Next month I will be embracing another milestone in my life. It is called a birthday, among other things, depending on age. I prefer to think of it as an accomplishment. I never thought I would reach this age. Not because it is so extraordinary for someone to do so, but because, as I grew and aged, it always seemed so far away. And now it isn’t.
Funny how time alters your perspective. When I was young, 60 years was old. I mean OLD. Anything beyond that was ancient. People retired at 65 and didn’t spend a lot of years enjoying it. People kidded about the number of candles on the cake. I assume that was because you presumably were unable to still blow them out.
But one thing remained the same. I call it the cycle of life. When you were a kid, you always wanted to be older. When asked your age you always answered with the age you were going to be. “I’m going to be six”. When in your teens, you would probably say “I’m almost 21” Nothing more specific then that. In mid life you also remained a little vague. “I’m in my late 30’s or early 40’s. That was close enough. But once you become a senior, you wear your age like a badge. “How old do you think I am” or I’ll bet you can’t guess my age.
You also start doing comparisons. I was in the doctors office yesterday and was sitting in the waiting room near the receptionist. I found myself watching the people come in for their appointment. They were mostly men and I would mentally size them up. “I wonder how old he is. He has to be about my age”. Then as he would check in and be asked his date of birth, I would think “he’s only 71? Man, he’s a lot younger then me. Sure doesn’t look it”. Or, “I was right. He is about my age. I think I’m in better shape though”. Then you would get the surprise. The guy with the tan and athletic build that you guessed as in his late 60’s is only 2 years younger then you. Bummer.
But like they say, age is just a number and birthdays aren’t important unless you consider the alternative. Nobody really cares how old you are except you. They are too busy worrying about how old they are. I mean, when was the last time someone (other then someone in the medical profession) asked you how old you are. It doesn’t happen. So enjoy it while you can. I believe that every age has it’s perks. For instance, at my age I can be grumpy if I want. I’ve earned it. It comes with age, and I’ll bet you can’t guess how old I am. Oops. Sorry. That one just slipped out. Habit I guess.