Birthdays and Does Age Matter.

Birthday cake. it was my birthday on Sunday, not a milestone one, but still a day that made me think about this whole business of age.

It’s a truism to say that when you’re young you want to be older and when you get to a certain age in your life, you either want to be younger, or to at least be told that you look younger. Why should this matter?

In terms of living your life, it shouldn’t make any difference, except it does. Over and over again we are defined by our chronological age. Children are made to go to school at a certain age, whether they are ready to learn or not. Teenagers are thought to be going through certain stages in their lives just because they have reached 13, whether that is true physiologically and emotionally. Later on thirty, forty, fifty etc, is seen as some sort of landmark.

We have to retire at a certain age, whether we want to or not. We’re supposed to dress our age, have age appropriate interests and so it goes on and on.

As far as I’m concerned what matters is that I have the energy and enthusiasm to go on doing what I interests and excites me. The only aspect of getting older that would bother me is the lack of physical stamina and of course the terrifying prospect of developing any form of dementia.

Most of the time I honestly cannot remember how old I am. And when I do, I have to confess that I tend to keep quiet about my age. Why? Because I don’t want to be defined by it. I don’t want to be thought too old, for my work to be dismissed because I am not some bright young thing who might be good for endless series of best sellers.

Some of our greatest artists have died young, while some have gone on creating masterpieces well into old age.

Take me for what I am, judge my works on their merit and leave my age out of it. That’s all I ask.


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