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Growing Old Is a Privilege 

Growing Old is a privilege. I always knew I’d get old, but the pace at which it’s happening is a bit frightening. I am about to hit a new decade – forty, the ultimate F word.

The thing is, you know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake. 2020 has also certainly aged all of us. I am feeling the covid-kilo’s and the tiredness. I’ve also had the odd person drop the topic of menopause into questions about my health wayyyy to much for my liking!

It’s now no longer fun to have people guess your age, because they get it wrong – the opposite way. Plus, many compliments given are now followed with “for your age”.

Suddenly You’re the Same Age Your Parents Once Were 

I remember my mum turning 40 and thinking how old she was (I was young and clearly uneducated then). At 9 years old, I organised her surprise 40th. My love for events started at a very young age, as did my fear of having my own celebratory events. One positive about covid – I may be off the hook having a party, or if I do – it will be very low key. Ultimately I won’t have to feel guilty about not inviting everyone due to restrictions (I hate excluding people).

I am happy that the last decade of my life is complete, because my body was used as a growing, feeding, and carrying service fueled with so many sleepless nights. But, now I am forty, and this past decade sure shows with sore body parts, worsening eyesight, grey hairs and wrinkles. Or we can call it “the new seven dwarves of old age”. Nappy, wrinkly, squinty, rocky, saggy, farty and leaky.

Big Changes Since the 80’s 

I’ll be embracing this next stage of my life with teenagers, likely filled with eye rolling, emotional outbursts and thoughts of running away. And that’s just the parents!

A lot of things have changed since the 80’s. Growing up, we played on the street, we recorded songs from the radio onto cassette tapes and sped them up to sound like the Chipmunks. There was no way we could find the lyrics to a song and sang them wrong for years. We had to learn without the internet and used encyclopedias, dictionaries and thesauruses. Phones were attached to the wall and there was no caller I.D.

We were allowed to play with fireworks in our backyards and didn’t wear protective gear to ride our bikes. I was doubled to school by my brother on the handlebars without even wearing shoes! After school we were on our own to let ourselves in, have a snack and entertain ourselves. We travelled in cars without a seatbelt, device, electronic windows or aircon- and family holidays consisted of driving to visit a family member as flights cost more than a car. Money was tight, we were born in a recession and home loans tottered around 17%. Life is so much better (and safer) for our own children in many ways.

Growing Old is a Privilege and It’s Mandatory – But Growing Up is Optional

So as much as I am struggling with the concept that I am heading into a new decade, and I am wondering if I am going to be having a midlife crisis soon, I’ve decided that growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional. And congrats to my fellow 80’s babies – as hard as getting older is, we’re lucky we survived our childhood!



  • PakMag Writer

    PakMag has a number of contributors and writers who sometimes like to remain anonymous so here is a collection of the articles and stories. Enjoy!