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Ten Observations That Tell Me I’m Not As Young As I Used To Be


Just a few short years ago I never thought I’d be saying things like these:

  1. I was on a night out talking to a couple of girls, one 18 and the other 21. Instead of chatting them up and trying to get them into bed I found myself lecturing them about consumerism in society and involuntarily start giving them advice about life in a horribly father-like way.
  2. I don’t even bother pulling out my grey hairs any more. There’s no point, if I did I’d just leave bald patches on my head and besides, there are far too many of them to get the lot.
  3. Some of my friends children are old enough to drive, get married and buy their own houses. It seems like only yesterday they were little kids running around and now – at half my age – they’re fully featured adults.
  4. Of the last dozen or so CDs I bought more than half of them were recorded over ten years ago. I’ve already started saying how everything sounds the same, there’s very little innovation in modern music and you just don’t get music like you used to.
  5. My dad used to use the phrase “20 odd years ago” to describe when he’d last seen someone or been somewhere on holiday. 20 years felt like an eternity to me then but now I use the phrase all the time myself and 20 years feels like only yesterday.
  6. I can still remember life before The Simpsons. That was 20 odd years ago.
  7. I recently found out how old the “old man” in my football team is. He’s 5 years younger than me!
  8. I still just don’t “get” twitter or Facebook. I’m not famous so nobody follows my twitter account and as I can’t even keep track of the tweets of the handful of people I follow I just don’t see the point. I stay in contact with my friends in the real world rather than the virtual one so I don’t really know why I’d want to keeping checking their statuses or how many zombies they’ve converted. Since all the kids are doing it and a classic old person trait is to not “get” new technology I guess that makes me old.
  9. My t-shirt to shirt ratio (the number of t-shirts in my wardrobe compared to the number of shirts) ran at about 15:1 throughout my 20’s. Now that ratio is closer to 3:1. As I’ve never had to wear a shirt to work (since I work in IT) the fact that when buying clothes I look at shirts before t-shirts speaks volumes.
  10. I’m always banging on about how I’m not a youth any more and wondering where all the time went. See the 9 points above. πŸ˜‰

Now if I start wearing tank tops over a shirt you have my permission to grab me by the collar and shake me until I see sense and stop acting like I’m 75 when I’m not even 35 yet!

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

24 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Ha ha, very good!

    Re. item 1 – I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to talk to those girls when I was younger, whereas nowadays I’d have to avoid them for fear of coming across as some sad old perv!

    Re. item 4 – You still buy CDs? Ever heard of downloads, Grandad? πŸ˜‰

    Re. item 6 – Not only life before The Simpsons, but I (and presumably you) can remember when daytime telly was the test card!

    Re. item 8 – This is patently not true as it was a mere two days ago that you replied to one of my tweets. I think you “get it” more than you like to admit.

    Console yourself with the thought that I’ll always be six months older, whilst I’ll console myself with the thought that item 2 hasn’t happened to me yet and if my father and his father were anything to go by…never will! πŸ˜‰


    • Yeah, I suspect I wouldn’t have had the balls to talk to them when I was younger either – age, wisdom and all that!

      Ha ha, there’s nothing wrong with buying CDs – the quality’s better, and I like listening to CDs in the car, reading the inlay and choosing them from my collection. There’s just something nice about the physical aspect of CDs that you don’t get when buying from iTunes.

      Actually, I remember the test card and also watching the launch of Channel 4 and the very first programme. Thinking that up until then we had 3 channels and now I have several hundred on Sky things have changed. Although quantity certainly hasn’t brought more quality sadly.

      And I still can’t believe you won’t go gray – it’s just not fair! I bet you have perfect 20/20 vision too. Grrrrr!


      • “there’s nothing wrong with buying CDs – the quality’s better,”

        Didn’t we say that about vinyl “20 odd years ago”? πŸ˜‰


    • I must admit that I agree with you about CDs, although perversely I do purchase more music through iTunes now. It’s just so convenient, whereas buying CDs from a shop is increasingly hard to do.


    • Yeah, I’m the same. There’s a lot of stuff I buy from iTunes instead of buying the CD. But I still buy the odd CD, albeit not as many as I used to.


