Those who know me will already know that I’m somewhat age-obsessed…when I meet someone it’s usually not long at all before I ask or find out their age.
I have no idea where this came from. I suspect it’s something to do with understanding what shared experiences we might have, but more probably it’s about trying to place myself relatively to that person in my minds’ eye.
Of course, once one starts making assumptions about people based on their age, this is bound to go wrong. As you may know if you’ve read a number of these, one of my favourite co-pilots is in her 70’s and gives most much younger people a run for their money. I would say that she’s who I want to be when I grow up, but she’s so young in mind & spirit (as well as being pretty fit – she’s a demon cyclist) that I’m not sure ‘grown up’ is the right expression. We’ve both vowed to grow old disgracefully.
And there are a lot of people I’ve come across recently, in their 20’s, who really are very boring. That’s not to say they are typical (I’m sure they aren’t) but there do seem to be a few about. As I write this, it occurs to me that possibly they are extremely interesting but have chosen not to reveal this to me. Given that I’m mainly thinking about people at work, this could well be the case. Possibly they assume I’m as narrow-minded as they appear to be….
Moving quickly on from that uncomfortable thought, I was simply astounded to find out during a random work conversation that hardly any of the 20-somethings can touch their toes. They all seemed equally (rather unflatteringly, I must say) stunned that I can indeed touch mine.
I seem to have strayed a little from the point of this blog. I find people are often surprised that I never make a secret of my age. I came to the conclusion some time ago that I’d rather people thought I was “doing well” whether in looks, career or life generally, for my actual age, than for a fictitious one.
More prosaically, I’ve always assumed I wouldn’t be able to keep up any pretence for long.
But this morning at the gym, I did recall one justifiable reason for lying about my age: the heart rate settings on the cardio machines! For some reason when I’m feeling I’m at effort level 7 out of 10 (aka comfortable but working up a decent sweat), my heart tends to run a little faster than the machines think it should, for my age. Which produces lots of annoying warning messages, unless I tell the machine I’m 10 years’ younger than I am. Change the age settings and voila! I can happily work out without being told that my heart is beating too fast.
Before you start panicking about this approach, I remembered this morning that I’ve always done this, even in my 20’s & early 30’s when I really was “properly fit” (I spent a lot more time at the gym then and whilst correlation doesn’t imply causality I can’t help thinking there *may* have been a causal link between the two…) I’m not in any way suggesting that any one else does it though.
But outside of the gym, why not tell people how old I really am and enjoy the compliments? 😉