What are these people talking about? I'm 44, about to turn 45. Yes, the gray hairs have started appearing, and I can look forward to a distinguished coif in a short while. The view in the mirror is going to be really different in a few years, and I'm not sure if I'm reconciled to that after a couple of decades of minimal change.
But old is exactly what I don't feel. Or feel like I look. Listen, I don't want to brag, but nearsighted campus visitors have recently mistaken me for a current student. Who are these people on the TV telling me that I should be buying wrinkle cream and anticipating physical deterioration, if not experiencing it already?
There's no doubt I'm blessed with good genes; my parents don't look their age, and never did. I've been moisturizing with sunscreen for years, I've never been a tanner, and even though I've never been a fitness nut, I've tried to stay in reasonable shape. Nevertheless, the number 45 doesn't fill me with dread any more than 40 did. Nor does 50 sound so bad (although somewhat sobering). I just can't accept the judgment of these cultural voices telling me that I've entered old age, when I feel firmly in the driver's seat of middle age for years to come.