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Is middle age just a state of mind?

When I think about it (which admittedly I don’t terribly often) I don’t think of myself as middle aged – yes I may be on the slippery slope towards 40 but that does not make me middle aged yet

If I do think about it mathematically, assuming I live as long as my Gran (who made it to 96) then half of that is 48 and say take off 5 years for when you start entering middle aged so I’d be middle aged at 43 which means I’ve got years and years to go

The problem is that I know of people my age who firmly consider themselves to be in the middle aged camp – they talk about being past it, old, wrinkled – things that I just don’t consider myself to be.  Admittedly most of these friends have children who are a bit older and I guess there is nothing to make you feel old than watching your children go through adolescence but still… not yet 40 isn’t really all that old is it?

I do find myself doing more things I’d have written off as middle aged in my hectic 20s – I may have been seen out in public wearing a pair of elastic waisted trousers (in my defence they are a very fashionable shape and just happen to have the elasticated waist… but they are comfy now you mention it), I own shoes which might have been bought more for comfort than design (you cannot totter around on 4 inch heels in the vegetable patch or whilst hunting for Gruffalos in the wood, or at least I can’t) and I am partial to a bit of Radio 4, a cup of tea and perhaps a spot of knitting…

I am fond of traditionally middle aged activities like gardening, home made foods and remembering to buy birthday presents more than 24 hours in advance – I have lists and notebooks for those moments when my memory is a little more patchy than I would like.  I may have already started buying Christmas presents to spread the cost and ensure that December doesn’t turn into a mad panic

And yet, whilst I’m doing all these things that may look middle aged from the outside, inside I still feel young or at least youngish.  I may be growing wrinkles and the odd grey hair but does even that signal a sign that I’m about to slide into middle age?  Surely I should be feeling more grown up on the inside if I’m supposed to have finally grown out of all these youthful things?

Trouble is that, even with the evidence of my lifestyle and mirror, I still feel like a child playing at being an adult and if that’s the case then I surely can’t be grown up enough to be middle aged right?

So middle age?  State of mind or what happens automatically when you start having to tick the 35-44 year old box on surveys?

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