Glorious Middle Age

This week on two occasions people were kind enough to say they were surprised when they learned my age (39) and remarked I didn’t look that old. I think I’m a bit proud of that although one of the things I looked forward to (and still do) about growing older is getting that look of seasoned authority that in my mind gives one an edge in certain social situations.

Personally, I wouldn’t be able to guess my own age well, and I’ve always been terrible at guessing other peoples ages. Certainly I don’t look like a kid, but I also don’t have the telltale outward signs of male middle age. I imagine most of that is genetics, my Mom was kind enough to pass along a thick head of hair that shows no signs of male pattern baldness (thanks Mom!). A few grey hairs have been discovered by my loving wife, but my hair color is a weird shiny brown and gold that makes them really hard to see. I suspect my silver mane will be a long time coming. The beard has a few more stand out white hairs, so that may be the first place I show some age on my face.

I also think that not having kids and still having a lot of childhood like hobbies and attitudes helps keep me a bit on the youthful side. A lack of intense stress can do wonders for you. Also my geekish ways protect me from the rays of the sun and ravages of wind and rain. I live what most would call a life of leisure letting my brain do most of the heavy lifting.

Overall though, I like middle age. I miss a bit of the zip I had as a teen perhaps, but it is nice being somewhat wise and worldly. We’ll see how long that altitude can hold against the inevitable decline of my health over time but I hope for the best. I always enjoy being surprising so I think that is more why I like seeming younger than I am more so than seeing youth as an ideal of attractiveness. Still, I’m practicing my old guy isms like “back in my day” and “those darn kids today.”  Middle age lets me be old or young and I’ve always liked playing two strategies at the same time, kind of like multi-classing.

Here’s hoping you all feel exactly as old as you want to feel!


One Response to “Glorious Middle Age

  • karin
    14 years ago

    Genetically you won’t become a silver back until around 70. By 60 your temples will start showing a fringe of solid silver.

    Neither you Mom or your Dad thinks like an old person, it is all a matter of being playful. My play has always been to make things, your Dad makes music, you make games.