JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

It's all downhill from here

Date
Still stunning but for how long? ... Cindy Crawford, 46, and Julianne Moore, 51.

Still stunning but for how long? ... Cindy Crawford, 46, and Julianne Moore, 51.

Some say when your number's up your number's up. But what if when your number comes up it's downhill? Louie C.K., the star of my new favourite program, is 42 and, he says, ''really on the decline''. ''There's never going to be a year of my life that was better than the year before,'' he says in his stand-up show on his TV show. ''That's never going to happen again. I've seen my best years. The loss of ability, of agility and breath... Last year I lost 90 per cent of my health and wellbeing...'' Forty-two is Louie's number. What's yours?

Louie had reason to feel his age in this episode - in fact he felt it so hard he was compelled to examine his 42-year-old paunch, his face, his buttocks, in the bathroom mirror (his verdict: unimpressed and depressed). After leaving his divorce attorney's office he had met his brother at the deli. Bro was upset about the break-up. ''You know what's really sad?'' he said to Louie. ''You're too old to get anybody else. You signed a paper that guarantees you're going to die alone in a room with a thin blanket over you and the nurse comes in and just shuts the machine off.''

Many people skate along for years looking and feeling younger than their chronological age. Then one day that's over.  

I laughed like a drain (I love that phrase and I love doing it). You had to be there. But Louie wasn't fighting his age. He was just feeling it.

Downhill slide from 42 ... Louie CK is feeling his age.

Downhill slide from 42 ... Louie CK is feeling his age.

Often a middle-age crisis - or an any-age crisis for that matter - is precipitated by a trauma. A wake-up call such as a death or an illness or an accident brings mortality into sharp focus. It can also be from a positive - a birth; acknowledging and appreciating younger generations as part of the cycle of life. On his 24th birthday Karl Lagerfeld was told by his mother that from that age onwards it was ''downhill all the way. So you would do well to start taking precautions now. You can say goodbye to your youth.'' Says Lagerfeld in his book The Karl Lagerfeld Diet: ''I don't know why she had chosen 24 but I have remembered it all my life. I remember exactly the room I was in when she called me.'' Twenty-four was her number.

Many people skate along for years looking and feeling younger than their chronological age. Then one day that's over. Suddenly they are their true age and oh how they realise it. It happens. I don't think there is anything that bad about this. Own your age. There's a reason old people boast about how old they are to anyone who'll listen.

But when you start to feel your age - or start to just feel old - it can be pretty awful to deal with. Has it happened to you? When - what was your number? Why - what happened; what were the symptoms? Was it indeed all downhill from there, as Louie suspects, or did it peak again?

twitter Follow Life & Style on Twitter

Pinterest Follow Life & Style on Pinterest  

Instagram Follow Life & Style on Instagram @life_style_news

161 comments so far

  • So true ... one day you feel incredible and wonderful and the next you wake up looking like your grandma. Before everyone cracks it on me let me just say it's not a question of not looking after or 'loving' yourself; it's just realising that you are no longer the gorgeous 20-something you thought you were. Yes, you get over it and start living your life again no matter what your age; sometimes it's just a shock to be faced with your own mortality ....

    Commenter
    Anniebananie
    Location
    WA
    Date and time
    June 14, 2012, 10:26AM
    • Mirrors don't lie. Tissues of the body age remorselessly over time, and it shows. Sadly.

      Commenter
      frank
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 1:33PM
    • Bollocks I say! I just turned 51 and have been lifting weights and watching what I eat for the last 26 years. Sure, my face isnt what it used to be but I'm fit and muscular. My gal says I've still got the best ass she's ever seen. I wake with enthusiasm each and every day to do my job which is my hobby [photographer]. I just made my first film which made the finals of Tropfest this year [RGB].My partner of the last 7 years and I parted company recently and I jumped straight back on the horse and have a new sweetheart. Life couldnt be better. Here's a bit of advice to those naysayers....you only get out what you put in!

