it’s youth over age in my case. But after I suffered from a kidney failure at the age of 21 and donated my left kidney to medical research my health and fitness knew no bounds. But now I feel like I’m beginning to teeter over the edge. I suffer from gout which everyone says is down to good living, but it must be good because I can’t remember it. I have the healthy food / bad food literature from the doc, and to be honest, reading that list I shouldn’t have gout – after all I can’t remember the last time I had Caviar! As I said, that good living must have been good if I can’t remember it. I can also predict the weather by the pain in my right collar bone – not that useful in the modern world of Smartphones, but it freaks out my mate Ben the ex-weatherman.

Keeping fit – it was easy before kids, I played golf twice a week and went to the heath club three nights a week for a swim and a sauna. Now, with kids, most of my time playing golf is spent making sure the girls don’t brain each other with their 9 irons, and if I go for a swim it’s less about the lengths and more about keeping my two most precious things from drowning (themselves or each other). And as I work from home, the walking commute is only about 4 yards from the backdoor to my office / den / refuge.

Perhaps as the girls have just started a new school term, maybe I should start a new me? I clearly need to fix some things – fitness and health are a given, but I’m cool about the new outwardly emotional me. And if anyone wants to add me to their Christmas list – a Remington Fuzz Away would be great!

David Long

About the author

David Long is the co-founder of mktgDIGITAL, a digital marketing agency, with offices in Farnborough and Paris, that focuses on channel marketing systems and services for the technology sector.

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