Monday, June 2, 2008

Just A Number

O.K. It has been two full weeks since I crossed the half century mark and officially turned fifty. I have to tell you that other than relief that the long anticipation is over, I feel exactly the same. Well, no, I actually feel a little better. The irrational (I know it really was) anxiety about turning fifty has lifted and I don’t feel fifty - whatever the heck fifty is supposed to feel like!

Chuck and I have been comparing notes about our ages. Neither one of us could have ever imagined feeling as we do now, way back when we were in our twenties or even thirties. So much emotion and baggage - social and otherwise - gets tied up in the big milestone numbers. We assumed that when we turned certain “magic” ages that we would instantly, naturally, inevitably feel old. Umm. No. Not true.

When I was a little kid I always thought all my grandparents were really old. But when I was born in 1958, my grandparents were actually 75, 71, 57 and 56. Yikes 56! Someone asked me recently how old my Mom is. I replied: “Oh, she’s young. She’s only 84.” and I meant it! In the 1960s there was a saying “Never trust anyone over thirty” and even today 40th birthday parties have “Over The Hill” themes. Sheesh!

I used to think the cliche: “Age is just a number” was both hackneyed and glib. Well, it may be found guilty on the hackneyed, but it is by no means glib. Turns out age is just a freakin’ number. And you can trust me on that ‘cuz while I’m no “Sally O’Malley”, I am fifty!

Clip of Molly Shannon as Sally O'Malley on Saturday Night Live


Roo said...

You are so right Lee, I don't feel 47, I certainly don't act it all the time, and I don't think I have the sense of age and gravitas someone my age seemed to have when I was small. I really do sometimes think that I should pinch myself for holding down a responsible job too.

I think age is in the mind, the more active one is, the less a sense of old age seeps in.

Pink Granite said...

Absolutely spang on Roo!
- Lee