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 1:53PM
    • it doesn't matter- too much time is wasted on fretting over lost youth, its a pointless exercise. Find someone you love, who loves you back and grow old together. Watching dancing with the stars snuggled up together on the couch is fun, so is knitting. Looking 20 at 70 is no substitute for having love and laughter in your life. You won't be able to give love if you're so self absorbed and constantly congratulating yourself that young guys are hitting on you. I love my old man, in my eyes he hasn't changed that much in 25 years physically and mentally/emotionally he's improved about 100%, so hang in there ladies, they usually get better and better.

      Commenter
      sunny
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 2:15PM
    • Hey Jason! Best of luck with your Tropfest entry and what a great attitude, keep on rocking it!

      Commenter
      Kitty77
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 3:13PM
    • The worst thing you can do for your skin is too much sun. Next too much alcohol/ cigarettes. Sugar binds with collagen and drags it down, which is part of the problem with alcohol, the rest is dehydration. Most illicit drugs? same, and they are killers on the kidneys and livere. A good diet can overcome a lot of so called genetic deficiencies.

      Someone posting below thinks the Rollingstones are still cool, but if a woman sported those same wrinkles nobody would agree; they'd be outraged. Case in point: Camilla Parker-Bowles who copped it majorly until she got 'refreshed'. There is sexism with aging, no doubt about it.

      I still look pretty good but feel older as I've been sick for awhile now. Can't wait to get back to living fully and going to the gym. It will be a lifelong thing for me as my bones are depleted. Bonus is I will be fit.

      Some days I look older, sometimes in bad light I look really bad. But as a person, I'm far wiser and knowledgeable than I ever was in the prime of my youth. I don't even miss not wearing the latest fashion, although I keep my look updated. The process of detachment from the material has begun, and that's a good thing. In the end we all have to let go of things and just accept while enjoying what we have.

      Commenter
      azure
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 10:09PM
  • NO, it hasn't happened to me and I'm turning 40 this year. It's true I don't look anywhere near my age (about 10 years younger is what people think on meeting me), but that is not the important thing. The important thing is I have been healthy and active for years, all while enjoying myself - because what is the point of exercising if you are fretting about it? It should be fun!

    I think this article is quite silly, the way it states the obvious, without really making a point. It could have talked about well being versus appearance, and focus on how it is possible to look old, but feel young. But noooo... it just drones on about how we are all doomed, destined to "feel" our age some day. Perlease. I already have plans for how I am going to live when I get too old to be super active. Having said that, people like me tend to stay active till well into their 80s and 90s. That's what I'm aiming for, with the wrinkles and rainbow coloured hair thrown in.

    Commenter
    Sasha
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 14, 2012, 10:27AM
    • Yep I was exactly the same well into my forties - always looked much younger & felt invinsible. But there is definately a turning point (for me around the mid forties) where you do feel a change. It's easy to be smug when you haven't got there yet - it would be interesting to see how you'd reply to this article in other 10 years.............

      Commenter
      Caroline
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 11:02AM
    • I'm turning 45 and to be perfectly honest, I'm still waiting to grow up. My eyesight certainly isn't what it used to be but I love where I'm at in life. As tragic as this sounds, I like to pull out a skateboard and ride sometimes (just quietly). I hit the gym around 4 times a week and am in better shape than when I was 30. I got so into it over the last few years that I decided to get qualified as a personal trainer. Age? it's just another year to enjoy all the celebrations!

      Commenter
      Denis
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 11:22AM
    • Well said Sasha.Age is but a number.I have not really exercised since in my 20's...but was a sheep and cattle farmer for 25 years,outdoors on the land. If you get into the habit of following your interests,the mental and physical balance comes together.My hair has gone from blonde to silver and weight has remained on 78 kilos since my 21st.I have developed an elephant sanctuary in Thailand for the past12 years and will still be organizing the infrastructure for years to come.Loving life ,NOT yourself is the key.Don't have the time think about it!!!

      Commenter
      Will99
      Date and time
      June 14, 2012, 11:33AM

More comments

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Featured advertisers

Horoscopes

Capricorn horoscope

Trust others to think for themselves. Don't be snobbish about what seems obvious. Everyone learns at their own pace, including you.

...find out more here