That thing that happens to everyone has happened to me. It comes to us all and now it's come to David James Mooney, and I, for one, am certainly not happy about it. Somewhere between being able to stay up all night and do a full shift at work with no problems the following day and being able to grow a full beard the disaster happened. It's come to my attention that I'm getting old.
I used to say that all the time. I always used to say I was an old man trapped inside a young man's body, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It turns out I was just a curmudgeon of a young man more than anything else. I was always young; I just didn't really enjoy young people's things, so I said I was old instead.
I used to watch that episode of Teachers - the greatest TV series in existence, for the record - where Lindsay was terrified of her 30th birthday and I'd laugh, not really understanding the woes that surround it. Clearly, someone has changed the clocks too quickly because I was 15 when that episode first aired in September 2003.
A fleeting glance at the maths says my 30th birthday isn't that far off. For those keeping score, it's about 21 months away. I'm fully aware that there are plenty of people reading this who are above - and some who are well above - that age that will have little sympathy, but what's happening here is important. It's happening to me.
That scares me.
It's suddenly happened, too. I've not got a clue when I began to get so annoyed by people parking their car over the lines in the car park, leaving no space. I can't put my finger on when I started getting annoyed by other people having the TV on a little bit too loud. It's a complete mystery as to exactly when I started forgetting my passwords to important things, like my internet banking or my work emails. I've stood in a supermarket staring blankly at the chip and pin machine, too - as that four digit code has decided to take a short holiday from my memory banks.
Passwords used to be a simple thing. Now I have to pick one that has an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number, a symbol, a company logo or slogan, a musical note, a watercolour painting, and at least two emotions - and it has to be different to any other password that I've set up in the same website.
The website also wants six passwords to access various different parts of my account and I begin to wonder if anyone can ever get in to pay their own bills.
Every single time I log in (to every single website I use) it's now preceded by a 'request forgotten password' link click. Some even get the 'request forgotten username' treatment too - and that leads to a new password being created; a password which is one step further away from being memorable.
I used to be able to do simple things like get out of bed in a morning. Previously, the alarm would sound and I'd wake up, turn it off, get showered and leave the house. That's a skill that's deserted me; either I need to snooze six times to be able to face the day or my body hurts for no reason whatsoever.
"What did you do to your leg?" people might ask me these days, as I limp around the office. The answer is now normally: "I don't know. It was like that when I got out of bed." Even after playing football the evening before I could wake up unscathed in the past, but there's no such luck as the third decade of my life comes hurtling into view.
In fact, it used to be possible to play three five-a-side matches of an evening. Should that happen now, I must decline or I'd have to phone in sick for the rest of the week, unable to stand up straight. My back aches and my joints hurt.
I used to be great with technology. I used to be the one the family turned to in order to make the printer reproduce what was on the screen on a sheet of paper. I used to be the one that would put the new SIM card in a relative's phone and set it up. I used to be able to tune the TV.
None of that is my forte now - I don't want a new phone for fear of being unable to work it. I am even worse at playing computer games than I've ever been because I can't do the controls anymore and am too easily outwitted by artificial intelligence. I can't work the on-demand TV box that we have from a well know broadband supplier.
I used to get bored watching dramas on TV. Now I Sky+ them (because I can't use the on-demand box). I have to Sky+ anything I want to watch because there's a strong chance I'll fall asleep during it because I now nap. I'm a napper. Why is everything so bloody tiring?
I rarely even send texts these days. Back in the days of a number keypad, I used to send message after message without a blink. Now - and with a qwerty keyboard making it far easier no less - I call my friends because I can't be bothered to type it all out.
That's when I do speak to my friends, of course. They're all married or in long-term relationships or have kids or have strange work rotas or shift patterns or live in other parts of the UK or in other countries now. And I'm in a long-term relationship too, so when do any of us have free time that coincides with each other without planning it six months in advance and synchronising diaries?
I can't just turn up at a friend's house and expect them to be available anymore.
When I used to complain about being old, it was always tongue in cheek to some extent. I knew I had 'mature' tendencies, but I also knew that I was a spring chicken, enjoying life and shrugging off the little things. People used to say, "you're not old!" when I moaned about it.
Now, everyone uses an adverb to qualify it: "You're not that old."
Not that old.
Can't wait for those words to transform to "you're still young".Suggest a correction