When Does Middle Age Start?


Someone told me that age is a state of mind and I told them I wasn’t worried about it because I would always be out of state.  She was about 41 and I was 24 and I thought I was cool because I was with an older woman.

I can’t say I remember all of that conversation but I am pretty certain it happened because I was teasing her about her age. Who knew that I would blink my eyes and discover that I am older now than she was then.

Took me a little while to realize that people weren’t kidding when they said that time moves faster as you age because I am not exaggerating when I say it feels like I blinked or sneezed.

The Sign Of The Apocalypse

Every year my fraternity holds a big tackle football game in which the alumni play the actives and every year I play in it. I have missed it once or twice because I wasn’t in town or had some sort of family obligation but I always play.

This year I didn’t.

It might not sound like a big deal to you but I love contact sports. Love the challenge of taking on the other guy, pitting my strength and will against his. I play offensive and defensive line, occasionally run the ball.

I am the guy in the trenches because I love the battle but this year I didn’t play because I was concerned about how long it would take to recover and ‘cuz I was concerned about potentially getting hurt so close to my son’s Bar Mitzvah.

It is unheard for for me to be like this and I am a little embarrassed by it.

I had to leave early because I couldn’t stand on the sidelines and watched. The actives are little guys who talk smack and who think a guy like me is old.

Hell, I am older but not old.

Yet here I am feeling pretty damn good the day after because I decided I didn’t want to take the punishment.

When Does Middle Age Start?

A couple of younger guys asked me if I feel badly about being middle aged. I grabbed one of him and shook him, not because I was angry but to make a point.

I am not even close to being dead. If you take a look at me now you aren’t going to think of me as being an athlete, at least not the way you once would have. But if you take a serious look you’ll see that even though I fill out my shirt I am more muscle than anything else.

But the truth is that his question probably tapped into my own insecurity and vanity. It made me ask the question about when middle age starts and should I care.

I used to say that I wouldn’t be middle aged until I was half as old as my oldest grandparent was when they died.

Grandpa was almost 98, I am 44 so I am not quite there yet.

But does it matter? Should I care about middle age?

My Answer

My answer is that I age really is just a number and that as long as I can do what I want to do it shouldn’t matter. That means that as long as I am healthy enough to live the kind of life I want to lead it shouldn’t be a big deal how old I am.

Ego gets involved sometimes, not even going to try to lie about that.

Got a 23 year-old kid who plays ball with me that sometimes makes me crazy. He is faster than I am and it burns me up because he is a half step faster.

It is enough now to make a difference but not so long ago he couldn’t have beaten me. If I am warmed up and running a flat out sprint I can keep up with him, but that is not how the games go most days and fact is we aren’t talking about what I could do in 1990 because it is 2013.

So I do my best to put the ego aside and focus on the important things.

Physical, mental and emotional health are what I focus on. Some days are harder than others.

There are those mystery aches and pains and the feeling sometimes that I should have accomplished more than I have. Most days I feel pretty good in all categories and that puts me ahead of quite a few people.

I suppose my goal is to respond to the question of when does middle age start with “does it matter?”

If I can say that then life is pretty good.

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  1. TheJackB December 1, 2013 at 11:54 am

    SkipPrichard Absolutely. Make hay while the sun shines is exactly what we should be doing now. If we only get one shot it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

  2. SkipPrichard November 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I don’t think it matters, but I say embrace it. It is an opportunity to realize that you’re in your prime and we all have a limited number of years. Make a difference while you can.

  3. TheJackB November 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Lardavbern I can only imagine what it is like to to deal with high school students. That must be an experience.

  4. TheJackB November 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    thefishofgold Me too. It is funny to look back at my twenties and realize that I didn’t know half as much as I thought I did. There is no substitute for life experience.

  5. Lardavbern November 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I hear you on this. A year behind you and in some ways I feel very middle aged – particularly when dealing with my high school students.

  6. thefishofgold November 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I agree that it shouldn’t matter as long as we can still do what we want to do, but that may just be a middle aged person’s perspective. If you had asked me when I was 23, the answer would have been different.

  7. TheJackB November 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    KristenDaukas I imagine it is.

  8. KristenDaukas November 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Pretty safe to say that we’re in it. Yet I don’t feel “middle aged” because that term sounds so old. It’s interesting to hear you talk about it though.. I thought only women noodled it. Say what you will though.. it’s easier to be a middle aged man than a middle aged woman in our society.

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