Acknowledging Middle Age

Up close picture of an abacus

The other day I was thinking about average life expectancies after hearing a report on NPR.  I’m not one of those people who have adopted the talking Barbie’s view that “math is hard” (Okay, what she actually said was “Math class is tough”.  I would love one of those dolls!).  In contemplating the average life span, a thought popped into my head: I’m close to half that.Um, that makes me middle aged.  What?!?!?!?  That can’t be right!  Let’s see … I turn 40 this year and the average life expectancy for white women in the US is 81.  It does not take a PhD in mathematics to realize, yup, that puts me squarely in the middle.  When did that happen?!?!

Once I took a deep breath, I stopped and thought about it.  What does this realization mean to me?  I definitely would not want to relive my youth – the good, the bad – no thank you!  I’ve already done that once and I’ve earned my way to this age.  It’s time for new challenges.  While I still am unsure about what I ultimately want to be when I grow up, I have an ever growing list of what I DON’T want to be.  Eliminating options is a step in the right direction, right?

I’m middle aged.  I’ve never written that before.  It’s surprising, but not as scary as I thought it would be.   Remember when 40 seemed old?  Wasn’t that yesterday?  Would kids these days even know what is in the picture on this post?  GET OFF MY LAWN! (Was that not one of the best movie quotes in a long time?  It really needs the sound of a shotgun cocking to precede it!)

What are your thoughts on “middle age”?  Does it matter?

2 thoughts on “Acknowledging Middle Age”

  1. I thought I was middle aged, and then I found myself ordering off the senior’s menu at Denny’s. Not just because I qualify, but because I wanted the smaller portion.

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  2. My thoughts? Middle age fits the proverbial looking at the glass as half empty or half full. I don’t allow people to make me invisible. I love the age. I love what I’ve gained along the way. I love the time I have now for personal pursuits. I love that I could visit my newborn granddaughter last night and travel back home in a quiet car without a baby I had to get up in the night to feed, or change, or burp. It’s like finding out I can eat dessert and skip the vegetables.

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