November Thoughts about Age

“I won’t sit down,
And I won’t shut up,
And most of all I will not grow up.”

(Photosynthesis ~ Frank Turner, 2008)

It’s the end of the month and I seem to be on a roll after all. But maybe I’m just procrastinating. And this will be quick, I hope, as I’m tired and plan to go to bed soon. I got up an hour earlier than usual today, because I wanted to finish editing the budget speech, our green party group speaker will deliver this week. I was too tired to do that last night and it worked out quite well this morning. Of course I’m extra tired tonight and feel unable to get those local politics things done, that I need to be doing. So I guess I’ll get up early tomorrow morning as well. I’m not sure if that’s a habit I want to incorporate.

On the drive back home from work I pondered the changes which will happen at work next year and why they make me feel a bit old. I’m 44 by the way, so not old-old. Right in the middle of my life. Hopefully anyway. But 2019 was the first year where I pondered my age a bit more and the weird fact that I rarely feel “44 = middle of my life” years old. I don’t have children, that might have something to do with it, because they are quite a good measure of how old you are yourself. If that makes sense. this year it felt like I experienced more “That can’t have been X many years ago” moments than ever before. We’re already almost 2 decades into the 21st century! The early 1990s, when I started finding the music I like, go dancing in clubs, or visit concerts are almost 30 years in the past. 

I’ve never been a Depeche Mode fan in a buy their music, see their shows kind of way. They’ve always just been the cool and nice background music to my youth and that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the “Spirits in the Forest” documentary I watched recently. The other reason was of course that I could relate so well to what the six different fans said and did and felt. But I digress. “Personal Jesus” came out 30 fucking years ago! 

Another one of these weird moments about age happened today, when the new person in a leading role at work – 3 levels up from me – was announced. He’s 38 years old. I don’t question any of his merits or achievements so far, he seem to have been on a clear path for a job like this and I’m sure he’ll do a good job. I was 37 when I applied and got hired for the position I’m still in. Seven years in I still sometimes doubt my abilities and feel like I need to “fake it till I make it”. When I look at 38 year old me (in the first year on this job) and think of her filling a senior position 3 levels up… It’s a ludicrous idea. Even 44 year old me would never be able to do that job. And more importantly wouldn’t even want to.

For a variety of reasons, but most of all the responsibility, the pressure to achieve some things, the working hours. I work the occasional overtime, but usually I’m trying to stay within the 39 hours / week limit and do other stuff in my life besides work. Spend a whole weekend binge watching “The Crown” instead of working through the work I brought back home. Take almost a week off and do ‘crazy’ things like travel to England for four gigs of my favourite band.

So yeah, I wouldn’t want to change with that person. Not at all. It just feels so weird, that the senior person in my field is going to be almost a decade younger than me. This is a first. And it makes me feel…. old.

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