Where’s the middle in age?

Excuse me, I’m having a moment. A ‘where am I going? ‘what’s next?’ ‘how old is middle-aged?’ type of moment. Yesterday I blew out the candles, Lady Y’s perfectly chocolate birthday cake has already been polished off and I’m that inevitable year older (than 42). So here I am left having some sort of moment.

On a morbid mission, I found myself turning to Google, questioning: life expectancy for women in the UK and the search engine (which practically sang happy birthday to me yesterday…) today spat out some awful age younger than my very sprightly parents. Wikipedia was no better, informing me that ‘middle aged is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age.’ Now, no one can honestly persuade me that I’m still in young adulthood. Surely that time passes when your tiny toddlers don’t sleep and, to be honest, anyone who partied their way through ‘young adulthood’ will know that that morning after feeling properly signifies when this period of your life is well and truly over.

As I dug further, I found that various attempts have been made to define middle age for all those having a moment. Is this because we are all desperate to fight its onslaught? Or would all those 60 year olds KILL to be middle aged again?

One particular source advised that we should divide our predicted life span into thirds. But I’m not sure that this is the answer. From what I can remember, the first third was spent wanting to grow up. The second I spent clearly oblivious that I had indeed grown up. And the third… oh dear… is absolutely why I am now having this moment…

This article first appeared in my Mum About Town column in The Lady Magazine.

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