I may only be 34 years of age but I often feel old. In fact, I have felt old since my early twenties! I have also heard other twenty and thirty-somethings complain about the same thing, especially on their birthday. So what makes us think this way when we are still classed as ‘young people’?
Our ageist society no doubt plays a large part, giving us the impression that we will all have one foot in the grave by the time we reach 40. However, here is a list of more subtle observations that I believe make many of us feel like we are getting on a bit – long before the grey hairs and wrinkles start to make an appearance.
1. You start to like ‘mum and dad stuff’.
For me, ‘The Antiques Roadshow‘ went from being the most boring programme on TV to something that I now actively watch and dare I say, even enjoy! I also never would have imagined at one that Neil Diamond would be included in my music collection.
2. You acknowledge the fact that your parents were right about everything.
Every mistake you make in life will gradually make you realise that your parents might have actually known what they were talking about. When the fateful day arrives when you will finally be able to admit it to yourself without wincing, you will feel like a true adult.
3. You say things that suggest you have been around for a while.
When you find yourself using phrases such as ‘When I was a lot younger,’ ‘Years ago,’ or even ‘In my day’ when recounting past experiences, it will almost certainly make you stop and think about your age!
4. You do not care much for the modern world.
You know that you have reached a certain time in your in life when you actively moan about today’s world in the same way that the previous generation did about ‘our world’ back in the day.
5.Things are a lot older than they seem.
This is probably the most common thing that makes people feel their age. How many times have you got a bit of a shock when you suddenly realise that a particular song, film, event etc from your youth is actually a lot further back in the past than you first thought?
6. You start to have right-wing views.
It is said that people tend to become more right-wing as they get older. Personally, I have always been a relatively far ‘lefty’ but even I feel that I am starting to see the point of view of some right-wing people. Either age and leaning towards the right indeed go together hand in hand or I have merely been brainwashed by reading too many reader comments on the Daily Mail website!
7. People in authority are suddenly much younger than you.
Being told what to do at work by a manager who is a decade or more younger than you definitely takes a bit of getting used to. It feels even stranger when you first get treated by a doctor who looks younger than you. You may also be wondering these days how those baby-faced police, teachers and politicians have any authority.
8. You are much more sensible and worldly-wise.
With age comes wisdom, so some things that seemed like a good idea at the time now have you thinking ‘I can’t believe I did that.’
9. Technology from your youth looks prehistoric.
The oversized TVs, cassette tapes and pixelated computer graphics that seemed modern in the 80s and 90s now look positively ancient compared to today’s equivalents.
If the thought of once using the aforementioned technology does not make you feel that old, just imagine telling the youth of today that you had barely heard of the Internet when you were their age!
10. You do not look forward to your birthday anymore.
It used to be an eagerly anticipated occasion and when the big day finally arrived, it would fill you with excitement. Now that the years are starting to add up, you view it as a day of doom and dread its arrival several months in advance. Especially those ‘milestone age’ birthdays.
11. Younger people do not know what you are talking about.
Have you ever mentioned a famous person, event or film from your youth to a younger person, only to be met with a blank expression? It is likely to make you feel two generations older if things that you were familiar with only a relatively short time ago appear to have no relevance in the world today!
12. Your outlook on life starts to change dramatically.
Over the years, you have gradually come to realise that your dream of being an astronaut, footballer or rock star will probably not come true. Now you have reached an age where you have somewhat made your peace with merely being a cog in a corporate machine because you need to pay your rent and bills somehow.
13. You have been there, done that and got a wardrobe full of T-shirts.
You have experienced a lot of life’s ‘first time’ things and now find that it is harder to think of something to do that you have never done before.
14. People do not look as old as they used to.
It may make you feel your age when you watch old TV programmes and films and see the actors/celebrities in them in a different way because you are now older than they were at the time.
15. You have friends or date people who are in their forties.
Eek! How did that happen so quickly?! You barely associated with people of this age not so long ago.
16. Some young people are as old as you sometimes feel.
Despite feeling a little on the mature side, you only feel like a teenager at times too. If you are a thirty-something, it is scary to to think that you could (or indeed do) have children who are well into their own teenage years!
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