I was speaking to a friend on the telephone the other day and she told me that she’d given up her university degree.
“That’s such a shame,” I said, as I knew she’d put in a lot of hard work.
“Well, it was too stressful and I decided that at my age and my time of life, I don’t need the aggravation,” she replied.
My friend is forty-two years old. Admittedly, this friend has had a lot to put up with over the last few years and I can quite understand why she feels she doesn’t want to continue with her studies, but “at my age and my time of life” sounds to me as if she’s decided that there’s nothing else for her to discover.
When small daughter left pre-school to start big school, her teachers told me that she was forever asking questions about how things worked or why they worked in such a way. I’d like to take the credit for that as I like to know why things are the way they are (as the tradesmen who visit our house can verify!), because I believe that if you don’t ask, then you don’t know. Of course, this also applies in small daughter’s case to whether today’s the day she can have a new toy or an ice cream, but there is a definite truth in “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, and I think the more you find out about life, the more you want to know. My Dad is in his seventies but is still taking on new challenges and even usually remembers to fit visiting us into his hectic schedule as well! He gets offended when a doctor or a dentist tells him he’s doing well “for his age” because he forgets that he’s bus pass age, even if he zips about on his bus pass and his senior rail card more than most!
It’s a phenomenon that most of us have noticed that time seems to slip by faster and faster in our regular routine – but if we do something different then time seems to slow down. Over the last few school holidays we’ve tried to split them up into a few days doing one thing, a few days doing another, and we’ve noticed that the holidays have felt much longer than if we’d just stayed at home or done something familiar. It’s a trick of the brain, apparently, and I think it’s a pretty clever one.
So is age really to do with our birthdays or is it all in the mind? Personally, I think is that it has very much to do with how you are feeling, and I really hope that in the future, my friend finds herself feeling younger.