Issuu on Google+

‘If you didn’t have a birth date or calendar to mark time passing, how would you know you were getting older?


This book contains quotes for a wide range of people who partcipanted in my online research about ageing in November 2013. They all answered the question ‘If you didn’t have a birth date or calendar to mark time passing, how would you know you were getting older?’. Many also added their own thoughts on ageing and its effects on their body and mind. Kate Green 35 years


bodies


Don’t want to go grey.

20 years


The only thing that I think does show my age is that my hangovers are getting worse and more drawn out!

22 years


Easier to pile on a bit of timber.

23 years


The grey hairs that seem to keep appearing on my head no matter what I do.

35 years


When I get out of a sofa, I make a groaning noise. Looking over my specs to read small print. Letting out a parp when bending over.

38 years


My body has begun to ache somewhat chronically over the past few years.

39 years


Making involuntary noises when I bend down to pick something up or get up from crouching down.

41 years


Smile lines on my face (aka wrinkles).

41 years


My ears and nostrils getting more hairy.

41 years


Sagging jowls Veins popping Body stooping Grey hair

43 years


Facial hair I didn’t know I had. (I am obviously a female)

48 years


Loss of hearing and vision.

49 years


The ‘power surges’ (hot flushes).

49 years


When wake up you wonder what is going to ache when you move.

49 years


My face is travelling... grooves get deeper, and my chin and eye lids are gradually losing against gravity.

49 years


Things hurt more stiffness when I get up from the wrong position or from a night’s sleep on a bad mattress.

49 years


It sucks! My head says ‘18’... my body just laughs and says ‘get real!’

54 years


Becoming aware that you have bones - knees stiff, also muscles won’t take any abuse.

59 years


My bones now ache in winter. Creaky joints and a bad back. WRINKLES they depress the hell out of me. Indigestion Having to wear specs - and now, horror of horrors, it’s bifocals that make the pavement wobble. My children telling me I’m deaf. I am NOT deaf. I am not! Old age doesn’t have a lot going for it. I thought I would stay young forever. It sucks. 64 years


Knees and back complaining more on the way up from and down on to the settee!

64 years


Hair getting whiter and thinner; “age spots” on hands, skin getting more “papery”.

64 years


It is only when one becomes older that one appreciates what it is like to be old. Minor problems are magnified because one doesn’t have the ability/capacity to tackle these problems because one is physically limited. Illnesses become more frequent and the ability to recover becomes more difficult. Genetically, some aged people are remarkably fit then - old age can be appreciated. Illness brings an aridity - even isolation - into one’s life. 76 years


Ear lobes getting bigger. Hairs in nose and ears are a new thing. Bushier eye brows.

76 years


changes


I can tell I’m getting older as I don’t like the things I used to like when I was a teenager, i.e. music, fashions, certain friends etc.

20 years


I only want to grow old If look like a cool old woman with red lipstick and swaggy clothes. I want a sexy younger husband.

20 years


The things I thought were cool and ‘individual’ when I was younger I now realise really aren’t!

26 years


I’m increasingly cynical about (and losing interest in) popular culture, which seems only to be recycling things I enjoyed first time round except in a diluted and more commercialised form (it was probably ever thus but I didn’t realise that when I was younger!).

38 years


Appreciate quiet time.

39 years


It’s hard to get older in an an environment with so many young people who think they are it! I’m starting to look at clothes and question if I am too old for them. On the other hand I also think fuck it. 39 years


I clean my house more often and better.

39 years


Enjoying drinking tea.

40 years


You know you are getting older when the same pair of trousers you were wearing years ago are now back in fashion!

46 years


I prefer Radio 2 Radio 1 is just noise.

49 years


Being ready for bed at 9pm, unless I’ve had a midafternoon snooze.

49 years


Go to matinees.

51 years


I knew I was getting older when I no longer worried about getting pregnant.

51 years


I find myself listening to talk radio; don’t get that dang rap music those young wipper snappers are listening to.

51 years


Seeing things I used to own being described as “vintage” or “retro”.

54 years


Decreasing tolerance of really loud music.

62 years


I’m sure that retirement is one of life’s big moments - potentially traumatic if one hasn’t prepared for it mentally and practically.

62 years


experience


You find yourself asking less questions or perhaps just different questions - like as a kid you always ask “why?” but now I’m older I find that the question is maybe more, “how?”.

