When did you realise your were Middle Aged?
Someone drew this caricature of me and sent it to me via Twitter. I have to say, apart from having a cock for a nose, I think it's a pretty fair representation of me. I lost my hair in my early 20's and my ears have always been that big. So yeah, they've pretty much nailed me.
But, when I looked at the extra wrinkles, the crows feet and the shaded bags under my eyes, I suddenly got a realisation of how other people might see me.
I wasn't upset with this drawing, in fact it was quite the opposite; I believe I used it as a profile picture on my social media channels for a few months. However, I think it was this image that made me realise that I was starting to look old.
Now, I see myself every day in the mirror whilst brushing my teeth (let's be honest, I'm not checking my hair, am I?), but because I see myself on a daily basis, I don't often see the changes happening. The greyness in my skin, the saggy bags under my eyes and the ever-deepening furrows in my brow.
Like the huge majority of us though, in my own head, I'm still 18 years old... and I know I'm not alone in thinking that. But things start to catch up with you. Younger men start to appear at work, holding similar positions as the one you hold, or even as your boss! The body doesn't seem to deal with or recover anywhere near as quickly as it used to and music seems to not be music anymore (that's a real tell-tale sing that one).
It can take a while to get used to this, but I'm happy to say that I have now fully-embraced the middle aged lifestyle. Garden centres are now places that I can actually muster up some enthusiasm for and fashion is not something I really care too much about anymore; I mean, I'm not a tramp, but I certainly couldn't cut it on the catwalk!
When you give in to the MAL (middle aged lifestyle), your world suddenly becomes so much easier. You care less about what others think of you and become more accepting of the slightly slower pace of life that being middle aged can offer you.
Go with the flow
So I say 'Embrace the changes' that getting older offers you. Trying to 'stay young' is exhausting and so easy to get wrong.
At the same time though, I'm not here to tell you this is what you must do either, because there'll be plenty of men our age who kick against this because they're not quite ready for the pipe and slippers yet. Neither am I really. I bought a pair of skates last year and have every intention of re-learning to skate again. But at the same time, I have no desire to keep up with the lifestyle I used to lead 20 years ago... I'm not sure my liver could take it to be honest!