Instead, I took to heart what she said. I am really old, to her very young eyes. And it appears she does not carry the same judgment in saying so that I do in hearing so. I've lived on this planet -- I've thrived on this planet -- for a long time.
There is so much in this vast territory to help us, teach us, and keep us current that we have to dive in. And let's face it, the faster we embrace it, the faster us Middle (St)age ers can take over the world! (Cue sinister laugh.)
It doesn't get any more grown-up than 40. But I found that, with this realization, my shoulders noticeably dropped. I don't have to try so hard to be in the know. There's a freedom in becoming a bit of an old fart.
What would the world be like if even half of us refused to look at a calendar again? Or stopped counting the number of candles on our birthday cake? Or ceased looking in the mirror and obsessing about the number of wrinkles on our face or the size of our jeans?
We can easily end up spending the last half of our lives wrestling with the paradox of "How old I am isn't how old I feel!" I believe this internal conversation about "How old I am" versus "How old I feel" serves a purpose.