19 years


As a youngster you don’t really notice death, poverty and suffering, you lack universal understanding!

19 years


As I’ve got older I’ve noticed how I care less about what other people think of me, or about trying to fit in with other people and being friends with everyone. Instead I’m thinking more about what I want to do with my own life before I get older.

20 years


The world makes more and less sense to me by the time the sun sets everyday.

20 years


You become more comfortable with who you are as you get older. You stop trying to be something your not.

21 years


The freedom that came from not knowing [your age] would be less constricting, allowing you to fully engage with yourself and the things you want to do, as opposed to the things you are expected to do for your age. 23 years


Age is only something humans acknowledge as a passing phase, there is too much emphasis placed on age in our society and, it should not define you or your abilities.

23 years


Life gets better as time passes and I don’t wish to relive any past experiences but feel grateful that I have been lucky enough have them. Makes me feel older.

31 years


I make less selfish decisions.

39 years


I thought I would hate it but I don’t mind it really, apart from sometimes I feel like I am losing myself, and becoming my mother.

39 years


Greater awareness of time and how precious it is.

40 years


Feeling more comfortable in own skin, yet that skin isn’t as taught as it once was.

40 years


Feelings of loss and isolation as you lose elderly loved ones and as your friendship circles become smaller.

43 years


Being older brings a self confidence and wisdom which is often missing in youth. I am much happier now.

48 years


You stop worrying about upsetting people and just say what you think.

49 years


I feel I have reached an age of contentment (but this should never be mistaken for complacency which is something entirely different).

62 years


Having more confidence in letting people know my opinion on things and not caring what they think of me or my opinions.

64 years


getting older


It’s just funny how when you’re young, to be older would be the best thing in the world because then you could do anything you wanted. But when you get there and you have so many deadlines and appointments, to be a kid again would be just wonderful, because then you could do anything you wanted. I guess the key is to learn to enjoy every stage of growing up and older and wiser because each stage will only come once. 20 years


Every time I have spoken to somebody younger than me and realised how differently I speak to them.

20 years


I’ve always been told I look much younger than my age, so I actually like the idea of getting older. Most of the time, anyway.

25 years


If 50 is the new 40 then society’s perception of age must be changing.

26 years


I know I’m getting older as I’m looking more like my mum!

27 years


Enjoy and embrace it as we’re lucky to have it!

30 years


Age is how you live your life, not a number. Some people live old in their 20s, and some people never live old. If you surround yourself with other people of all ages, a full community, you have a much better understanding of how age isn’t always important but how different ages can give you different viewpoints and ideas, which are important. 36 years


As children we used to give our age to the nearest quarter of a year. Our grandparents talk about their age to the nearest decade. Age, as with time, is truly relative.

38 years


Apart from your body from getting worn, people dwell on age too much. People should do stuff they can, because they can, not because a number says they can’t.

38 years


I don’t mind getting older so far. Don’t suppose I will like being really old (more aches and pains or memory going), but it does have its compensations (less worry!).

38 years


Never really thought about getting older when I was younger, but now I think about the future a little more.

38 years


I keep waiting to feel like a grown-up, but it hasn’t happened yet.

38 years


Easy to feel old and ‘past it’ but in ten years time we will wish we were the age we are now!

38 years


Age should be more valued by society - not airbrushed out.

41 years


It seems to have become NOT OK to admit to not being OK with ageing. If one more person tells me “40 is the new 30” my brain may implode. I’m also tired of being told that “it’s not too late” (for having babies, for starting again etc). For some things that time is... just past/over/done. And that is OK. 42 years


My body is starting creak and groan but I only attribute it to aging because I’m told that.... had I been told it was due to wine or exercise I would attribute it to either... If time is an abstract concept then so is ageing.

47 years


You meet so many people who let their age and circumstances restrict them and I don’t think it has to be like that.

48 years


I’m still waiting for the positives: I don’t feel wiser, I don’t feel I’ve figured things out, nor do I have a better perspective on life (that I can hold onto as an on-going state). I have learned more with time but I’m not sure I’ve matured. I actually think I’m less mature (!): I’ve grown less tolerant or more cranky or anxious about stupid stuff. Maybe it’s just hormones :) 49 years


Getting older is fine, getting sick( er) is not! I love life and don’t fear death...It‘s just the bit in between that’s worrying.

