Mind and Body ageing together

Sue from Calendar Girl is finding it hard to keep body and mind in synch as the years pass.
I wonder what this tells us about the transition from youth to full adulthood. In so many ways we want to hold on to our youth. As each decade passes it becomes harder to keep up the pretence that we are still in our youth – although, as Sue points out, our age is one where many of us go to great lengths to hold onto every vestige and form of youth in our bodies.
Reflecting on this, I realise that I have gone through a transition over the last couple of years. Physically, my hair is now thoroughly grey and some of it is silver. I grew a beard recently and realised it was almost white.
I actually like it. I’ve liked my grey hair all through my 40s.
But something else has happened to me more recently. I am now approaching the age at when many of my colleagues are looking forward to retirement. My older brother has already retired. At first this realisation was hard. I could look at it and think my working life is almost over (although in reality I hope to be working well into my 70s.)
However, the approaching of age 55 has had a different effect on me. I am past the age where I can have any impact on how my main life career is viewed. I am becoming free to feel I can be me. I can take my career in a direction that reflects who I really am.
For a long time, I have hidden behind my intelligence. At secondary school I was regarded as being smart. It was a good defense through the turbulent years of adolescence. In my working life I became more and more involved in Information Technology. Each time I have tried to break away from this over the last few years, something has come up to tempt me back into it.
I realised recently that this is because it is the easy path. In IT I can be recognised for what I do, now for who I am.
I am a man most of the way through the normal range of a working life. People who know me also regard me as having insight and compassion and probably a bit of a dag. These qualities are those I regard as the real me. The me I know “when I’m alone in my bed.”
I really like this me and it is something about my age that allows me to say this.

2 replies
  1. Chris Curnow
    Chris Curnow says:

    Hmm. I guess this is an Australian expression. A dag is literraly the piece of wool underneath a sheep’s tail that get’s soiled by the sheep’s poo. When the sheep is shorn, the ‘dag’ is cut off form the fleece and discarded.
    In idiom it is used to describe a person who is not very cool. Someone who doesn’t have very good fashion sense or has bad taste in music. My kids call me a dag when I do Mr Bean impersonations.
    When I was growing up it was a pretty derogatory term. These days it is usually used with a touch of affection. “You’re a dag but we still love you.”

    Reply

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