Back on 27th July 2010, I wrote a post called Seven Signs of Ageing about observations I had made in relation to getting older, having then turned 28 (http://alifeofonesown.tumblr.com/post/866729973/7-signs-of-ageing).
This coming Saturday, I am off to the first thirtieth birthday party for someone who was in my school year. This is clearly another marker along the road of ageing and comes at a moment when I have noticed several other signs that I’m getting older. Here they are:
1) You start to forget events in your own life. This isn’t just about forgetting general stuff, or specific dates, but forgetting things that you have either done or experienced. See post below for an example of it. I don’t know whether it’s because as you get older, more stuff has happened in your life or whether it’s because there’s a greater time/distance between some of those events and the present. Or maybe it’s just increased forgetfulness.
2) You no longer think about money in Tens and Units. When you’re younger, spending projections are along the lines of ‘£5 for x, £20 for y’, with maybe the occasional large expense such as a car thrown in. Somewhere along the line, your budgetary parameters shift and everything becomes Hundreds and Thousands (at this point I suspect that describing sums in this way – units, tens, hundreds and thousands – does as much to mark my age as carbon dating does for archaeological remains, clearly linking me to a specific phase in the National Curriculum for maths).
3) You bump into people you know in supermarkets, not nightclubs (see last Thursday’s post).
4) More than one person offers to drive on a night out. This happened today in relation to Saturday’s thirtieth party; I text friend saying ‘I’ll drive if you like’, she replies saying ‘I don’t mind driving’. Gone are the days when said friend used to smear kebab across my dad’s ‘taxi’ at 2pm on a Friday and Saturday night.
5) You’re no longer shocked when a friend says they’re having a baby. When babies first start appearing amongst contemporaries, my initial reaction was shock (‘OMG, they’re pregnant/going to be a dad! How can this be? What do their parents think? How will they cope?) followed by a dose of reality (‘We are in our twenties/they are married/own a house with their partner/this is a perfectly acceptable age to be having a child’). I am now sufficiently old that the shock element has subsided. News of pregnancy is now met with an instant reaction of ‘Ah, how lovely – great news!’. Even babies that are a bit of a surprise to all involved are not the shock that they once were. But that is no bad thing. One of the most enjoyable nights I’ve had recently was with some old friends, playing with one of them’s new baby and discussing the imminent arrival of another’s. She joined the world yesterday afternoon and I am very excited about meeting her, maybe even at this Saturday’s thirtieth.