ageist EDITORS | october 13, 2017
What age do you feel? It’s a question we ask everyone we speak to. The answer is complicated – the difference between actual and perceived age is 20 years, but that varies dramatically depending on the day or even time of day. When we look in the mirror the image we see is mixed with the memories we have of thousands of other times we have seen ourselves. This is where it gets tricky. I may be 58, may see myself as looking 40, while everyone around me sees me as being 58. Age dysmorphia? Although all the big “isms” – racism, sexism and the lot – deal with surface, I have never looked in the mirror and remembered a time I was a different race or gender. We carry with us the experiences of all of our ages and stages, and these memories pull at the reality of our station, distorting in our minds who we think we are. I am unclear if this delusion is a good thing: don’t act your age, whatever that means; or like any delusion, a self-deception keeping something unpleasant at bay.