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25 Subtle Signs You’re Getting Older

Time can be really, really sneaky.

Aging isn’t a bad thing, especially when you think of the alternative. No, not immortality. The other thing.

But it’s those little things that pop up every once in a while, the almost imperceptible examples, that signify the years passing by just a little bit faster. We threw together a list of such things, because that’s what older (and wiser) people do: write lists so we don’t forget things. (We also yell at those darn kids to get off our lawn.) Feel free to suggest any additions to the list here.

You start to sympathize with the principal from The Breakfast Club. (His life is really sad. Plus, he was stuck there on a Saturday, too. Why don’t those kids just give him a break?)

principal from the Breakfast Club

It’s not that unusual to tweak your back while reaching for a water bottle rolling around in the backseat of the car.

back pain from driving

You recognize a pro-athlete's last name and can’t believe he isn’t retired. Then you realize it’s his son. (Or grandson.)

Standard topics of conversation when meeting friends for lunch or dinner: health ailments, kid updates, why is the music in this restaurant so loud?

Has Phil Collins always been this catchy? (And even more so with Philip Bailey.)

You proudly choose comfort over style. (Though, this could apply for any age.)

comfy old man in a rocking chair

You judge a movie by whether or not it can keep you awake.

fall asleep while watching a movie, first world problems meme

You have terrifying flashbacks to stupid things you did as a kid and wonder how you still have all your fingers. Fireworks come to mind. (You’re also thankful smartphones weren’t around to document any of it.)

boy setting off fireworks illustration

Radio stations are still playing the same songs, but adding “20th” “30th” or “40th” and “anniversary.”

vintage car radio

Ensure is on sale at Target? Why not. It’s a delicious, filling treat (when properly chilled).

ensure six pack

You get misty when you find old birthday cards signed “Love Grandmom and Grandpop,” and don’t even want to do the math to realize how long it’s been since they were around.

love grandma signature necklace

[Source: Brittany Leigh Jewelry]

Seriously, about loud music in restaurants. Was this a thing when I was younger? I don’t remember that. (Actually, this story in The Atlantic proves that restaurants are, indeed, getting louder.)

man covering his ears

Movies and TV shows set in the 80s and 90s, an era you remember quite clearly, are considered period pieces.

You remember when eggs were good for you. Or bad for you. Or good for you. Wait, are they good or bad for you now?

frying eggs

To You: Robert De Niro = Ready-to-murder-you-where-you-stand tough guy (Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Cape Fear). To people younger than you: Robert De Niro = Sweethearted funny guy (Meet The Parents, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dirty Grandpa)

robert de niro in goodfellas and meet the fockers

You used to go out of your way to find new music. Now you have no problem downloading songs you heard in a commercial, or while shopping at CVS.

When you fill out a survey and realize you’ve graduated into a higher age bracket.

age brackets

No one asks to see your ID anymore.

happy to get carded

When someone asks you for ID, you think they’re just being sarcastic or sweet.

see some id meme

Did a sneeze just throw my shoulder out?

sneezing injury

Solitaire is a lot more fun than I remember.


Those recurring nightmares where you didn’t study for a test aren’t nearly as traumatizing. But you still have them.

woman having a nightmare

“Have I really had this t-shirt for 25 years? How is that even possible?” — You (thoroughly pleased-with-yourself)

star wars empire strikes back vintage t-shirt

“Have you really had that t-shirt for 25 years? How is that even possible?” — Boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, sassy best friend (in a disgusted, “please throw that away” tone)

You used to think 40 was old. Then when you turned 40 you thought, “At least I’m not 50.” When you turned 50 you thought ,“At least I’m not in my 70s.” When you hit 70 you think, “At least I’m not 110.”

Time for a nap! Feel free to suggest any additions to the list here.

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