Aging is one of life's great mysteries. Eventually, the slow hand of Time has its way with all of us, but there is no single path to getting old. Some of us keep that zest of youth well into our later years. Others seem to emerge out of the womb with the crotchety wisdom of a pensioner.
We live in a culture that is obsessed with youth, and for those of you out there clinging on to the hope of eternal youth, we present the following ways to test whether you have, in fact, become old far before your time.
1. The random noises you make
Any sudden movement of your body - if fact, any movement of your body at all - is accompanied by strange noises from your mouth. What are these sounds? You cannot stop or control them.
2. You spend a lot of time reading Rip.ie
Welcome to the golden years. RIP.ie is now one of your 'Most Visited' websites and the 'Death Notices' on your local radio station is now your most-listened-to podcast
3. Tubs starts speaking more and more sense
When you were younger and more of a dilettante, you never listened to the RTÉ Establishment but seemingly out of the blue, you find yourself agreeing with a lot of the things Ryan Tubridy says and liking the music Ryan Tubridy plays and enjoying the books Ryan Tubridy suggests.
4. You've rediscovered Mass
Sunday mornings used to be spent on the couch, recovering from a big night out. Now Sunday mornings are spent on the couch, watching a garbled livestream of Mass.
5. Every night is an early night-in
You find yourself in bed every night before the clock strikes eleven. Sometimes you remember the days when you stayed up after midnight. The thought of midnight and whatever follows it fills you with terror.
6. You join the cracked egg police
You refuse to purchase a half dozen eggs without meticulously checking for cracks in the eggs. You are like Sherlock Holmes in your relentless effort to detect cracks in eggs.
7. Also you also enlist in the voucher police
Speaking of the supermarket, you find yourself basing your weekly shop solely around vouchers.
8. The flavour of alcohol matters far less than it used to
Who are you kidding? At the end of the day, a drink is a drink. You'll only drink Guinness out of a bottle and the only spirit that appeals to you use is straight whiskey.
9. Your two favourite conversation topics are life assurance and pensions
PRSA banter is the best banter.
10. You're at war with damp
In your mind, the great evil in the world is not racism or capitalism, but damp. You sense its presence everywhere. You feel it in your bones on a damp day. You hate the damp.
11. Your most treasured fashion item is your bathrobe
There was a time when you prided yourself on your fancy eveningwear but you've realised the only truly essential item of fashion is your bathrobe. You've gone weeks without changing out of it and your only regret about your bathrobe is that it's not waterproof, because you can't shower in it.
12. Everything you watch on telly reminds you of how much better things used to be when you were a young person
This is possibly the biggest sign you have, in fact, become old.