Today I am 18,091 days old.
The moon has orbited the earth 665 times since I was born and the total number of birthday candles on all my cakes so far has been 1,225!
I got these facts along with the information of how many times my heart has beaten thus far in life and how many breaths I’ve taken up until this moment, from the website www.you.regettingold.com.
It also contained data on what age I was when interesting world events occurred. I found this website in one of those dangerous moments when you start Googling stuff like yourself or your ex-loves out of boredom.
I was sat in the doctor’s surgery for the fourth time in four weeks when the sickening realisation hit me that I have officially joined the rank of people who regularly frequent medical centres.
In other words, I’m getting old!
As doctors only let you complain about one thing at a time, I have to keep making appointments for various problems ranging from aching joints, off balance feelings, itchy skin and ringing in my ears. I have become the very person I always thought I would never be.
Years ago, I would accompany my mother on numerous medical appointments, thinking this was the world of old people. I was convinced that I would never become one of these people who seemed constantly tired and made grunting noises when they tried to get out of chairs.
Now I remind myself of that vintage 1980s advert where the man goes to the GP’s surgery and repeatedly asks; ‘Doctor, doctor, can I have a prescription?’ This ad was designed to inform us that we don’t need a pill for every ill. Horrifyingly, I have joined the ‘doctor, doctor’ club!
I’m also aware that I’ve begun to discuss and compare my illnesses with others. I noticed there is an element of one-upmanship with some of the older patients, who try to top each other’s complaints. It’s almost like they have illness envy.
No doubt it’s only a matter of time before I too am competing with other patients to be in worse health than them. It was with this thought that I began Googling; ‘you’re getting old when’ as I waited for ‘doctor doctor’ to see me and stumbled across the aforementioned website informing me of my rapid ageing process.
Middle age is coming to get me and I appear to be powerless to resist.
I have begun to do things I saw my parents do and thought terribly boring, like watching the Antiques Roadshow and Question Time. I take great delight in perusing those catalogues that fall out of magazines, the ones that sell those egg shaped gadgets that deodorise your fridge.
I’m amazed at how breathtakingly seductive I find info-commercials on steam cleaners. If I stumble upon one, I’m like a rabbit caught in headlights. I have to watch the whole thing and get rather excited at the thought of killing 99.9 per cent of my household bacteria.
It’s odd to find yourself suddenly doing all those things you swore you never would. I’m in my forties and thought it would be at least another decade before I would be dressing for comfort, where I used to lust after stiletto heels, I now salivate over Memory Foam filled trainers.
Midlife has also brought with it an overwhelming urge to join The National Trust. I have found a new love of skulking around historical places and buying overpriced knickknacks from their gift shops. I am desperately hurtling toward a world of cardigans and Werthers Originals.
Changes are taking place within me; even my 20/20 vision has deserted me. It frustrates me that I have to reach for my glasses to read incoming texts. Putting on my make-up is a bit hit and miss too. I think I’ve achieved the Brigitte Bardot look but when I put my glasses on, I realise my make-up application is less Bardot and more May McFettridge.
The effect ageing is having on my body isn’t enjoyable, but I like where I am mentally; I’ve become less anxious with age. It seems just as you get your head together you’re body starts falling apart. Though it’s not all bad, today I’m only 18,091 days old, I’m younger today than I’ll be tomorrow. I like Eleanor Roosevelt’s take on ageing, she said; ‘Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again”.