Last week I found myself sitting in a church hall populated predominantly by octogenarians. You know the kind of place. It was cold, gloomy. It had unforgiving plastic seats and posters that defiantly perpetuated the use of clipart from the Windows 95 era. I was the youngest person in the room by at least 30 years.
Somewhat alarmingly, it was the first time in ages that I’ve actually felt remotely young. I was there to get my annual flu jab. Being a wheezy sort who depends on two different inhalers, I’m in the ‘at risk’ category. So, knowing how bad man flu can be, I’ll happily take a needle in the arm to keep the real, scary version at bay.
I’ll be 34 in a couple of weeks’ time. I know that doesn’t make me old by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t feel young anymore either. The fact that I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in the 19 months since Xander showed up undoubtedly has something to do with this. But I also feel like I’m starting to fall apart.
I ache like a bastard after five-a-side – which, by the way, my Dad plays with me and is still sprightly at 63. I involuntarily click when I walk down a flight of stairs. What’s more, I’ve found white hairs around my temples. My gums are starting to recede too. Nice.
If you add to all this the fact that I get angry about the bins not being emptied, actually want to move to Eastbourne and found myself admiring a jacket in Marks and Spencer recently, it looks like I’m adopting the mindset of a more, ahem, experienced-in-life person.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was half the age I am now. It’s scary how quickly that time has passed. Looking at some of the younger people around me in the hall – so the sexagenarians, or ‘generation sex’ as I shall immaturely refer to them – it struck me that they may well have been thinking the same about themselves while looking at me.
I think everyone in the room felt grim about their advancing years – myself included. This wasn’t helped by the WI who had rocked up to make a few quid while people sat down after their injections. They were selling sympathy cards!
The years have whizzed by, but you know what? I’m going to embrace my young side while it’s still there.
This weekend, I’m going to get an asymmetrical haircut and some skinny jeans and listen to some ‘music’ by ‘artists’ currently in the charts. I may have a go at twerking too. I’ll show these young ‘uns how it’s done!