What is old anyway?

* 3 min read

First up is legal’s senior regulatory manager Tess Lawrence:

‘I thought being thirty was bad, 40 not so bad but 50, well that hurt. I am officially old and I can’t hide the fact. My cheeks are sagging as well as other places and I have had more than one health scare so one could be a bit despondent about the situation. 

But in many ways, I think that age offers me something that I never ever considered. Marketing seems to forget this, or is it because ‘youth is wasted on the young’? 

I know what and who I am so much more than I ever did. 

I know what I want to do with my life and how important looking after your physical and mental health is.

I know where my work life balance stands, I have a little money in the bank, and I know how long I have got until my exit plans from the world of work begin, a freedom that is something to look forward to, a reward for years of what has been hard slog at times. 

I am no longer afraid to break the rules, in society or otherwise and I find being classed as ‘quirky’ quite a compliment. It is easier to laugh in the face of adversity and have the confidence to know that tough times end and good times are always around the corner.

I spent last weekend dancing Argentinian Tango, feeling fit and sassy. The same week I received an email for a pre-payment funeral plan and Saga. 

Maybe some of my pals are ready to wear comfy slippers and learn to knit, but not me; I will be mainly on a mountain top or strutting my stuff.  To me, 50 isn’t as old as it used to be.’

 Tess Lawrence


Senior regulatory manager Ashley Finney:

When I was about 10 years old, if someone had told me they were nearly 50 I’d have said “Wow! That’s ancient!”.  Well, as I head towards that figure now (or should I say plummet), I can tell the young me it isn’t ancient at all.

In my mind, I don’t think I’m old – I listen to new alternative music, I go to gigs, I’m all over my phone like a teenager, I don’t dress like my Dad. I even think my kids think I’m quite cool for a Dad, and I’m not infirm!

Having said that, there’s no denying that 50 is approaching me fast.  And yes, at times I feel older and can see that I’m doing ‘old things’. Like what?  Well I enjoy watching Countryfile; I like a glass of port; I can’t remember the last time I listened to Radio 1; I think all the songs in the charts are rubbish; not many people ‘get’ my cultural references anymore (even though I’m only quoting from the ‘80s); I even own a cardigan now when I said I never would.

When I get up in a morning, I move like a man going through the stages of evolution, and everything cracks so much I think I’m walking on bubble wrap. I’d love an afternoon nap every day, and unfortunately I’m starting to move things away from me as I read them (I’ll soon need longer arms).

Does getting older worry me though? Not really. At least I’ve made it this far, I’d tell the 10-year-old me. 

SBS Michael Wharley 23