Been away for a few months. Guess I didn’t write anything because I was sitting around getting depressed at the thought of being 50 … and now that I have reached that venerable old age where I should officially be heading for the scrap heap, well … I FEEL GREAT. I can only describe it as reaching that level of nonchalance where you don’t really care anymore. I’ve got nothing left to prove and no one is expecting me to prove anything, yet I have loads left to do, but youngsters think I am too old to do anything. I am not yet officially old and yet I am old enough to annoy youngsters by telling them that I too was once a youngster. I think I’m going to enjoy being 50. Anyway, here are some fifty thoughts written on my fiftieth birthday a few days ago.
Fifty Shades of Poo
In that long list of «things I have not yet done in life»; hezre are a couple that I can add: I have never read “Fifty shades of Gray” and I have never had the test for colon cancer. Now that I am fifty, though I have a few shades of grey, I still have a full and thick head of hair, and in this morning’s mail, I received an «invitation» from the local hospital to pop in and do the colon cancer test. The hospital letter assures me that the test is quick, easy and painless – I just plop a bit of my plop into a small test tube, then plop it in the mail and hopefully, my happy smiling postman will bring me an equally happy, smiley letter giving me the all clear. Poo in a tube, what could be easier? On the old test you had to plop six poos six times in six seperate tubes – sounds like the old test really was a load of old sh**.
Ready to Retire
Other unmistakebale signs that I have reached fifty: a letter from the local work and pensions department telling me just how many years I have left to slave away before I can qualify for a full pension. I haven’t received this letter yet, but it is on its way. Hopefully, I won’t have too long left to work and with a stroke of luck I might already have worked enough to retire in the next few weeks.
Regress into Delinquancy
It was French writer, Marcel Proust who described ones’ fifties as the adolescence of old age – so here I am, all set to regress into semi-geriatric delinquancy. I wouldn’t actually mind having a second mispent youth: lord knows the first time around I was too good to get up to no good, so I might just try to make up for lost time.
In the Middle/Half Empty, Half Full
I officially turned fifty on Wednesday 14th October. I guess that this was a good day to turn middle aged – the middle of the week in the middle of the month, of course though, I am fifty no longer. My fiftieth year is lived and gone and from her on in, I am living out my 51st year. Middle aged???? I always though that middle age started at 40, though at 40, I didn’t feel middle anything – on the contrary, I felt more teeange than middle age. Middle aged (to me) means that you are exactly halfway through your life. It is like having a half empty bottle of wine – is it half empty or half full? Do you sip what is left with the true parsimony of a wine connaisseur, or do you just swig the whole lot back in one go and hope that there is aznother bottle in the cellar? I personally would adopt the last solution. Why make the bottle last? Just enjoy every bottle as it it were your last. – Oh dear Iat this rate I’m probably not going to live very long. Of course, you don’t know your true middle age until you finally shuffle off this mortal coil. I guess I will just have to wait until I am dead, so I can come back via some space/time portal and tell my younger self the exact age I died. Actually I wouldn’t bother. Imagiine that if you really knew at a certain age that you had lived exactly half your life – hey, you only have hal a bottle of wine left!!!!
I like being 50, it is a good, round age. I can look the world in the face and declare «I am fifty». I can square up to younger types and affirm my age. I wear it like a badge of honour. It is so difficult to admith thay you are 48 or 49. When asked to give your age, you shuffle around looking for age excuses. «Erm, I’m in my late forties» you might mumble to some stunning girl at a party. What is late forties? Where exaclty does that period of life begin and end? I suppose next year, at the ripe old age of 51, II will be telling the world that I am in my late forties – it certainly sounds better than «early fifties» which I guess is a term being used by all those who are pushing on sixty. It seemed to take forever to get to forty – well over forty years at least, however it doesn’t seem to have taken long to get to fifty – and if I follow the logic, then next week, I’ll probably be celebrating my sixtieth birthday. I think though, that I will be celebrating my 60th well before I am 60. I think that when (and if) I reach the age of 55, I’ll just have a huge party to celebrate my 60th, 70th and 80th birthday all at once. I won’t go beyond 80 though because I’m not sure at 80 that there wil be enough friends left alive to invite and by then I might just be too senile to enjoy any party. No matter what fifty brings, I think that attaining the age is indeed a cause for celebration, after all, you are only fifty once, it will never happen again, it is unique, but then everyday is unique and will never happen again either, so live everyday like it is your birthday (perhaps not good advice). I know at this young ripe old age, life is a dwindling ressource – I am a dwindling ressource … and I am unique – is this a valid argument to get my employers to pay me more for the time that I have left to work?
Proustian Bowel Movements
Back on the retirement theme – my aim now is to stay alive longer that I actually have left to work, so that I can enjoy some kind of retirement – of course were my employers to offer me huge amounts of cash to clear off because I’m too old andf leave my place to someone younger ..; well yes, I would if the price was right – I could spend my days enjoying my second youth to the full, rather than waiting for real retirement, where we retire in middle old age (if I follow the Proustian model) and slip slowly back into gurgling infance with the speech, reflexes and bowel control of a baby.
Make the most of it!
Okay – make the most of what is left. Live with passion, love with passion and hope that my shades of grey make me even more desirable than I already am. No joke – looking back at photos of myself in my 20s and 30s – I look far better now, but that’s what you get for growing up in the eighties and nineties – hellish hair cuts and criminally insane clothing. It’s good to finally be a decent age. Now, pass me that test tube.