They say you know you’re getting old when policemen start looking really young.
How about this?
It’s a very hot and humid day on the High Street and me and the sis are in a bank filling in the kind of forms that nosily ask your age and other matters like how long you’ve lived in the area.
Answer – a large number of years, if you must know.
‘Oh,’ says the sweet young girl who’s dealing efficiently with our enquiry, ‘You must’ve seen some changes in London in your time.’
Cue for stunned silence, followed by hysterical giggling so extreme that I think I may have to take emergency action and think of something sad, (sisters who grew up together sharing a bedroom will understand this reaction).
YEP that is indeed a reminder that to some – read many – more people than perhaps we realise, me and the sis – the very girls who danced enthusiastically to Saturday Night Fever (still do in fact), wore a lot of cheesecloth smocks and hot pants when they first came around and issued a standing instruction to their long suffering dad to tell all gentlemen callers that ‘she’s in the bath’,
and therefore couldn’t come to the phone … are now regarded like the kind of dear, old folk who could give a moving interview of their memories of when London was just a small village and a pony and trap was the preferred means of transport.
Now how on earth did that happen?
OUT LOUDERS of a certain age, I think you sometimes ask yourself that very question. The shock in the mirror on rising, the concern about swimwear, the surrender – finally – to a pair of reading glasses.
You have other poignant examples, I’m sure.
And yet, at the same time like all painful experiences – this is a learning moment too– a heaven sent opportunity to learn from what can also be described as a classic OUT LOUD moment. For as we all know there has to come a time even in an OUT LOUDER’S life when it’s seemly to hang up that foghorn, don some more age-appropriate clothing and take a back seat so that other more attractive, more wholesome, yes, more young people can have their brief moment in the spotlight.
NO THERE DOESN’T! Repeat, NO THERE DOES NOT!!
OK, the hot pants may no longer be the best look
– although I would never be the one to stop you wearing them if they float your boat, but actually NOW more than ever’s the time to seize that fog horn back with both hands, stride (or hobble – whatever), to the front and claim your place on the stage – IF that’s what you want.
OUT LOUDERS, you’ve so much to share – wisdom for sure (although I sometimes think wisdom especially when coupled with that other old chestnut, experience, is not only over rated, it can also be very patronising, not to mention boring) – no, what you have is your irreverence, your eccentric outlook on life, your ability to be reminded you’re getting a bit long in the tooth and laugh so hard and so inappropriately that your sister has to tell you to shush – just like in the good, old days when everything (and I’m sorry to say everyone), seemed hilarious and laughing really was our preferred form of exercise.
OUT LOUDERS, this is the true benefit of getting old – life’s funny once more and even though the joke’s firmly on us, it’s all the funnier for it.
Later in the afternoon as we swallow our last dregs of tea and I inform Micky I’ll accompany the sis to the tube, he bids us farewell with the immortal and rather apt words, ‘Bye bye Hinge and Bracket.’
And we hadn’t even told him this little anecdote.
For as we old timers know so well, no truer a word said in jest…
OUT LOUDERS, have you been reminded of your advancing years lately? How did it make you feel? Did it have you rushing to the botox clinic? Or the gin bottle? Did it make you sob? Or laugh? Share with us your tips for having a jolly OUT LOUD old age by leaving a comment below.
And if getting old is seeming like more of a burden than a joy and rather than a sense of pride, you’re experiencing a creeping sense of shame, it’s time for you to consult your OUT LOUD coach to get a healthy dose of perspective on an age old conundrum.
Send an email to explaining how getting older’s getting in the way of you leading your life with joy and enthusiasm and preventing you from having the life you really want. We’ll then set up a free half hour consultation to discuss your needs.
We offer one to one coaching programmes of six sessions over a period of three months either face to face, by phone or skype
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