I remember my grandmother telling me that she always felt like she was 18 years old in her head no matter how old she was. I definitely understood where she was coming from, as I'm sure many of you do.
Lately, I've been feeling exactly my age--44.
I have a the job of a 44-year old person. I sit at a desk in a cubicle in the city after commuting in on a train with a bunch of people like me.
My life as a suburban homeowner involves issues 44-year-old persons deal with: septic pump issues, hurricane preps, basement flooding. I'm very lucky to live in a lovely home on a lovely property in a lovely town, but it's a place where the average age of people is probably 44 and they're focused on earning a living to support their family.
Dealing with the sickness and then death of a parent is something many 44-year-olds face. I had to take on serious matters of making treatment and end-of-life issues. I now spend much of my personal time dealing with estate logistics: selling the house, getting rid of mom's stuff, and dealing with finances. That my boyfriend (who's all of 3 years older than me) is dealing with issues of a similar import (divorce of a sibling and placing a parent in a nursing home) reinforces my own age.
Younger people (20- and 30-somethings) bug the crap out of me. They just seem so frivolous and naive. And they're totally unfamiliar with so many of the cultural references of a 44-year-old, like Bo Derek and Bruce Jenner!
I feel like I no longer exercise for the joy and accomplishment of it, but rather because it's what people who are my age do to prevent the spread they've allow to creep on from expanding even further.
I do know that much of this is just a phase. My mom's death was a super big event in my life and it takes time to work through the emotional and logistical fallout. The issues my boyfriend is dealing with will settle down too. I will at some point renew my interest in my fitness activities and a healthy lifestyle. And I will live in a place where I can more easily access the activities and people that bring out my younger self and earn my living in a way that is a better fit.
For now, though, my 44-year-old self is slogging away and looking forward to that time when I'm young again in body, mind, and spirit.