Do you have the sense that life is speeding up the older you get? If so, you're not alone.
Can there be a reason for this perception? I've discovered three scientific theories that shine a little light on this mysterious experience.
"Getting old is wonderful," my neighbor Robert Akeley told me with a smile, his blue eyes lighting up, when I asked him for the single most important message he'd like to pass on to Huffington Post readers.
I recently had lunch with some close friends and, as we were laughing about the exploits of our children, one of them blurted out 'I really want grandchildren.' As soon as she said it, I immediately chimed in, 'Oh my God, so do I.'
In my experience, every single person who has mastered the great art of successful aging has had an inner grit. Not necessarily with any bravado or flourish, but with a steely determination to look loss straight in the face without blinking.
Advancing age forces even the best athletes to retire. But the game of life keeps going even as our skills decline, and while it's easy to complain I think a more useful response is to accept the limitations, adjust my style of play, and avoid silly mistakes that drive coaches crazy.
I am in a limbo that I never knew existed until I was knee-deep in it. Certainly, it was never in my life plan to be, well... without a plan. The jump from student to CEO (or first female president as my younger brother used to say) didn't happen as seamlessly as I had imagined
Some fancy-dancy public-policy think- tank just released a brand new study that speculates the legion of aging Baby Boomers will permanently redefine retirement. Mainly because so few of us will be able to afford to retire.
I think we go through cycles of change -- when the complete unexpected throws you off your equilibrium -- giving you the opportunity to reassess and recalibrate. This past year was one of those cycles for me.
A lot of people call 40 the new 30 and it has always confused me. Why can't it just be 40? If the premise is that it's a younger, hipper, more self-aware version of you, then wouldn't that version be completely cool with being the age you are?
There are a great many ways to work at maintaining and even improving your memory functions as you get older, and there's no question that both mental and physical stimulation keep your brain sharp. But the simple truth is that our memories may not be fading as quickly as we think.
On my 47th birthday, I found myself between three bald men in their 60s and a good-looking but trashed guy in his 30s. To be clear, I was standing between two groups on the dance floor and searching for my people, the hipsters in their late 40s with emerging wrinkles.
One of the perks of being 50-years-old-and-then-some is this freedom-inducing newfound ability to simply not care in the same way you used to when you were, say, a spry 49-year-old. And that's a good thing because caring less about what isn't important saves time and energy.
OK, you just bought a jar of kosher pickles and you're dying to put one on the burger you just barbecued. You should be able to just unscrew the lid easily, remove the juicy pickle from its briny bathwater and slap it on the meat. This used to be easy. Not anymore.
Now that the population of healthy, active post-50 members is expected to expand exponentially in years to come, perhaps we have the power to take the lead in turning the tide toward more fulfilling futures for ourselves and, in so doing, also become models for growing older with dignity.
Now this is not a feel good Rick Reilly article where I will tell you all about the virtues of teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership. It's way too late for you to learn these skills if you haven't already, so at this point I am just trying to help you save your own fat life.
Annabelle Gurwitch has middle-age in her cross-hairs with Autumn Leaves, an exclusive e-book short, about getting a Mrs. Robinson-like crush on a 26-year-old Apple store "genius" named AuDum ("like the season").