I Feel It Coming Together - Judith Warner Blog - NYTimes.comOk, maybe a bit melodramatic - but not entirely. I'm six years older than Ms Warner, and I'm sympathetic.
... This is the cruelty of middle age, I find: just when things have gotten good — really, really, consistently good — I have become aware that they will end...
... I now see the passage of time more as a kind of bell curve. Years of ascension, soaring anticipation, followed by a plateau — which is not so bad, really — and then, no way to sugar coat this: a rather precipitous decline.
You are not supposed to think this, much less say it. A decline? Never!
Fifty is the new 30, after all; and 70 is the new 15, and 40 — well, the forties are just so fabulous that they can’t even be considered middle age. Even if they do happen to fall right smack in the middle of what, despite our best efforts, is still a limited human lifespan.
Susan Jacoby, the author of “The Age of American Unreason,” among other books, found herself, a year or so ago, attending a panel at the World Science Festival in New York City called “Ninety is the new Fifty,” and is now writing a book on the “delusion” she says we all have “that age is something that can be defied.”...
Yes, there are those who might remember that I felt the pressure of mortality at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and so on.
Well, in retrospect, I was damned right every time. Sure, there have been 80 year olds exploring Kashmir -- but there are more 80 year olds that Nature's tortured with a rigor that Dick Cheney might envy. Not to mention the quieter cohort.
My life is good, in many ways the best it's been. Even so, we all have a right to complain. Mortality sucks, 92* years is not nearly enough.
I'm with you Judith! I'll take my mortal life, but I reserve the right to bitch.
* My current projection - but it's not a promise and if we don't get an Alzheimer's breakthrough soon I'd discount the last 10.