"You're only as old as you feel", they say. If that's true I guess I must be about seventy. OK, chronologically I'm 41, but I feel old.
When I sit down in a comfy chair an involuntary "ahh" escapes. Standing up again is accompanied by an "ooh!". Getting out of bed in the morning is a symphony of grunts, groans and assorted clicking and cracking noises from various joints. If they were to sample me in the morning and overlay a drum 'n' bass loop they'd have an instant number one hit.
The seemingly endless supply of energy I enjoyed in my youth is a distant memory.
Ten years ago, running up three flights of stairs at work would hardly be noticed. Now I have to sit down to recover.
My mind feels like a clock spring that's unwinding, losing tension, slowing down. If you could take a Pentium4 processor out of a computer and replace it with a Pentium2, that's pretty much where I feel I'm at. Grumpiness and the amount of mistakes I make are increasing and some days I really believe I'm losing the plot. Sometimes in stressful situations my thought/speech interface completely crashes.
I look at my son now and realise how far I've fallen. Alright, so his bedroom smells like a badger's armpit in the morning but that's a standard teenage boy thing, like the requirement for military grade deodorant and excessive tissue consumption. When he falls down he seems to bounce right back up (albeit with a carefully measured amount of drama), and his mind appears to be pin-sharp provided that the subject material is of interest to him. He also has such a relaxed way with the girls that he's never going to have a problem in that department, whereas at that age I was a total goofball who thought girls were some kind of alien species.
In many ways I see my son as my 'Ghost of Christmas past', and I see my father as my "Ghost of Christmas future".
Now that really is a worrying thought......