It’s Just a Number

Youngest and Oldest Church Member

Youngest and Oldest Church Member (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Today my Pop turns 60. I suppose it is something of a milestone birthday. Sure the AARP starts sending you stuff at 55 but in our collective consciousness we don’t really view someone as “senior” until they’ve reached the big six-oh. Somehow it seems like less of a big deal than I would imagine. Maybe it’s his understated attitude about it. Yes he grumbles about not being able to get around the way he used to, or handle the cold as well, but for the most part, it’s just another year, and hell, I grumble about that stuff.
The thing is, when it comes down to it, there is a truism about the quaint saying “age is just a number.” Our bodies will breakdown eventually, and they do so at a quicker rate the older we get, but we can slow that down and enjoy our lives more. At the very least we don’t have to give into fatalism and assume we can’t do things just because we are older. My Pop still reads voraciously, keeping his mind active, and he likes his long walks. He keeps himself busy and yes, sometimes his body tells him “no” but he does not assume that is the answer.
Of course getting “old” is not the only way we let age get to our heads. I remember at 29 I was stressing 30 so very much. It wasn’t an “I’m old” (something I still don’t really do internally as much as I tease my younger co-workers) but a “for fucks sake, what have I done with my life?” Curiously I faced forty with a resounding “meh.” I just learned that it didn’t really matter. What I have or have not done with my life had and has no bearing on what I may yet do.
It is, however, a common theme. “I’m 23 and I don’t have a degree.” “I’m 27 and not married.” “I’m 16 and I’m still a virgin.” To quote my favorite comedian, Bill Hicks, I will ask the following four questions: Yeah? And? So? What? You don’t have to have achieved any particular task at any particular point in your life. Hell, some tasks, most really, you don’t have to achieve ever, if that is the path you choose.
You do choose. It is your life and don’t let anyone else’s calender decide for you what that means. Your accomplishments come when they will, when you are ready for it. Old age will eventually take you, but that doesn’t mean you have to lay down waiting for it. Stop stressing, and start living.

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