Here comes another birthday.
Fortunately, I’m between landmark years so this time it just counts as another notch in the aging belt and will be observed fairly low-key. If you like to keep track of such things, it’s the double-nickel for me: 55. For some reason, the number of years I’ve been on this earth hasn’t really meant much since the 21-now-I-can-go-to-a-bar year. 29 feels like 40 which feels like 55. Things are squishier, more achy and slightly wrinkled, but it’s still me in here.
The reason I don’t care about the results of my carbon-dating is because age has very little to do with reality. I know very mature people in their 30s and others in their 50s who act like they’re still in high school. I just continue this adventure called “life” in a body that was company issue while trying to enjoy all that comes my way.
But it’s hard to ignore how much age has become an issue. I have my theories. Younger, less-secure, less-talented people like to play that card to make themselves believe they have the edge over you. Or, in a round-about way, saying, “Oh, you’re here now, but I’ll be around long after you’re gone.” Frankly, I don’t get it.
I’ll entertain the idea that it’s possible now that as a 50-something, I’m more sensitive about being considered older. I have very good friends that color their hair to hide the process, or wear baseball caps backwards to demonstrate that they’re “still young”. I don’t know, but going back to the days when I was Larry Nelson’s producer, he had a good 20 years on me….yet, we treated each other as equals; more like brothers, separated by a year or two. Back in those glory days of KOMO radio, I never recall making cracks about how old he was and worked with lots of people who have easily clocked through the 70 barrier. Age was irrelevant.
For whatever reason, I’ve always thought that way. There was the time I so oblivious to age that I went to a co-worker’s basketball game, just to watch her play. Not even thinking about the age difference in our years, the guy next to me asked, “So which one’s your daughter?” There was the time a buddy and I went over and did the Apple Cup game together. I was palin’ around with a friend. Someone asked if we were father & son.
Age is a state of mind. Years equal experience and should be valued, not ridiculed. If you were about to drive down a road you had heard was treacherous with lots of bends and pot holes and just as you were leaving, you had the chance to talk to someone who had already driven down that road, you’d like to tap into their knowledge and experience before taking it on, right? I know I would.
I don’t know it all, but I am farther down the road. I, along with most of my generation, would love to give you a sneak peek of what’s ahead. That way you could spend more time achieving, rather than repeating mistakes.
All you have to do is ask. Contrary to what you might think, I really do want you to get the best out of this life. You’ll find there is plenty of stage for everyone.