Today is my birthday. I am now 32 years old. I believe that once a person reaches a certain age, aging doesn’t really feel like anything for a while. This age is different for everyone. For me, I’d say it was somewhere in my early twenties.
When we’re younger, society places such an emphasis on milestones…going to elementary school…going to high school…getting your driver’s license…turning 18…and depending on where you are, whatever the age it’s legal to drink. After that, the milestones become fewer and farther between. Something to do with a zero makes an age a milestone…sometimes even a five.
Now that I’m in my early 30s, I don’t really have a lot of “milestones” to look forward to. Turning 35, 40, 45, etc. might prove to be interesting I suppose, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to nor dreading any of those ages. Age is a state of mind…and right now, I don’t want to grow up.
Sure…I’ve got responsibilities. I have a job…I have bills to pay…a husband to take care of…and a cat adoption habit to support. But aside from those things, I don’t want to grow up! I always want to be able to suspend belief in order to enjoy movies. I want to play video games, board games and dominos. I want to swim at the beach and play frisbee (or tennis for those in the know…nope, I’ll never live that one down).
Is there a reason why we as a society feel as though it is necessary to lose our ability to have fun as we get older? I personally blame work and alcohol for this. When we’re younger, drinking is what the cool kids do. So what do we want to do when we get older? Drink, of course. So how do you pay for this habit? By getting a job. And what happens when you get a job? It makes you want to drink more!
So now the vicious drinking/working/drinking cycle has begun, and we all begin to lose a bit of our ability to just have fun without alcohol and money. I don’t know about you, but when I get old, I want to be able to be amused by the little things. I’m easily impressed.
Maybe we should all take a cue from that guy up there…don’t just stop and smell the flowers…sing to them. Be silly! Smile at strangers. Get a pet and play with them every day. Go to the park and play on the swings. Wade through a fountain. Just go do something that makes you feel young.
I’m willing to accept the fact that I have to grow old…but I sure won’t be growing up while I’m at it!