One of my “younger” friends was lamenting recently about approaching her 40th birthday.
She managed to make it seem like a much-dreaded milestone while also rationalizing it at the end with that old favorite, “I know it’s just a number.”
As someone who hit the double nickel last year without so much as a blink of an eye, I get the angst that can ensue when one hits an age milestone. Let’s face it – we are quite different from our own parents when they were forty or fifty years old. Mine had raised five kids and did not have a self-absorbed bone in their bodies. Me, on the other hand, remained single until I was almost fifty and never considered having children. Neither lifestyle is wrong, it’s just the choices we make.
When I was a kid I just knew that when I got to the age my parents were (that I am now) I would have my whole life figured out. It would be a steady ride on the carousel, not the roller coaster it actually is, with its many extreme ups and downs. I am sure it was also an uneven ride for them, but there was too much of a gap between my childhood mind and their adult minds to ever recognize it at the time.
So the next time someone remarks on turning older, we could do what we usually do and cluck our tongues in sympathy. Or maybe we should try a little shock therapy – respond with something like, “Holy hell, that’s old!,” and enjoy the momentary shocked look on their face.