Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

How Old Am I Again?


Well, if you must know, I’m 42 and 11 months, almost. But apparently my RealAge is 43.7 years.

I know! I was kinda shocked too!

At least once or twice every school year I still get the “You’re 42? I can’t believe it!! You’re as old as my MOM!!!” response from a student. I smile pleasantly and name that person my Official New Favourite Student for the month, but honestly, I’m pretty sure most people would pin me right at or about my age. I’m not under the illusion that I look particularly youthful, though there may be times when my mental age gives people pause.

If it’s true that you’re only as old as you feel, then I am fourteen, and twenty-two, and thirty. I don’t know if I feel forty-two because I have no idea what forty-two is supposed to feel like, except that by definition it feels a lot like this. I don’t feel significantly older, or different, than I did at most of the other ages I’ve been. The life experiences I’ve had in nearly 43 years have changed me, but they haven’t made me feel older, or wiser, nor have they made feel achy or creaky or tired yet. Middle age is supposed to bring either wisdom and maturity, or else apathy and cynicism — opinions differ on this, I’ve found. But so far, none of these things has happened to me. I am as idealistic, naive, optimistic and stupid as I was at eighteen. OK, not quite as stupd. But I can’t say that I feel my age, except that by definition, my age is what I feel.

However, there’s the other aspect of age: how close to death are you? Which is the only thing that actually bothers me about getting older. Unlike Nora Ephron, whose book I glanced at in Chapters today, I don’t actually feel bad about my neck or any of the other aspects of my middle-aged appearance, but I sure don’t like the idea of my time running out, especially when I’m having such a good time. So, prompted by a post on someone else’s blog, I decided to take the RealAge test and find out where I am on the age scale in terms of how long they think I’m likely to live.

I actually felt quite smug about taking this test. I don’t smoke, don’t drink, feel pretty good almost all the time, am within the acceptable BMI range, and don’t have any major health problems. I honestly thought I was going to come out a few years younger than my chronological age — maybe even under 40.

So I was shocked — shocked, I tell you — when I turned out to be 43.7 according to the RealAge calculator. All the things I’d thought were OK were indeed OK, but apparently the fact that I haven’t had my cholesterol checked counts against me, as does the fact that I was actually honest about how much fruits, vegetables and whole grains I eat (rather than putting down the amounts I intend to eat). Oh, and I lost points for not flossing every day.

Despite the fact that I still feel as springy, lively, naive and optimistic as ever, apparently I am in fact middle aged and there are all kinds of healthy things I should be doing to maintain that springy and lively energy as I careen down the steep slope towards elderhood.

This weekend I’m heading off to Eastport with some of my best galpals (ranging in age from a mere 30 to an august 47), which will definitely make me feel younger as I won’t have to be The Mommy and be at my children’s beck and call for those few days.  If you happen to see me on the main road in Eastport, I’ll be the almost-43-year-old whose neck, skin and graying hair definitely show my age, but I’ll be bouncing along as if I feel sixteen. And flossing. Definitely flossing.


6 thoughts on “How Old Am I Again?

  1. And as if things could get more unfair … Jason took the test, scored worse than I did in nearly every area, particularly diet and fitness … and got a RealAge of 40.9!! (His chronological age is 43.8). There is no justice.

  2. I got 43.5…time to hit the gym!

  3. Well, knowing that you’re four years younger than I am, that makes me feel better already!!

  4. I am 42.5, which is about a year younger. The weight they give some items may be off. Since I have excellent blood pressure, they said it might count for as much as 12 years younger. That is a lot.
    (and I rounded up my bp because the last six times they took it, I was on bed rest and still feeling the effects of the anesthesia.)
    They didn’t ask about my family history of diabetes, which I have managed to escape so far.
    There was no place to put down that I had a fairly major surgery (all those drugs really can’t be good) and I did kind of count things I was doing before surgery, like walking a couple of miles three times a week etc.
    Anyway, don’t take it too hard. You still don’t look 42, so that is a plus….

  5. Hmmm… a wee bit older than my 43ish self.


  6. i gave it a try,im 52.8 but they say im 51.7! of course i gave them my banking info and credit card #’s. so that’s the least they could say to me.

    : )

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