Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Age is just a number - isn't it?

I have to admit I greet 2013 with a certain amount of apprehension. Maybe one of the reasons is that in August this year I reach one of the milestones in my life – one of those dreaded ‘Big-0’ birthdays. Another decade over and the start of a new one. Easy when you’re 20 or 30, but less so as the numbers preceding the ‘0’ increase. My mind tells me I cannot possibly be that old, the calendar tells me differently.
Many years ago, when I was in my (young) teens, my friend and I heard our mothers talking. They were both in their 40’s, but said they still felt like 18-year-olds. I remember how my friend and I looked at each other in complete disbelief. How could people as old as our parents think they were still like teenagers? It didn’t make any sense to us then, but of course as I’ve grown older I understand exactly what they meant.
I won’t say I feel like an 18 year old. In fact, I’m glad I’m not that age. I’ve learned a lot about life and people and myself, too, since then. So maybe, in my mind, I’m somewhere in my late 30’s.
Inevitably, every decade of my life has had its highs and lows, but I’ve been more fortunate than many of my peers in that I’ve had no major health issues (fingers crossed), apart from my arthritis, which has been part of my life for so long, I’ve learned to live with it.
Looking back at the different decades, I’ve come to the conclusion that they actually get better as you get older!
This last one has been especially memorable as I’ve travelled to places I never thought I would see – Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, many of the Western Front battlefields, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, the USA, Canada, and Egypt. I also ‘discovered’ Ireland and have paid 9 visits there, to different parts of the island.
This last decade has also seen my return to writing romance novels, thanks initially to Jed and Abbey Bartlet from ‘The West Wing’ and then to Linda Lael Miller whom I got to know on an American Civil War tour in 2008. The result: four books published in the last eighteen months.
I’ve seen my two daughters settle happily with their respective partners, and I’ve seen my two grandsons grow into fine, handsome young men.
So yes, this past decade of my life has been a good one. Maybe, therefore, I shouldn’t be approaching the next one with apprehension. On the contrary, I should be saying, ‘Bring it on!’


  1. I'm glad your last decade has been so rewarding, Paula, and I hope the forthcoming one is as good or better!

  2. Yes, definitely "bring it on!" It's easy to get scared by numbers, but it's all in your attitude. So enjoy yourself and keep writing!

  3. Paula,

    Age is definitely a state of mind. I don't feel like I'm in my 40s (Well, most days!). I'd say hovering somewhere in the mid thirties is par for the course. I don't think I'd want to 'go back' any further than that...too much angst in those teens and twenties.

    So embrace it! Celebrate it! You've come a long way, baby! And there's still so much more to come...

  4. Thanks, Ellen!

    Agree about attitude, Jen - I look at people who are 10 and 15 years older than me who are still active and enjoying life, so hope I'll be the same.

    You're right about the angst in teens and twenties, Debra! But I sometimes wish I still had the energy I had then!

  5. 70 is the new 50. A zest for life and learning, the zeal to try new things, a good diet and good friends--these things keep us young. And health care that can replace worn out body parts as needed. Bring on the 70's. And the 80's.

  6. Yes, they used to say 'life begins at 40' but in my case it was 'life begins at 60' i.e. once I retired! The best decision I ever made was to take early retirement when I was 55 :-)