Not just a number

One of my followers commented that she liked the idea of ’58 being middle-aged!’. I guess she felt that middle-age is somewhat younger than 58??

It got me thinking.

What is middle-age? Or should I say – When is middle-age? Are you middle-aged right now? If not, when do you think you will be? Or, from where you’re standing, is middle-age something that happens to younger people??

Wikipedia has something to say about it – – so middle-age is officially between 40 / 45 and 60 / 65 – ish.

Bollocks to that.

Despite the name of my blog I don’t see myself as middle-aged at all. (But calling the blog ‘Not-really-middle-aged-yet free and single dot com’ would have been a bit long-winded!)

I suspect it’s what other people see when they look at me though – I have grey hair, I live alone with my cat, and I’m a volunteer with the National Trust, I’m a grandma, and I enjoy knitting. That sounds pretty middle-aged, to be fair.

However – I also go to the gym every other day, write a blog, own half a limited company and I’m about to start a new job at the National Science and Media Museum (yes, I got the job that I mentioned at the end of this post. I start on 8th July!!!) That doesn’t sound so middle-aged after all!!!

I don’t feel middle-aged. Well, I don’t feel like I imagine middle-aged people feel. I can still remember thinking that 25 was old… 40 does still sound old to me – it shocks me to realise it’s 18 years since I was that old!

Age is just a number – but I don’t think middle-age has anything to do with age. It has everything to do with state of mind. Some people are middle-aged by the time they’re 30 – others never quite get there.

Not being middle-aged is about attitude, energy and enthusiasm. It’s about being interested and interesting. It’s about being engaged, involved, having an opinion, giving a shit. It’s about taking the risk, getting out there, doing something different just for the hell of it, being brave. It’s about not putting up with the mundane, the boring, the ordinary. We only come this way once – it’s about making the most of every minute.

And as someone older and wiser than me once said – We should never complain about getting old, there’s many denied the privilege.

This blog – this very blog!! – has just reached #12 in Feedspot’s Top 20 blogs for women over 50!!! Chuffed to bits, me.

You can Follow or Share by scrolling down and hitting the appropriate button. If you want to read previous posts, go to the Home button up there at the top right and see what I’ve been writing about.

I always reply to comments from nice people.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. janeyjump says:

    Sorry, I can’t help you with that one ‘When do you think you will be middle aged’. I THINK I may have felt old when 40 came along, but that’s long forgotten! I’m approaching 70 now. ! hope that doesn’t prompt anything…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We live in such a youth-centric culture – and yet we also have an ageing population and people living longer (and healthier) into their later years. But as I said in my blog, middle-age really has nothing to do with actual age and lots to do with our attitude to life!! xx


    2. oldhowie says:

      Well I guess only someone else can calculate when you were middle aged ‘cos i suppose it’s halfway until you die so that would be the day you would know what date you were middle aged, if you weren’t dead that is….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, indeed…


  2. anglosvizzera says:

    Congratulations on your new job!! It sounds like it might be an interesting one too…and congratulations for your place in the “Over-50s Top Twenty Blog Charts”! You deserve to be at least in 12th place, but I’m sure you’ll soon rise up that chart (not that I’ve actually read any of the others…and probably won’t!)

    Yes, “middle age” is a strange one – it does seem to be a moveable feast from a subjective point-of-view and I now realise, from the Wiki definition, that I am approaching the end of that stage and presumably will soon be entering the “elderly” category.

    I remember my ex-mother-in-law, shortly after having met her, when we told her the exciting news that she was to become a grandmother for the first time. She was then 58 and I was 29. I think I must have said something about her being in the “middle-aged” category, at which point she became very agitated and implied that she was nowhere near that stage of life! But, it seems, she was actually well into it at that age.

    I accept that I am middle-aged but, like you, don’t feel that I behave in the stereotypical way – as a youngest child, I have always been a bit rebellious.

    And, as you point out, some people appear middle-aged at quite a young age. When I was a trainee radiographer in my late teens/early 20s, there were quite a lot of spinsters (that’s a dreadful word, isn’t it?), women who had got into radiography during the war and were still (and remained) single. Some of them were barely 40, if that, but to me they could have been 50 or more, going by their appearance and attitudes.

    However, the perception of age is now working the other way for me. When I look at people who are maybe 30 or so, men in particular, they look like they’re fresh out of school, which is a bit disconcerting if they have a responsible, adult profession.

    But then again, back in my early adulthood, most people had left home by the time they were 24 whereas now a lot of them, mostly men again, are still living at home as it’s so expensive for them to live elsewhere and, I think, they don’t feel as ‘grown up’ in many cases as their previous counterparts. The Italian phenomenon of “Mammoni” has now appeared here.

    As for being “elderly” – I worked for a while about 7 years ago for the staff bank in an NHS hospital. I was sent to “Care of the Elderly” for a week and at one point asked one of my colleagues there, “How old is elderly?” She said, “Over 65”. At the time, my older sisters, who I considered to be quite “youthful”, were 65 and 70 but clearly, according to the NHS definition, were “elderly”. They weren’t too chuffed about that!

    Anyway, my view is that age is whatever you feel and isn’t necessarily to do with how long we’ve been on the planet.

    Good luck for the 8 July 🙂


    1. I couldn’t agree more!!!


  3. Claudette says:

    My SIL died unexpectedly of cancer 6 weeks after diagnosis when she was 64. Makes you think about when middle age really does start, doesn’t it.

    What am I then? I’m 50 with an 11 and 14yo…I feel young(ish) unless I’m tired which is more often than not…so am I middle aged? I colour my hair but I’ve been gray since my early 40s (inherited from my mom’s side of the family)…does that make me middle age? I’m healthy, not overweight, but have a medical induced hearing loss and had to get reading glasses last few years ago…is that middle age? I am still active and engaged and I write this blog…but I don’t have a cat, or many cats. Middle age?? lol…

    It’s true what you say…there is no magic number that says you’re middle aged. Except, chances are, we all are. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry to hear that Claudette – we really do have to make the most of every minute!!

      Liked by 2 people

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