Natasha from The 1970s Diet and I had an exchange of tweets about when one is considered to be old. It started with her saying that her 63 year old mum doesn't think that 70 is old. My response to that was something along the lines of - if she doesn't feel herself to be old then she's not old. After a bit more of a discussion we agreed to each write our thoughts on what 'old' means and to post them simultaneously with links to each other.
Before I give my opinion I'll tell you three very short, true stories.
1. When I was 8 and my brother was 5, he brought home a friend from school to play. When the boy's mother collected him she said that she loves it when he gets to play with children his own age as he only has a half-sister at home who is 12 and more like an aunty to him than a sister. As I said, I was 8 and I remember thinking: WOW 12, that's so old!
2. A few months ago I walking in the street with a much younger mother from DD's nursery and a friend from years ago passed us. We said a quick, 'hellohowareyou' and continued walking. I was actually shocked by how old my friend looked. I said to the friend I was walking with, 'would you believe that woman was in the same school year as me?' She was also shocked.
So what could we conclude from these anecdotes?
From number 1, that age is relative. A 20 year old thinks a 50 year old is older than a 45 year old thinks about the same person. But a 70 year old would consider the 50 year old to be young.
From number 2, we all age at different rates and it has little to do with our number of years. The woman we met was probably tired (she has five children), she had not dressed to her best advantage, she was not wearing any make-up and is naturally pale, and who knows what other factors were acting that day to make her look years older than me.
On the other hand, I am a 'young' mother with a 3yo in nursery school. The other parents I mix with are between 5 and 25 years younger than me. I don't feel it. They are all very friendly and we have fun in the park after school and at the nursery parties and picnics. We have been invited to lunch and play on weekends and if the other children's Grandma is there, she's sometimes nearer my age than the parents. No one cares. It's not even a matter for comment.
*All pictures from Google Images