Now that I’m well into my thirties, I’ve been thinking about age a lot. What it means. How it changes you (and no, I’m not just talking about wrinkles here…). How it makes others perceive you. And when it comes to actually talking about age, people tend to fall in one of two categories: Some view their age as an opportunity to talk about all the knowledge they’ve learned over the years while others remained tight lipped (not from Botox…), refusing to even acknowledge their age.
Age first tapped me on the shoulder courtesy of a bookstore cashier. As I neatly lined up all my items on the counter, we exchanged the usual pleasantries. After a few keystrokes of the cash register, it happened.
“OK, your total is $5.50, ma’am.”
I nearly felt myself gasp. It was almost enough to make me turn around and see if my mother was behind me. But she wasn’t there. The guy was definitely talking to me. When I think of a ‘ma’am,’ I’ve always thought of Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls — a little old lady wearing a bright paisley dress and large-rimmed glasses and clutching an over-sized purse.
Age really is a funny thing. I’ve never given much thought to it until now, but it’s like the barometer of life. For example, there are so many things we assign to age. You can drive at 16. You can vote at 18. You can legally drink at 21. And you’re ushered into middle age when you turn 50 and join AARP. Maybe birthdays aren’t meant to depress us and leave us staring grimly into the mirror wondering what became of our youth. Birthdays give us a chance to celebrate, to tell our life story. There is a certain charm and distinction that you gain when you get older. With age comes wisdom. You learn about life in the midst of living it. Maybe that’s the gift right there. That, and the senior discount at IHOP.
What are your thoughts on ‘getting older’? At what age did, well, the concept of age hit you? How have you changed over the years? What do you know now that you wish you’d learned years ago? Any advice you’d like to share? xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]