I turned 38 yesterday. Cake was eaten (too much), wine was drunk (possibly also too much….I’m feeling the after-effects more as I age), cuddles were received (never enough), and friends and family wished me well.
Life was good…. it still is today.
But with the ever constant hand of time, I was reluctantly reminded that yes, I’m another digit older and moving closer towards that flaunting figure of ‘40’.
Just to be clear, I’ve never really cared too much about my age. I have always eagerly anticipated the celebrations that come with a birthday (like a child) too much, to care about that number.
As a kid though, 40 always seemed old. It’s not of course (I can say that now). But what age is ‘old’?
And why do so many of us choose to care about the number allocated to our life in any given year?
I get it. For some it is an issue of our physical state; a concern over our looks, vitality and physical strength and the loss of this as we age. The botox and personal fitness industry are thriving as a result.
‘A study of 2,000 women conducted by Superdrug in 2012 found that women start to worry about the signs of ageing at 29’. The Guardian Newspaper.
For others, it’s more about the need to ensure personal security; financially, socially, or professionally so they can look back with relief at their life. Superannuation scheme…check!
These aspect apply to me in varying degrees too, but I think it’s more than these that give me cause to consider my age.
It’s the desire to play and win at the game of life.
I love I! Every sordid, awkward, heartwarming, stressful, enlightening, sobering and comical part. But, on occasion, the competitive streak in me and the desire to win at it before making that Finish, can sometimes overthrow the joy of simply playing at it.
Where am I at? What do I have left to do? and how can I make sure I get these done before some form of a finish line, edges its way closer to me?
We’ve been aging since we were born……..obviously! It doesn’t simply creep up on you once you hit a particular number. Yet, in our society we seem to regard aging as a ‘dilemma’ that needs addressing, possibly around the age of retirement, if not before. Why is that?
Surely with age, comes MORE. More knowledge, experience (which counts for more than conventional knowledge in my books), self-awareness, memories, understanding, family and even friends.
How many of us have grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, mentors, teachers, friends who are vessels of MORE and yet themselves acknowledge they too are still learning, on the journey, playing the game that is life?
We can choose to see our birthdays as celebrations which mark another year of age, maybe even wisdom gained. We can choose to see it as a reason to party – we’re here…… still.
Or we can do both those things, as well as see it as a gentle reminder to continue on the board game to bettering ourselves, our relationships with those around us and this world we live in.
Yes, I’m hopeful that by partaking in this game of numbers, I might just win out before my time is out.