Age of Irrelevance!
I remember being school-aged, and feeling like time really dragged by. A week seemed to crawl ,and a month was a life-sentence (especially when grounded!). I also recall my grandmother telling me emphatically that ‘time flies’; and on this – my thirtieth birthday – I certainly understand more of the depth of her message!
It’s not just leaving my 20’s that causes me to ask: So what does age really mean/matter? Is there any significance in the quantity of our birthdays other than to mark the passing of time?
I’m totally tickled to be celebrating 30 today! Some of the defining thoughts that shape my views on age are:
– the older you get, the quicker time flies.
– each year, your definition of ‘old’ increases!
– what is ‘middle-aged’, and when are we *meant* to have our mid-life-crises??
– the older you get, the less an age-gap matters in a relationship.
– my Dad always says ‘you’re only as old as the person you feel’ 😉
– age-based goals are often just an excuse to put off taking action right now.
– these days, age doesn’t necessarily mean greater wisdom nor even broader life experience.
– age discrimination somehow occurs both when you are ‘too young’ and ‘too old’ (so leave your DOB off your CV!)
We live in a world where the rate of change is so extreme, that 7 years is now a long time to stay in one career/role – let alone the same job; where technologically obsolete can be a matter of months or years, rather than decades; and our communication is (paradoxically) isolatingly instantaneous!
Our needs and wants change constantly, and our dreams and goals are either upgraded before they’ve even been celebrated, or are lost in the flux of time.
Yet – it is not like we are privy to the sand remaining in the hourglasses of our lives. What impact does it have, knowing that any of us could die this minute, yet many could feasibly live another 30, 50 or even 70 years more? We could ask: Is that motivating? Does it affect our impetus? But I’ll ask: WHY WAIT?
It is a sad reality in which it takes a major crisis to bring each individual truly to life.
That said, I’m thankful mine happened when I was still really ‘young’; but it is scary the number of times I’ve had people say ‘I wish I knew what I know now at your age’. What I’ve decided though, is that it is more about what you DO with what you know, than just how much you’ve learnt.
A few years ago I heard the phrase ‘Dead at 30, buried at 60’ and it really struck me. How many of us go through our daily lives without really living, but simply counting the passing of time?
I feel younger now, than I have ever done. The last couple of years have seen me rediscover the childlike senses of awe, curiosity and fun that were missing for most of my ‘childhood’. As an adult I’ve been blessed to look younger than I am. I’m considered an ‘old soul’ who has always been wise beyond my years (even if I didn’t always behave like it!). And my friends range in ages that fit most varying definitions of ‘young’ and ‘old’.
So I’ve always felt that age was a very subjective perception.
Sometimes I think that the only age that matters is the one on the bottle of wine I’m enjoying – and even then, that isn’t a certainty!