Watching the age gap gives me high hopes for the future

Dee O'Keeffe

I HAVE become obsessed with other people's ages. Each time I read an article about someone I have to work out my age in relation to theirs and see how much/little I have accomplished in comparison.

It's a way of reminding myself that 'must try harder' school reports can be issued to myself by myself now that I am more than one third of the way through my life.

This weekend's reading material provided the following three insights. First off was a piece on Glenn Close who, at 65, has 29 years on me. One of the finest actresses of her generation, she is probably best known for her role as bunny boiler Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. She has also set up a mental health organisation called Bring Change 2 Mind, has dogs, is very happy in her third marriage and adores her daughter, who she had aged 41. Oh, and she's been nominated for an Oscar six times.

Relaxed, witty, well-read, ambitious and determined, with a kind and understanding heart, this is one perfect lady role model. And I've got 29 years left to aim this high.

Reading exercise number two is an interview with Ryan Tubridy, a hugely successful broadcaster with brains to burn, a published author, a dad of two and currently in an 'are they/aren't they' relationship with gorgeous former Rose Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain. He comes across as a decent chap, adores his family and is desperately trying to debunk his old-fogey image and appear less smug.

He has only got two years on me and is streets ahead, but reading his interview reminds me that hard work can pay off.


Interview number three was with Leo Varadkar, a Fine Gael TD, qualified doctor and all-round high achiever -- plus he's three years younger than me. Yikes!

He likes running, going to gigs and restaurants but doesn't appear to have a personal life. Still, at 33 there's plenty of time left to tick that box, particularly when you're trained to save lives and run the country.

Like Tubridy and Close, Varadkar looks like a good guy, working hard to live a good life. I'm not sure I'm as smart or gifted as any of the trio, but reading about their lives and achievements inspires me and none of the age gaps have me yielding a white flag just yet!

And of course success late in life can sometimes be for the best, as a piece in yesterday's papers reminded me. At the grand old age of 57 Kelsey Grammer, aka Frasier, has had his first tattoo. It's his new wife's name, Kayte, and it's on his hip. I think they call this regression.