The other day, a neighbor was over here for chai. We were chatting about this, that and the other when she mentioned how it takes her long to walk to the main road every day to catch a matatu to the school where she teaches, "because I'm in my old age now."
"If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?"
Forty-five. Old age? Here, people are encouraged to retire at age 50, so I guess considering that she's close to retirement, she might think she's old. It just baffled me, though! Forty-five is still young! She easily has half of her life yet ahead of her. It's probably very cultural, our approach to age and aging. I am a firm believer that you're only as "old" as you allow yourself to feel. Granted, I can tell my body's getting older. (I'm fast approaching 40, but then again, "Life begins at 40," right?) But I don't even think of myself as "middle-aged"!
Perhaps I was influenced by Doris, with whom I worked for almost 8 years. She's 77 this year, and I'd say she still won't say she's old. She took up scuba diving in her 40s.
I'm rambling. Need to get ready for church. I'm in Ilula today since I was asked to take the interns to Kipkaren on Friday night so they could see the children's home on that side.