Confessions · The Girl in Trousers

The Aging Pledge

Age is a delicate topic. Pick the right person and the right place and you can be in some serious spinach juice. If you haven’t drunk spinach juice, it’s bad.

I have never been good at picking people’s age. Someone would say, ‘Guess how old I am?’ and I would say, though not aloud, ‘How offendable are you?’. Age guessing was a complete mystery to me as a kid, but the one thing I did learn fast was folk hated getting old. Woe to me if I sprouted off an age above the real deal. To play it safe and keep the peace, I developed the knack of aiming low.

The older a person is the worse the subject of age gets. Twenty year olds grumble about the approaching three zero. The thirty digit crowd wail about the appearance of a stray grey hair. Go above forty and birthdays are banned and never spoken of. And sixty and beyonders aren’t any better. They treat age like an infectious disease.

All this thoroughly mystified me when I was thirteen. People spent more time telling me what they could no longer do than anything else. I’m pre-adult outlook entailed accepting your numerical figure and getting on with things.

That’s when I made a pact. I would, no matter what age, embrace the year I was given. No moaning, no guttural noises, no going into hysterics because I found a facial wrinkle. It would be a great year every year. The end.

I have a confession to make after revealing that vowel. I’ve caught myself of late talking about my age. Just a comment here and there about getting older. Friends I knew as a kid in nappies are getting engaged and married. Kids I knew as babies are now wearing mascara and hair gel.  It’s come as a bit of a shock. The odd, ‘Man, everyone’s growing up on me’, or ‘I feel old right now’ has slipped out of my gob.

I understand how it happens. Our brains don’t age and our bodies do so we cry, ‘Hang on, what’s happening to me? This can’t be right’. The funny reality of it all is life isn’t going to slow down. Ever. Time’s got a mission, a deadline and the pig-headed determination to steam roll everything forward. Better get used to it, hon.

So it’s on the anniversary of my twenty third year of existence that I’ve decided to retake my pledge. I will, no matter what age, embrace the year I am given. No moaning, no guttural noises, no going into hysterics if I find a facial wrinkle. It will be a great year every year. The end.

Amen.

xx The Girl In Trousers

P.S. While I worked on my b-day, Sydney decided to grant this country girl a sky full of clouds. Seriously, if there’s a wisp of vapor in the atmosphere, I can’t be trusted with a camera.

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