Strangely, anyone past the first flush of peri-menopause who takes the trouble to look good is assumed to be out there touting their wrinkly wares. Sure, some gals don the leopard print jeggings in the hope of catching the eye and, with luck, other organs of firm, youthful gentlemen friends. But mostly we just want to look good for ourselves with no intention of picking off sick or wounded stragglers from migrating herds of young men. Roam free, my beauties - I'd rather have a cup of tea.
And if you're not being sold incontinence pants or told you too could be as desirable as 71-year-old Mirren, you're being targeted with anything from elasto-waist pants, to life cover or stairlifts. At 50. Trainer-wearing, skinny jean-pouring, 14-hour-a-day working me. With a mortgage and a liking for expensive gins.
Someone's always telling you what you ought to do. Read the papers often enough and you'll end up at once enlightened and confused. Chocolate will be part of the sugar scare one day, and will save you from strokes and heart attacks the next; red wine will give you cancer in January but save you from it in March.
Right now, you're full of ambition - eager to make your mark on the world and start building the empires you've got planned in your head. You've worked hard, you've got great business instincts and are going to go far.
In one week I will be 50 years old, half a century.Old! It's not surprising then that I'm reflecting on my life right now. There is this sense that the occasion should be marked in some way, and I don't mean a party.
"It's not about age."
All groups who exercised saw some benefit in visual-spatial processing (the ability to perceive where objects are in space and how far apart they are from each other), as well as an increase in overall attention levels and ability to focus.
The stereotypes place old age somewhere else, in a different plane, where human individual dimensions don't normally apply. Perhaps this serves a protective function: as long as "old" is somewhere else, one can stay truly young by simply not going there.
Fall related injuries affect a third of people over 65 each year, often leading to hospital admission and in many cases seriously impacting quality of life thereafter, including dropping out of social circles and even loss of independence.
I now look back on a life filled with adventure and excitement as living a series of sprints. What has changed for me is the absolute assurity that I would die young has gone. I now hit 50 years on this planet knowing that I have no idea how long I have ahead for the first time in my life.