Having been born in February 1955, I'm around six months from the landmark age of sixty-five. Strangely, this doesn't fill me with the fear which I felt at the approach of becoming thirty.
I really have no idea why this should be the case, but possibly it's because I realise there's nothing I can do about it. Also, at the same time of thirty being on the horizon, I felt under pressure to become a responsible adult.
I had been married for three years and had an eight year old stepson to raise, and responsibility had never been much of a priority to me, to say the least.
This, I think made me feel I had to grow up and stop being myself.
I know it sounds strange, but I hadn't ever expected to have this kind of responsibility.
Moving rapidly forward and skipping the abortive move to the USA. The tragedy and ongoing pain of losing my stepson at the age of eighteen and the subsequent disintegration of my marriage plus the death of my parents, here I am living on my own in small town in the Glasgow area, peering at the prospect of being what used to be pension age.
When we are young, we see anyone ten years our senior, as very old. I also couldn't imagine how "old" people thought.
Obviously, I have since discovered that we "old" people think in exactly the same way as I did when I was in my twenties. I have discovered that the young person I was is still there and as irresponsible as ever.
What does change however, is our breadth of knowledge. And our doubts about the veracity of all sources of this knowledge. In the age of the internet, facts can be made to fit many different views and twisted to make reality seem unreal.
This suits political activists and politicians alike. This ability to deny true reality and make their supporters believe this warped version of the truth, makes politics on all sides very dangerous and open to all kinds of manipulation.
But back to the advantages of age. I feel much more confidence as I get older and feel in some ways as if I'm becoming mentally, and in some ways physically younger.
This of course makes no sense, but this is how I feel, despite my neuropathy getting worse. This can only mean the brain is somehow compensating and expanding to overcome fear of getting older and more vulnerable.
What do we really know about the function of the brain?
The scientists and medical experts don't seem to understand that if we allow ourselves to be open to all possibilities, we will reap the benefits of the Universe. Where do huge leaps of knowledge come from?
There is no sensible explanation of how this occurs. In my opinion, this knowledge can only come from keeping the mind open, and not closed to allowing the brain to be used to greater potential.
I mean, what makes some people think they know everything and cannot conceive the notion of their being wrong or lacking in knowledge?
This has to be due to arrogance and false self belief.
Which is why a closed mind is such a dangerous weapon.
We see wars, and disasters caused by people like this, who have no ability to see past their own knowledge.
This isn't just short-sightedness. This is non-sightedness. This is knowledge blindness.
I have seen on occasions, the other side of the curtain. The side beyond knowledge blindness.
Proof of where the brain can take us if we allow ourselves to be open to what other people cannot even consider.
But most people are scared of anything they cannot understand and that stops them from making the most of what they have.
Why would someone like Einstein be a genius not only in his own field of science, but in his entire outlook on life?He was young for his entire life, because he was open to all forms of knowledge. His mind wasn't blocked by rigid thoughts of convention. He saw all the possibilities.
All great people have this ability to see beyond the curtain. They are usually somewhat anti authoritarian and kick against the traces of organised politics and religion.
Independent of thought and deed, and not followers of the herd, they go their own way despite being ridiculed by their peers and teachers.
I often hear people say that they are open minded, but they don't understand what being truly open minded actually means. This means not condemning anyone for life choices made.
It also means treating all people as equals and not picking and choosing which you want to be your equal. A person begging on the street is a person nonetheless.
Talk to all people in the way which you yourself would want to be spoken, do not assume someone with a mental illness is less than human.
I'm not saying that we can all be a genius like Einstein or Stephen Hawking, but in order to make the most of ourselves, we have to be open to all knowledge and experience.
Staying young at heart is essential to making the most of our brain. We have to allow our carefree youth to stay active and at the forefront of our thinking, otherwise we are doomed to the trap of knowledge blindness.
Dare to see beyond the curtain.