58 years


As grandchildren pass through each stage that my own children have passed through, I am aware of this year relative to years some 25 years ago.

59 years


I would not want to be 20 again.

62 years


I don’t like it.

64 years


the mind & death


I don’t want to get older, because when you are a child you can be imaginative. My dad doesn’t always want to play games and I like being little as I can like things a lot more. When you are an adult you grow out of things. I like having fun.

9 years


The idea of becoming older scares me because a lot of old people start to lose they’re minds and get confused and I don’t want that.

18 years


Prevention is better than the cure.

20 years


“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” Mitch Albom

20 years


It really scares me. I also think there is a lot of vanity involved with aging these days and people do not generally seem to want to age gracefully any more and we are all under pressure to look a certain way.. i.e. younger. Also elderly people don’t get the same respect they once did... 20 years


Growing old scares me.

21 years


My memory isn’t the same as when I was 10 and neither is my eyesight - these thing I hate hate hate!!

26 years


My biology ages, but my mind hasn’t aged a day from 16!

26 years


Ageing is fine. Death is the bummer.

34 years


The one thing we all share from the day we are born (or even before, if you like) is that we are all getting older and, as Elbert Hubbard said about life, “You’ll never get out of it alive!”. We are all born, and will all die. This is a universal truth. It is just a matter of when, and few have the luxury of knowing.

37 years


My memory is not as good and I suppose I’m generally not as quick or sharp as I was. I am not as strong as I used to be.

48 years


My memory is shot: especially around remembering what I said to whom or who I was talking to when something was told to me (this used to be something I had such a keen memory for before!).

49 years


A friend died earlier this year and at his funeral, he asked for the poem ‘Savoir vieillir’ by Francois Fabie to be read. I think it has something quite profound to say about the stage of life that I am in one sense about to enter, where my physical abilities will surely diminish, but where there is still so much to be done and to be enjoyed. 59 years


Death of course is the final destination but I’m resigned to that eventuality; my only real fear is of gradual dementia and being in a nursing home or being heavily dependent on others.

62 years


Forgetting people’s names, or what I went into the kitchen for.

64 years


Memory of how things were much different.

65 years


There is always the ‘fear’ of dementia!

76 years


other people


Hate going to clubs, looking at drunk freshers and thinking they are dicks.

23 years


Thinking kids are little bastards for general shenanigans.

23 years


I get grumpier every year about young people, and the number and range of people I refer to as ‘kids’ steadily increases.

25 years


I value my friends more, and identified those who will be my friends forever and spend less energy on those fair weather friends and more energy on the amazing ones who are here no matter what.

26 years


Asking people for id at work and they are old enough [to drink] when they are born in 1995 - like WTF.

26 years


The fact that fresher students look like they are about 14.

31 years


By being with younger people and realising I don’t look, sound or act like they do any more, though I can remember a time when I did. By being with older people and realising I have more in common with them than I previously thought.

36 years


When I was a kid my Gran used to say “time goes quicker as you get older� and I thought she was talking rubbish. I now totally understand what she meant.

37 years


I see younger friends and relatives, whom I have known as babies, growing up and becoming adults.

37 years


Police, dentists etc, look younger.

39 years


I see very elderly people struggling to walk along the street and it scares me and makes me want to cry as I think old age is sad.

40 years


Younger people - the generation who comes after you makes you notice how you have changed... of course, ‘younger’ and ‘older’ are relative terms.

45 years


I do wonder if for many people this change happens on the birth of their first child, the transition from being a child to being a responsible parent seems to have a big influence.

48 years


Starting to feel like I am slowly becoming invisible or insignificant to the younger generation at large.

48 years


I am with Robert Smith (lead singer of the Cure) on this one, and feel that as I never had children I never needed to grow up. Taking drugs helps you keep young too, frees the mind and lets you see altered realities and new perspectives, stops your mind getting so fixed!

48 years


You get very intolerant of unruly kids.

49 years


When I look at current photos I wonder what my mum is doing in them, then I realise it’s me.

49 years


Being blanked by people younger than yourself.

54 years


People referring to you as “granddad”.

62 years


People getting up to give me a seat on the bus ‌‌.. occasionally!

64 years


Doctors and policemen looking about 12 years old!

64 years


Views on ageing