How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
Younger than I am! I wonder if everyone into middle age or older would say that? I presume this question is a slightly roundabout way of asking how old I feel, and I definitely don't feel my age, which is 54. I am thinner, fitter and healthier than I was in my late 40s, when I spent about three years feeling permanently run down, low on energy and lurching from one chest infection to another. As a result I feel considerably younger than I did five years ago, which is a rather nice place to be in. Most of my friends are in their 30s and 40s, not through conscious choice but simply due to office demographics and having had my children in my later 30s and 40s; I rarely remember that I am older than they are. I am also told that I look younger than my age, which I think is not just flattery as I have seen too much genuine surprise from people when I tell them how old I am. I guess this is genetic as I don't make any effort to try to stay looking "young" and my father always looked much younger than his age.
I am also lucky in that I still feel a childlike excitement in new and small things. Mostly I manage not to act inappropriately, and have so far resisted the urge to slide down my friend's spiral bannisters (she worries her landlord might not like the results if I did!). I still enjoy rollercoasters, fairy lights, snow, playing in leaves, and would still enjoy freewheeling on a bike if I had one. Having an eight year old also helps to keep me young and active. Yes, there are times when I do feel my age physically. If I don't exercise I get stiffer and have less energy; if I do exercise I ache! My knee joints aren't what they were and although I am having a pretty easy menopause there are times when I "glow". If I tried to pack in the amount my teenage daughters do I would be exhausted, but I mostly I manage to keep one step ahead of exhaustion despite leading a very busy life. Age has its good sides to; I appreciate the more balanced perspective that comes with knowledge and experience.
So how old would I be if I didn't know how old I was? I think I'll settle for 44 with a dash of 8!