Nuthin’ But A Number, Sort Of

Over the past few years I’ve made tremendous progress with the few personal issues I have, but I’m still not comfortable revealing my age. That is almost my only remaining issue. If you’ve known me 35 years or more, then you know the number. If you’ve known me less than ten years, you probably don’t know it; I’ve made one exception to that and sometimes I regret that. Sorry, it’s complicated.

I’m usually the first to point out that age is just a number, but age discrimination runs rampant in our society, in my opinion, and that is especially true in my profession (media). Of the hundred or more full time employees in my division of my company, only five or six of us are over 50. The very top boss isn’t out of her 30s yet. People make too many assumptions, wrong ones, about age and I refuse to be caught in that trap.

Sadly, age paranoia is something I learned from my Mother. She wouldn’t even tell me and my sister her age; we found out when she was in her 50s because of something written on the back of an old photo. She always appeared twenty years younger than her age and she was happy about that.

One day I do want to be a role model for creative aging. I’ll proudly tell people my age and they’ll be amazed. That, of course, is the problem … everybody, apparently including me, has stereotype expectations and assumptions about how people should think and behave at various age levels. As far as I know, the only thing I can’t do now that I could do at 35 is run a 10k race, and that is only because of a lingering injury. I plan to work around that in the next couple of years.

Anyway, today is my birthday. How old am I? One day older than yesterday.


Linda V. said…
Happy, happy Birthday Bernie!!!! We are the lucky ones, no one can guess our ages, based on looks and attitude. I love fooling everyone, for the best reasons, which you mentioned, discrimination. Can't imagine why, we're smarter, we have life experience, we have a better work ethic, and we have the ability to problem solve better than younger people, a lot more creatively I might add! Love you! Have a GREAT day!!!