Do you care less as you get older?

What do you reckon? Have you noticed that you care less as you get older?

Just about life in general I mean.

I was having a discussion with my friend Lucy about it this weekend. I’m 40 this month and she is a few years older than me and we were questioning where our enthusiasm for life had gone. Not in a melancholic way at all, more in a ‘perfectly happy just to have a cup of tea and a sit down thanks’ kind of way.

‘I just don’t CARE like I used to,’ she said, ‘I don’t feel passionate about anything. All I really want to do is potter about the house, play with my pets, read books, pluck the odd hair out of my chin, that sort of thing.’

I feel the same.

But is it just us? Do YOU care less as you get older?

do you care less as you get older?

Me living my best life. Actual doughnut.

On the one hand, it’s a pretty nice feeling.

I guess you’d call it contentment – a sense of being quite happy with very simple pleasures, with little things going right. A nicely organised wardrobe, a parking space appearing just where you want it, that sort of thing. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time waiting for something exciting to happen, like life wasn’t ENOUGH. I felt restless and there was a sense of urgency about things. I don’t often feel like that any more and it’s pretty relaxing to be honest.

But the flip side of not caring as much as you get older is the whole NOT CARING AS MUCH aspect.

‘I’m slightly concerned,’ admitted Lucy, ‘about how I’m going to manage to go to work for another TWENTY YEARS.’

‘It’s a worry,’ I agreed. ‘I feel like now should be about the time in our careers where we have the corner office and can pretend to be busy while actually just drinking brandy and knocking golf balls into a cup on the other side of the room.’*

That is the level of care I feel I have for a job at the moment.

‘The trouble is,’ I went on, ‘that when you’re self-employed, no one pays you to just piss about labelling your bookshelves and stroking cats. How on earth will I pay the mortgage for the next 29 years if I don’t give two hoots about anything?’

(‘Two hoots’ is such a lovely expression isn’t it? I wonder where it comes from. Is it that you care so little that you could just about muster one hoot, but can’t be arsed with a second?)

It’s a dilemma though, this total lack of ambition, especially when you work in an industry that is developing quickly. Every time a new social media platform rears its ugly head I see other bloggers leaping excitedly onto the bandwagon as it rumbles past, while I stay sat down in a cafe, watching them through the window while I eat a doughnut.

It feels like it’s a young person’s game.

It’s not even that I don’t enjoy my job or that I don’t try my best on individual pieces of work. I know I have a very enviable career, and that I can be flexible and have plenty of variety, it’s just… I don’t even know really. It’s just that I could quite happily NOT.

Basically I feel like I’m ready to retire. My bank balance says otherwise.

Even five years ago I felt different. If you have asked me then what I would do if I won the lottery, I would have had dreams of creating some fancy looking creative agency, full of ping pong tables and tall men with beards doing programming.

Now? I’d probably pay off the mortgage, go on a cruise and go out a lot for brunch.

I’d love to know if this is just me. Do you feel like you care less as you get older? How do you maintain enthusiasm for work when really you’d just quite like to be a cat?

Do you care less as you get older?

Mood every day

*I didn’t use that exact analogy, but the more I have thought about it, the more that’s how I see it in my mind.

Photo by Hrvoje Grubisic and Kari Shea on Unsplash



  1. Clothkitty
    3 April, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    I’m in my mid 40s and definitely careless than a I did a few years ago.
    I don’t have a career, health concerns and aging parents mean that other things matter more. I do have a part time job I enjoy (but which doesn’t trouble me outside work hrs) and a boss who is understanding if I need to flip my hours about to accommodate hospital appointments etc. That to me is worth more than an all consuming career.
    Money is tight and that limits plans but I’m generally happy with my lot. Parking spaces which appear when needed are fab; I get time to enjoy my hobbies and garden on a week day, and if anyone wants to stop and enjoy the view with a cuppa and a nice slice of coffee cake then I’m up for that.

    • Jo Middleton
      4 April, 2018 / 10:18 am

      I think your last sentence is so important – it’s that feeling of if you do want to just stop for a minute then you can. We all need to build that time more into our lives.

  2. Susan B
    3 April, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    Yes! And it is so, so liberating. However, I am sensible about work because I wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardise my independence.

    • Jo Middleton
      4 April, 2018 / 10:18 am

      There’s always a balance I think Susan. I have to keep on working to pay the mortgage!

  3. Janine
    3 April, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    I’ll be 46 next year and I definitely feel like I don’t care anymore. After all those years of never leaving the house without makeup on and never ever tying my hair up, I now rarely wear any makeup and my hair is always tied back and out of the way. I reckon if people dont like the way I look, they can look away. And as for work, I am in a job I don’t like but I’ve been there for 11 years and the thought of moving and starting again doesn’t appeal, so I’ve settled for ok and convenient. My daughter is 17 later this month and as far as I’m concerned, as long as she’s happy and healthy, nothing else really matters anymore. I’m done with other people’s drama and expectations. I’d very much like to be a cat.

    • Jo Middleton
      4 April, 2018 / 10:17 am

      The whole ‘not worrying about what other people think of your looks’ side of it is pretty nice! Although I do worry that it will mean I just get super fat :-)

      • Janine
        4 April, 2018 / 10:54 am

        ha that made me laugh, because that’s exactly what’s happened to me. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and finding it hard to be motivated to do anything about it. I did go to a support session yesterday for bariatric surgery as a support for my mum who’s having it done later this month. And I did think at the time “maybe that’s what I should do” because honestly, I’m lazy and dieting is so much effort.

        • Jo Middleton
          6 April, 2018 / 4:41 pm

          Hahah! I have, in those bored moments, considered the benefits of liposuction. You just get it sucked out then start again right? That’s how it works?

  4. Jaime Hounsell
    4 April, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    Oh Ladies, I long to be like you all with your carefree ways even with your personal limits.
    I care way too much, think way too much, worry way too much……
    I turned forty last July, two months after finding out my partner of 20 years had been seeing someone else for 6 months, I’m putting my mom care less ways down to that, but mainly that’s because it’s the only reason I can find at present!!
    I long for care less days!

    • Jo Middleton
      6 April, 2018 / 4:41 pm

      Oh no Jaime, I’m so sorry to hear that! That’s NOT COOL. How are you feeling about it now? All the more reason though to remember to always make yourself the priority and not care what anyone else thinks – you’re going to be the one who sticks around forever!

  5. Joanne
    4 April, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    I am 41 and I don’t feel I’m there yet. I’m restless and full of things i want to do and achieve coupled with frustration at all the adulting that i must do that stops me going full throttle at some of these ideas.

    • Jo Middleton
      6 April, 2018 / 4:39 pm

      I know what you mean adulting – it really does get in the way of the fun stuff. What kind of things would you do if you didn’t have to do the boring bits?

  6. 5 April, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    I’m 35 next week and I’m there already! I’m pretty happy just to make enough money to be comfortable, well try to ha and my happy place is at home with a cuppa. I think the not caring so much thing is good though, as you also care a lot less about what anyone else thinks ;)

    Stevie x

    • Jo Middleton
      6 April, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      Good work Stevie – you’re ahead of the curve!

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