  2. You wait ’til you have kids of your own and how old they make you feel πŸ™‚ I never thought I’d actually look forward to going to National Trust properties at the weekend!


  3. I know the feeling and can relate to them even though I am a few years younger than yourself. However, you have not yet had kids. You’ll end up adding a few more items to your list once you get kids. My young un discribed the meaning of ‘Ace’ to me a few months ago as though it was a new word. He also tells me that I can’t play certain games because I am too old.


    • Ha ha, I’ll probably end up writing “100 Things That Really Show I’m Getting Old”. Actually, I’ll probably be too old and knackered to even write that list!


  4. I feel the same since I got 40 (four years ago).

    When you see policemen that look like little kids, you realize it’s downhill all the way now πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing this, now I know that I’m not alone with this feeling.


  5. Whilst watching Clint Eastwood in Gran Tourino I found myself aspiring to be able to growl just like him !

    I aspire to be a grumpy(er) old(er) man!



    • I haven’t seen Gran Torino yet but I’ve heard he’s fantastic in the role (as you’d expect of the legend). And he’s grumpy!


  6. Yeah, I’m just 33 and in most people’s view that’s still quite young, but coming recently out of the gov’t classifed “youth” age bracket of 18-29, it can be quite an adjustment to enter full-fledged adulthood. I’m not ready to grow up (and glad to say I haven’t seen a single sign of grey yet!). But John, I think you are wise beyond your years with all your insights and reflections on life; just don’t let that age you prematurely!

    On the bright side, I keep hearing that 30 is the new 20, and 40 is the new 30…and 60-year-olds are jet-setting around like a bunch of 50-year-olds. As long as we’re taking good care of ourselves, and still having fun, I think there’s hope for us all.


    • Ha ha, don’t worry Melanie, I’m still 21 inside with the same wonder and lust for life so no premature ageing for me! πŸ™‚


  7. What’s wrong with tank tops, I’ve been wearing them for years and I don’t think of myself as old. However, having just spent a week in Cyprus with the blue rinse brigade and possesing more shirts than t-shirts, I may have to reconsider.

    BTW – I don’t “get” twitter too.


    • Mmmmm, tank tops are not a good look Sion! πŸ˜‰

      And a holiday with the blue rinse brigade eh? Well worth it for a bit of sunshine if you ask me!


  8. Thanks John for writing this post. Since last couple of months I was going through technical articles only (being a tech blogger), but this post made me to sit quiet for 5 minutes and think.

    I’m 24 and I got a bit afraid (yes, it’s true) to see me as an old person after few years. I will loose all my spirit and excitement. I guess it will hurt then to remember my youth activities, it’s like you want to get back something but you can’t. Oldness will laugh at me like I’m helpless πŸ™


    • Oh I wouldn’t worry, you don’t really change on the inside! πŸ™‚ Having said that, add another 20 years on and I’d probably feel that way too!


  9. 11: You pack a kitchen roll when going camping. I did that yesterday (they ARE handy and the kids DO make a mess, but really…). Apart from packing camping chairs, a camping table, plates and cups and dishwashing detergent. How did we survive camping 10 years ago with only a rucksack? πŸ™‚
    12: Your son’s teacher is (much) younger than you. That’s a strange feeling, being older than a teacher.
    13: Your son doesn’t know how to handle a telephone with a deal plate in a technical museum! Your kids will never learn to handle a slide-rule or a logarithmic table, either.

    I’m 37. I don’t “get” Twitter and Facebook, either, seems like a complete waste of time. I don’t “get” most of the gadgets either, I only reluctantly bought an old emergency cell phone a couple of years ago which I usually don’t have with me the one time I could need it. I’m still using an analog modem at home – I have fast internet at work which is why I don’t feel the necessity to upgrade yet. But it makes me look quite fossile to my family. πŸ™‚
    Oh, I’m a programmer, by the way. And none of my colleagues cares much about gadgets, Twitter, Facebook and so on. Interesting fact, I think.
    At least I don’t wear tank tops (yet?). I used to hate them as a child already, they were quite fashionable in East Germany in the 70s (even for girls). They were called “Westover” and that just says it all. πŸ™
    But I would like to be able to growl like Clint Eastwood, too. πŸ˜‰


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