Why are we often obsessed with the number we get when subtracting the year of our birth from the current year? Age is just a number, right? So what if you're 50, 54, 62, 67, 74, 100?
I've been writing (whining) about age since the beginning of my blogging. I'm
pretty damn comfortable with my age (it's one of the numbers in the first
paragraph) but I'm not comfortable admitting the number to all but a select few
friends, relatives and drinking buddies. Why? Because of stereotypes attached
to certain age numbers.
Facebook friends frequently flaunt their age on their birthdays while others
claim to be "officially old" as they turn 35 or 40. If you think
you're old at 40, wait till you hit the next decade marker. Or the one after
I'm certain I celebrated my 40th live on the radio station where I was a DJ at
the time. It felt good. I did not celebrate 50 outside of my house. It was
memorable, however, because those were better times in my now defunct marriage
and my ex's sense of humor was still intact then. She brought a mid-sized cake
down to our rec room with fifty lit candles on it. Her out of tune rendition of "Happy
Birthday" was backed up by the melodious smoke detector.
My birthday is an important day for me but I only began to enjoy celebrating it
again during the past few years, mostly because of who I celebrate it with.
I fully expect to have a 100th birthday. I've already invited some people to
the party, although it's more than thirty years away. I hope I make it, enjoy
the party and recognize the attendees. Don't ask me to blow out a hundred
I hope to retire from full time work shortly after I hit the next zero number
mile marker, but I'm struggling with the specific vision of what happens after
that. I'd love to be a writer but I could probably make more money as a Walmart
greeter. I'd love to be a DJ again, part time, but the sad reality is that most
DJs are put out to pasture long before my current age, much less 70. Don't get
me started on the topic of 'subtle age discrimination'.
Music and photography are my other two passions. Reality check: I'll never be a
good enough guitarist to make money with it. Photography? Everybody with a
smart phone thinks they're a photographer now, so there isn't much of a market
for well paid photographers.
I'm a stubborn optimist, however, and I know I'll figure all of this out at
some point. I'll be a good role model for creative aging. Maybe I already am.
If only I really believed that age is just a number.