Nicholas Goodchild

Historic and Pared Down

Growing Old

15 December 2011 by Nicholas in Personal

Recently I have been going to the gym with my friend Wayne. One of the downsides to this is discovering that I am getting quite bald: my hairline has receded into a definite widow’s peak and I have two bald patches growing to meet each other on my crown. Earlier in the year I discovered that I had white hair in amongst my beard growth and have had to keep my stubble shorter so as not to look older. The baldness left me at a quandary as to how to deal with my hair: shave it completely, trim it short or try to somehow disguise the baldness. I went with the middle option, it is too cold to shave it all off and I have an odd shaped head which doesn’t particularly suite being bald.

There are other signs of aging too: my chin doesn’t have as taut skin on it as it used to and I have creases in my cheeks where once I had dimples as I smiled. My forehead shows more lines when I am pensive and I am sure I never used to have this many crow’s feet. I also find weight harder to shift than before: I have gained at least a stone (14lbs, just over 6kg) in the past couple of years that is only coming off very slowly (see: going to the gym) and I have to watch what I eat far more than I used to.

Of course, I am told that growing old brings wisdom and perspective. All I see is it brings me patience and an ability not to worry about things as much as I once did. I am not sure if this is purely a factor of age rather than experience, though. Conversely, I do find myself believing music was better when I was younger, worrying about the mindset and knowledge of the youth of today and sure the standard of teaching in schools was better when I was younger. The number of times I catch myself saying “who taught you . . .” is worrying.

That’s not to say I don’t like many aspects of modern life, I love the technology and I do find that I enjoy a lot of films now. And we have gone back to proper winters, although some sun in summer would be nice. I just find myself in a world that isn’t the one I grew up in with the realisation I am old and not quite sure how I should act.