October 6, 2009

Getting older...

Tomorrow is my 41st birthday - it sounds weird to say it. I am now the age that my mom was when she graduated from college.  I was 18 at the time.  I remember that day like it was yesterday, and I remember thinking that when I was 41 I'd probably be married and have two kids. Well, I got the married part right (twice).  Back then, 41 sounded like the dark side of the moon.

Isn't age relative, though? I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that living in your own skin, your age doesn't seem so bad when you get there. Does this make sense?  Perhaps it comes from having multi-generational parents - my mom and dad were 26 years apart (my dad was born in 1920 and my mom in 1946). So technically, my dad could've been my grandfather. As a matter of fact, my own grandmother (my mom's mom) is 4 years YOUNGER than my dad was. I have a half-sister who's four months OLDER than my own mom!! CRAZY!! Try explaining that to your grade school-age friends!

So when I was born, for those of you trying to do the math, my mom was 22 and my dad was almost 48. In the gift of hindsight, I can't possibly imagine being 22 with kids. Now, before anyone reads this and gets defensive, I said I couldn't possibly imagine ME with kids at 22 - maturity-wise, I was on par with Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell. Still am, actually. On the flip side, try and picture yourself at 48 or 49 with newborns. But that's exactly what my dad did (he had just turned 49 when my sister Jen was born). Doesn't that sound exhausting? But somehow, it worked. My dad, because he walked 3-5 miles a day (up to 10 in the summer) was in FAR better shape at 60 than I am at 40.

Which brings me back to my original point - relativity. In my head, I'm still 19 and probably always will be, although I hope I've grown a little and have learned from my mistakes. I will say that I'd rather be the age I am now than back at 25. Oh sure, I was far thinner, but I was also very uncertain about where I was and who I wanted to be. I honestly don't mind aging one bit. It is weird to think that my journey on this planet (barring catastrophe, Lord willing) is halfway over, but maybe this is the lesson we all must learn - we'd better make good choices, be true to ourselves and others, try and not mind the small stuff (a lesson I'm still learning), and be healthy (damn you, warm apple pie!).

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