I’m 54 and I still feel like a teenager but the one defining moment when it hit me the worst is when I got an application from AARP. Boy, that hit me like a boulder. It pissed me off really. If someone would have delivered that letter, to me directly, I probably would have hit him.
I"M NOT OLD!
AARP doesn’t say you’re old. That is your interpretation of it. AARP is saying you are in the home stretch toward retirement, that’s all. They send letters to people in their 50s to make people in their 60s NOT feel old. They figure you’ll be used to the idea by the time you’re in your 60s and won’t feel bad about joining, especially if you know that people 10 years younger are eligible. That can also make you feel more comfortable about lying about your age.
I am the same age as you are.
I can feel the effects of age accelerate as time goes on. I used to have excellent vision, now I need reading glasses. My body does not move the way it did nor recover as easily when over stressed.
I like my state of mind better now than I did when I was younger. I am more contemplative, patient and less quick to anger. Certain other appetites that are attributes of youth have waned a bit and I must say I don’t miss that entirely.
In the end I suppose it depends on what your idea of old is. In this life the best outcome you can hope for is to die old.
Those kinds of labels are unimportant and mean very little. Examine though why you became angry to the point of violence when confronted by that label from what was certainly a computer generated invitation.
There a many reasons I think for the consternation associated with that moment when the conflict of how you view yourself and how others might re the number of years you have been alive.
It could be fear of becoming infirm, the unpleasantness of contemplating a finite existence, regret over things not done etc. We all go through that I think at several points in our lives.
For me, I don’t like labels or stilted aphorisms like you are only as old as you feel. Aging is a fact of life that no want likes to confront.