Monday, November 12, 2012

officially old

Back in the day, 30 was the entry to old age.  I remember the saying"never trust anyone over 30."  I remember one of the anthems of my age cadre saying, "I hope I die before I get old."  I remember turning 30 and having almost as bad a time as I did the first time we bought a minivan.  I was seriously depressed.  I was old and I hadn't saved the world yet.

Of course, people do wear their age differently now than when I was a kid.  I am much, much younger than my parents were when our numbers were the same.   They were further along in the journey of life - when my mother hit 30, she had an 11 year old daughter, a 6 year old son, and a 1 year old daughter and had just purchased their second home.  I had a 2 year old, was living in company owned housing (a parsonage), and was still working on a degree (my doctorate).  They went bowling on weekends while I played guitar in bars. By the time they were my age now, they were struggling physically and, as a result, financially.  They felt old.  For the most part, I do not. Now I also don't feel particularly young.  My body reminds me that it is not what it once was.  I am very aware that the men in my biological father's family were mostly dead in their 30's.  Thanks to the wonders of modern chemistry, I am not.  Still, my joints creak.  Tendons are less flexible.  I carry a bit more weight... and not nearly as quickly.  I do have an AARP card although I still can't get the cheaper tickets at the movie theater.   In large degree I had dismissed the ideas of my youth regarding that boundary of 30 years... until...

Last week my daughter turned 30.  That has raised the question again.  She certainly doesn't look old to me and she is not as far along on her path as I was at that point.  She is still working to establish herself as a writer, talks about going back to school for her doctorate, and she and her husband
 are planning for children but haven't yet.  She doesn't feel that boundary like I did, but we're talking about a different one here - having a 30 year old daughter.

So... if turning 30 didn't make me old, does have a daughter turn 30 do it?  Am I officially old?  You tell me.

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