Acting Your Age Is An Act

Lynne Segal, author of Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Aging, observes that the most predictable part of life always manages to take us by surprise:

Perhaps the oddest part of getting older is that few ever feel their age – a disconnect that increases with time. Writing in her late 60s, Ms. Segal marvels at the way her age feels somehow separate from her core self. She describes “lurching around between the decades, writing the wrong date on cheques,” wondering, in essence, how old she is. She is hardly alone. In a 2009 survey of Americans, those over 50 claimed to feel at least ten years younger than their chronological age; many over 65 said they felt up to 20 years younger. “Acting our age,” observes Will Self, an English writer, “is something that requires an enormous suspension of disbelief.”