They’ve started calling me ‘elderly’. I thought at first they were talking about someone else, not me, surely.  I’m not elderly.  That’s the previous generation, like my mum, your dad and Uncle Eric.  I’m not on the edge of the ice floe, not yet.  I’m nowhere near elderly.  I’m only middle-aged – well, okay, at a push, late middle-aged.  But elderly?  Really? 

They categorise us according to our age apparently but that of course bears no relation to our internal age. In our minds and in our hearts we may still be eighteen or twenty-five or forty-eight.  How old we are inside has got nothing to do with the number of grey hairs or laughter lines or miles on the clock.  And they link us together with the vulnerable and those with underlying conditions.  I’m definitely not there yet.  Only yesterday it seems, I was that carefree teenager, that young mum, the mature professional career woman, the retiree enjoying the freedom of the newly acquired pension. 

But now, evidently, I am elderly. I’m not allowed out, in lockdown, confined, quarantined, protected, shielded even.  It’s hard to accept.  I’ll be good, I’ll follow instructions, stay indoors, abide by the rules.  Just don’t call me elderly; old will do.

Jilly King

© Copyright Jilly King, THACS Writers Online 2020