Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Third Of A Century

I've been thinking about aging.

See, my birthday is Thursday. I'll be 33. It's not a big year -- certainly no 21, 25, 30, 40, or 50 -- but it feels kind of special.

Following a Vlogbrothers rule of thumb, "middle-aged" is when you multiply your age by three and can't really believe you'll live to that point. Given my genetics and modern medicine, I'm still a couple years from middle-aged. More importantly, though, I'm finding that I'm at an age that can be either young or old, depending on the context or audience ... and often both in one day. Repeatedly.

The ladies I hike with each week consider me young. The kids at camp think I'm ancient. Anyone over 50 might have a son or daughter my age -- and I might be the same age as your parents if you're under 15.

The thirties are weird that way. Folks older than me hand me their phones to "fix why the screen keeps doing that." Teenagers roll their eyes and flip a game controller around for me.

I'm old enough to figure out health insurance premiums or mortgage applications ... or young enough to still be perplexed by them.

Young enough to justify spur-of-the-moment vacations, but old enough to pay for them.

Young enough to stay up way too late and old enough to know exactly how I'll feel when my alarm goes off.

Young enough to play Pokemon Go without the excuse of having small children, but old enough to have a pretty healthy retirement account.

Young enough to eat what I want ... but old enough to pay attention to my sodium intake.

Young enough to want to go to Mars, and old enough to weigh all the consequences of such an idea.

I've spent over half my life in the 21st century but I remember using Windows 1.0. No, seriously.

While I don't have any kids of my own, people I went to high school and college with have children from teenagers to newborns -- and none of that is abnormal. (Ten years from now? No newborns. Ten years ago? No teenagers.)

And on my grandmother's birthday this year, I'll hit exactly a third of a century.

...

Yeah. The thirties are interesting. And you know what? They're a lot of fun, too. And I'm looking forward to another six years of them before I really start to feel like I should be a decent adult.

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