Recently I have been becoming increasingly irritated with things, a lot more than normal, whether it be over Brexit, sugar tax, FTTP internet or the cost of solicitors and life insurance. I can pin this down to one of two reasons, the first being that in the last six months my partner and I have gotten married, bought a house and are expecting our first child soon. Pretty tiring and stressful events to cram into half a year and could quite possibly explain why I see red when having to pay more for a glass of full-fat coke because other people are overweight.
The second reason however is probably a more fitting explanation – I think I am nearing middle-age.
Now, this isn’t too hard to come to terms with, after all I have been on the planet since the eighties and I’m over halfway to owning a bus pass. I have a home, am happily married with child (on the way) and have carved out a career using my degree in metallurgy for the last ten years. I own a sports car and have traveled large chunks of the world. That’s a lot of ‘life-achievements’.
To reinforce my theory all you need to do is have a nosy through my CD collection. There are far too many Status Quo albums in there for a young person to own. Some would probably argue that owning a CD collection these days constitutes a sign of being middle-aged anyway.
“There are far too many Status Quo albums in there for a young person to own”
If my friends were to read this they would laugh and say ‘Liam, you’re being a bit OTT, aren’t you?’ and maybe they’d be right. Realistically however, this could be a horrifying wake-up call because if I’m approaching middle-age, then so are they.
To any of my friends who think I’m talking rubbish, ask yourself a few questions: when did you last listen to Radio 1 or go clubbing until 4am? Do you enjoy a sit-down (especially at a festival)? Does your body ache/creak from time to time? How many of the current Formula One drivers are you older than?
Oh dear, just as I thought…
However, it’s not a bad thing; why should it be? I believe the reason why I am so easily irritated these days is because I have been on this planet long enough to know what I should and shouldn’t have to put up with and if someone is trying it on, I feel the need to tell them where to shove it – politely of course.
A few years ago, a friend and I were sat in the pub chatting over a pint. We’d both recently turned thirty and my friend mentioned the dreaded ‘F’ word – Forty. “We’ll be forty in ten years” he said, “where’s the time gone?” I told him not to dwell on it, but he insisted.
“It just feels that life is quickly passing us by! In ten years we’ll be forty! Does that not bother you?”
“My age won’t change who I am, it’ll just slow me down a bit in the future and make me squint more”
I told him it didn’t and that it’s only a number. To try and ease his worries I told him to look back at what he’d achieved in the last ten years. He’d earned a degree and got himself a well-paid job (in a career where he was progressing respectably). He was married with a house and he had traveled all over the world. He had passed his driving test and been to numerous festivals and weddings etc. as well as many a good night out with his friends. “Imagine what you can do in the next ten years” I told him. “You’ve done all the hard stuff!” I sensed a change in his attitude after I had ‘put it that way.’
For me, I am not worried about attaining middle-aged status, it’s going to happen and there’s nothing I can do to alter that. I’ll still travel, I’ll still listen to Status Quo, I’ll still drink tea and I’ll continue to complain about the flaming government. My age won’t change who I am, it’ll just slow me down a bit in the future and make me squint more.
Besides, I bought a lawnmower last week, so I am already embracing it. Middle-age? Ha! Bring it on.