By MJ Wells

“We’re not getting any younger.” ‘Did you have to say that?’ is my usual response. At least they said ‘we’. Really, it’s a euphemism for ‘we’re all getting older’.
To a youngster of school age, it could be an encouraging remark; at least for me it would have been: I couldn’t wait to get older and leave the school gates closed behind me forever.

Although sometimes I look back now with some affection: a sort of rose- tinted-glasses affection that fails to see the dull times, the boring times, but picks up happier events all coloured by the knowledge not getting any younger didn’t seem so cataclysmic then.

Not getting any younger held out the promise of something better.Probably, it was a longing for ‘freedom’ associated with adulthood. Trivial things seemed so desirable: staying up till the early hours of the morning – going to bed, and getting up when you wanted.

There always seemed to be pleasures you were too young for. You could only attend a ‘U’ certificate movie, probably Disney, unaccompanied.
Not getting any younger would mean you weren’t just content with ‘pocket money’, generous though that was if you got any, but you would soon earn ‘big’ money yourself.

What of the school holidays, especially the long summer ones? You realised that happy, liberated adults were working full-time, Monday to Friday from at least nine till five, and often Saturday mornings as well. Then, being at school didn’t seem to bother you.

The observation ‘we’re not getting any younger’ naturally applies to everyone: even a newborn baby of one day, will be two days tomorrow.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own