Children are always excited about their age. “How old are you? I am four and a half!” They are very excited to grow up. Age appears in fractions. And teenagers, want to be eighteen. Why? They have the freedom to vote, marry and move out of the parental home. Which means no control or restrictions.
They feel it is cool to be twenty, they own the world and they cannot ever do anything wrong. So many experiences are there, so much to imbibe. So many new things to try and also the hormones are raging, so it is exciting. When a person is 25, he/she feels that he/she is a fully functioning adult.
Then the age of thirty comes. Suddenly this person starts to feel old and does not want to admit he has turned thirty. As if that is a bad thing. And if this person is not married by then, this person feels doomed. He/she will not find a partner; he/she is doomed to a life of loneliness.
Then this person pushes forty. What is he/she pushing? It is just an age. You cannot remain 18 forever, for Heaven’s sake! But here the midlife crisis starts to take shape. You gain weight, and you feel the burden of the world is on you. You start to feel you are stagnating, and want a make over. And to regain the feelings of youth, some even indulge in an affair.
After this a person reaches fifty. Imagine, it is like the end of the world. You are supposed to be sick, old and miserable. You cannot be expected to enjoy life, or learn anything new. You could have become a grandparent by now, so you are considered a mother’s answer to a baby sitter. You have creaky joints, you need glasses to see properly and your hair thins as well as turns grey.
After this everything is downhill. You are getting older, senile and losing your memory. You do not remember what you did yesterday, though you remember what you ate as a child. You potter around the house and get in everyone’s way. You want to know what is happening, and when someone decides to explain, you wander away half way through.
You are supposed to hit seventy, and then things slow down. You pass each day with the count of hours. You are not willing to make long term investments. Your memory plays tricks on you. You do not remember your spouse’s name and you forget the road that leads to your home. But insist on going out!
When you want something, the larger the number, the happier you are. But with age, you do not want to cross 25, you want to remain young forever. The young look at the old with pity, the old smirk. The young will get there soon, and the pity can turn inwards!
Some old people envy the young their age, their vigor and energy. When an elderly lady is trying a fast walk in the park, and she sees a young girl zip by, she will suddenly feel tired. The toned body and youthfulness will bring back memories. It is enough to make a person want to cry.
Many try to arrest the age by either dieting to stay ultra slim; color their hair to hide their grey hair; suck in their bellies to hide a beer gut; and try to dress trendy. Many elderly men will wrap a muffler around their neck and wear long sleeve shirt always to hide wrinkles. They will practice a gait to appear full of energy. They fight the onslaught of age tooth and nail. Maybe that is why they lose them! I have seen people try desperate measures to hide their receding hairline and an appearing bald pate.
When you are young, you want to be old. To be able to take decisions and be the master of your life. But when you start to get older, you try to turn the clock back. There is no pleasing some people, honestly!