At some point during the chaos of our family Christmas gathering a few weeks ago, my Godson decided to announce to the entire family that I, the one that has to sacrifice my morals each year to buy him some John Deere-related toy or article of clothing, was older than dirt.
While I don’t quite recall what caused his sudden outburst (it may have had something to do with our Case-IH vs. John Deere rivalry), I was a bit taken aback.
After all, I am the third born of four kids and I don’t recall ever telling my older brothers they were older than dirt. Certainly, they’re more deserving of that title than me!
I didn’t let the eight-year-old’s words get to me … at least not on Christmas Day.
A week later, however, after visiting my Grandma Elizabeth in Willmar, my folks and I stopped at a fast-food place for supper. As we sat at our table, with the glorious fluorescent lighting shining down on us, my dad said, “You’re sure getting a lot of gray hair!”
Gee, thanks Dad! (Might I remind you that as I get older, you get older as well!)
My dad will celebrate his 78th birthday on Monday … old, but not older than dirt. His birthday is three days after mine. And, since my employer gives birthdays off work as a paid holiday, I’m going to spend Friday away from some of the stress that’s led to my gray hair.
There’s nothing like celebrating the growing number of candles on a birthday cake to make a person reflective about life and aging.
Heck, I’ve already lived longer than I ever thought possible when I was kid (back then, I thought 40 was a death sentence.) Isn’t it interesting how a person’s perspective of “old” changes as they age? My new guideline is that a person isn’t old until they’re at least 100.
But really, that old saying (no pun intended) that you’re only as old as you feel has a lot of truth to it.
I’ve actually come to enjoy my forties, perhaps for the plain and simple fact that my age will include my favorite number for an entire decade. And, in 2014, I not only have a four in my age, but a four in the year — it has to be a doubly good year, right?
I can hardly wait until I’m 44! (It will probably be the final time in my life that I look forward to getting another year older!)
There’s really nothing wrong with being 40-something. I make more money than I did in my 20s, I’m a bit smarter than I was in my 30s and I’m learning in my 40s to care less about what others think and focus on what makes me happy.
I have a job I enjoy and hobbies I enjoy more. I have a house with mortgage payments and a car that’s paid for. I have parents who help me and nieces and nephews who, in all likelihood, will have to help me some day.
After all, I am older than dirt.