2 February 2018
I’m Carlton Edwards, I’m 52 years old and recently started a computer course with Connect Hackney. When I first started I had reservations, as I have a full-time job where I work very unsociable hours and I was wondering if this was something that I could commit to.
I’ve always wanted to brush up on my computer skills as I do mess about on my laptop every so often.
I do a thing where, when I type a word, I have a look at the screen, then type again – with one-finger typing.
When my friend asked if I was interested in attending an over 50s computer class, which he explained he would be attending, it gave me pause for thought.
Over 50s class? Nah, surely that’s for old people... Hold on... That’s me!
I will take you back in the mists of time to 1991. This was the year my mum celebrated her 50th Earth day and we had a huge party for her at her church.
I can remember thinking what a joyful day it was and, “Wow, Mum’s reached a landmark.”
I said it as if to say she just fell off a cliff, such is the trepidation and dread of approaching the big 50. Back then it seemed such a far-off place from my mind and my age.
My own life continued to roll over, day by day, month by month, year by year, watching my own kids grow: first tooth, primary school, family holidays, attending Mum’s 60th birthday, secondary schools, boyfriends and girlfriends, college, helping the kids to pass their driving tests, attending Mum’s 70th birthday...
Then, before you know it, “Dad, what you doing about your 50th?” Wow, where did that come from? And I continue to walk – not run – through life’s path with no cliff edge in sight.
Mum continues to be very active in her church. Her bags may not be as laden and now come with wheels and trolleys. She still makes her weekly trips to Ridley Road market, still attends cookery classes and still actively looks after her grandchildren.
Maybe this article should be called 76 not out!
I think what I’m trying to say is that 26 years ago – which is half my age now – my perception of being over 50 was that was old, and what comes with that vision is that you become a watcher not a participant because you’re unable to, because you’re just old.
Well I am not old – just getting older – as I believed my mum said to herself 26 years ago.
By Carlton Edwards, Senior Citizens’ Media Group