Since the beginning of the year there has been a bit of a – I think people call it a seachange – in the type of mail arriving at our door.
Not that bills have stopped dropping on the mat – sadly they’re still very much in evidence – but there’s been a lot more junk mail addressed to me. And it all follows a certain theme.
For instance, over the past couple of weeks I’ve received a brochure from Sun Life about a plan to ‘leave a fixed cash sum which could be used towards the cost of your funeral’, a letter from Life Line Screening about ‘a quick convenient way to check your risk of stroke, heart disease and osteoporosis’, an invitation to a seminar on ‘how you can protect your home and savings from care fees,’ a catalogue from Fifty Plus featuring fashion that 'fits your lifestyle' and a leaflet about making a will.
Is it any wonder I don’t have a spring in my step when I leave the house on a morning.
And it all started on January 31, the day I turned 50.
Overnight I turned into someone perceived to be at high risk of serious health problems and possibly death.
I became someone who needs to ditch the chinos and slide on some elasticated velour pants.
And I now need to have a funeral plan firmly in place.
It is all so depressing. Yet this is the time of my life when I should be happier than ever before.
According to a report, the secret of true happiness is as simple as reaching 50.
Researchers found that many people who passed the landmark were ‘comfortable and content’, having paid off their mortgage, built a solid relationship, established themselves in their career and raised a family.
At 50, they had time to enjoy life, travel and take up new activities.
The over-50s are also healthier than ever, and expected to live longer.
So why does my mail make me feel like I’m on the downhill slope to the crematorium?
If what I read about the over-50s is to be believed, I should be getting brochures for exotic holiday destinations, leaflets about new, exciting activities such as skydiving and free running, and details as to where I can invest my hard-earned cash.
What is worrying is that someone out there in this Big Brother world obviously knows that I don’t fit that profile.
They know that I’m plagued with aches and pains, have lost pride in my appearance, still have a huge mortgage and can’t afford to retire until I’m at least 80.
They are exploiting the fact that, for me, things can only get worse.