I'll put my cards on the table. I think I am middle-aged. Of course if you don't know how old I am in years then that won't help you judge the accuracy of my opinion. Of course you may never have thought about it. After all, why should you?
What caused that outburst? An email exchange (you really don't need to know the details!) with a dear friend:
Me: Payment for a (very) misspent youth and younger middle age now that I've reached older middle age.Dear Friend: We're middle aged? Who are you kidding?Me: Haven't they told you yet. The 60s are now the old 50s.Dear Friend: Nope. Anyway, 50 is quite old.
I've sort of thought about this all day and decided to do some research.
Google it and the dictionary definition is: Noun. The period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered to be from 45 to 65. (So, my dear friend, 50 is still on the young side of middle age).
Apparently the medical definition is between 40 and 60. (So, my dear friend, 50 would be in the middle of middle age).
Frankly Wikipedia wasn't that helpful on the subject.
However Robert L Adams who seems to have cornered middle age has a considered essay on the subject at that link and concludes that middle age is that point in your life when you shift from seeing the future in terms of your potential and begin to see it in terms of your limitations.
The problem with that definition for me is that I still see my life in terms of the future whilst being very much aware of my limitations. So I'm not sure whether I'm middle-aged or not.
What really settles it for me, though, is that I was, according to my Mum, born with my pension book in my hand. Which I think was a way of saying that I was born old. Well it took me until about 60 to start getting young and I was just about there at 65. So I've decided I'm not even middle-aged yet.
As my Mum said it was bad manners to ask a lady her age I'll not pursue the question. However if anyone wants to offer an opinion on how old they consider themselves to be they are most welcome so to do.