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The different ages in our life

This is simply the 10 ages of a person.  Since I’ve found myself at the door of another birthday I realized that there are only 2 hands full of significant birthdays. Exactly.  10, no more no less.   Of course I’ll have reasons why.  It’s what I do.

Birth:

Obviously the single most important birthday of your life.  Not much more can be said about it except you won’t remember any of it.  nope, not a thing.  you may have vague songs or pictures that may spur a deja vu-ish kind of recollection but really you’ll have nothing.  On the other hand you are doing so much learning every day you don’t even know all of the things you are doing when you are just a newborn.  Sure you are dependent on everyone, but on the other hand pretty much everyone loves you.  Nothing wrong with that.

2-4 ish:

At this point just absorbing information ambiently has kind of run it’s course.  Yes, you are still doing that. But now you are more interested in all of the things there are around you.  Things like electrical outlets and power tools.  Also you are creating internal profiles for people you like and don’t like.  You are not at all concerned with peoples feelings, just your own.  So Grandma gives me lots o presents, oh yeah, she’s great.  Aunt kisses me too much?  ummm…yeah, i’ll pass.

You’re walking and possibly talking as well as causing trouble that you don’t understand but you roll with it.  From here on out, you are just getting better and better at being a kid.  You are ok with mom and dad’s rules, but you think there might be too many of them.  All of these birthdays just kind of melt together.  Really it’s more of a personal payday than anything.  Of course Christmas is the other payday, but everyone gets that.

13:

Well you are a teenager now.  Really the larval stage of becoming an adult.  You are really interested in being an adult but you kind of go here and there with your experiences.  Your teenage years will be among your most memorable.  If you are lucky, some of the friends you make in the next few years will be among your best.  Full of firsts and achievements.  Now you’re thinking independently and starting to weigh consequences v.s. your decisions.  Getting in trouble isn’t enough to dissuade you from trying some things.

The next few years you will be able to do a lot to forward or retard your progress as an adult. You start this series of years likely being very much yourself and end this bunch of years figuring out what your adult face is going to look like.  How you will behave around others v.s. around family or friends.  You learn by trial and error; this can be among the cruelest of years with plenty being both dealt and received.

18:

Also known as the legal age of majority (except in Alabama, Nebraska, and Mississippi where the ages are 19, 19, and 21), lots of reasons this is significant.  Up until now, you have been more or less not responsible for your crimes.  Instead of sending you to prison for doing something wrong, they send you to a youth facility where you will hopefully pull yourself out of your tailspin.  On the other hand it’s also significant because you can vote!  Sure it doesn’t mean much to you, but it’s time to be more aware of the world around you.

By now you are ready to ditch the burger flipping jobs and get into something a little more career like.  You may or may not further your education, but whatever you do, you have probably at least partially cut the apron strings to your parents.  You feel much more ready for life than you actually are, but now you have what it takes to do it.  Remember this feeling of semi-bewilderment.  It’s one you’ll have most of your life, but you will only feel it as strongly as you do right now as you are considered an adult.

21:

Fast on the heels of 18, 21 is the age at which nothing that is legal is barred from you (except you will find that renting cars is still surprisingly difficult)  You can do it all, you can gamble, you can own stuff easily, you are fully responsible for yourself.  The world assumes you’ve got enough on the ball that you should be able to do all kinds of things.  Really the only thing that makes it different than 18 is 3 years and drinking (In most states, some will let you get away with it younger) and gambling.  Neither of these pursuits are particularly grand.  Once tried a couple of times you should probably realize that they are both more expensive than you like and not nearly as exciting as they are cracked up to be.

26:

While nobody ever threw you a 26th birthday party as though it was something special. 26 is the age at which they estimate that your brain stops developing.  Also, it’s the age at which you will get lower insurance rates depending on your insurer as well as that all important being able to rent a car thing.
 26 is a bigger deal than people let on because it’s the point at which you have really no excuses left for the life you are leading.  If it’s not what you like, you can still turn it around.  This is also the age at which you are starting to get out of shape and you never realized how it happened.  Your youth is starting to leave you and you aren’t sure that you like it, but for the most part you can ignore it.  You’re still young.  Enjoy it!

40:

Wow, so there were no important days in the 30s?  Not really no.  You are hopefully an adult earning a living.  You may or may not be married. But honestly there is nothing special about being in your 30’s except that you aren’t 20.  So what makes 40 so special?  A friend of mine told me that at 40 you are the young of the old.  Look at it this way, the average age around here is 80 (acutally 79, but the closer you get the more you hope, right?).  So 40 is the 1/2 way point.
You stop understanding what is going through the heads of those 20 year olds and you wish they would learn about the things you know about.  Everything you did when you were young was a little better in some ways and a little worse in others, but you are at the age that people start paying attention to your life experience.  That’s not as true if you are living on welfare in a trailer. Not that you don’t have life experience. But you are more of a road map of what not to do.

50:

What’s the big deal about 50?  Well up till now, your bodily injuries were probably fixable one way or another and they people you knew in high school, you could probably know now.  Possibly one or two deaths that happen because of accidents or congenital troubles.  But now you are starting to see people die that just decided to live long term bad decisions.  You know, all the stuff they keep nagging you about, no exercise and eating crap like you are 20, well that chicken is going to start coming home to roost.  It will still be considered a young death, but you’ll hear about them more and more.
 Hopefully, you got into your healthier lifestyle in your 40’s if not maintained it since your youth.  Bad news.  From here on out pretty much everything you used to do without thinking about it becomes a thought exercise in survival.  Example.  If you are in your late 20s and you happen to have a couple of kids, you probably took them to Disneyland and you walked the park and rode the rides and a good time was had by all.
Now, you think about going to Disneyland and all you can think about is if your feet and back can take it.  The last time you want to your local carnival, you thought you might have kinked your neck on the ferris wheel.  Every activity that doesn’t include sitting in your basement and watching TV is evaluated on a risk reward basis.  That’s not all, you are starting to realize that a lot of things just don’t work the same way.  I’ll be kind and limit this to your eyes and hearing.  yep, they are starting to go.  Can’t hear a LOT Of the sounds you could hear in your youth and your vision has become blurry at best.  At 50 you start reading about medical advancements with a LOT more interest.

65:

Retirement!  Yipee!  or at least it’s when you are supposed to retire.  If you didn’t take part in some of your employment 401k. Then you areprobably just looking at 65 with the thought that it’s getting harder and harder for you to be hired.  You find it’s harder to learn new things (that old dog new trick thing wasn’t just fooling around) you also find that there isn’t much more you can do.  You feel like the grasshopper that’s been laughing at the ants.  Well those ants are the ones laughing now.  So you take your Social Security and realize that there just isn’t much there.
 So you end up looking for the same jobs you looked for when you were in your 20’s something that just pays enough but isn’t too taxing.  You’d rather stop being in charge of anything and just do as you’re told and draw a check.  On the other hand if you WERE the ant. Then you notice that your grasshopper friends all think that you shouldn’t be able to take the money that you had forcibly taken from your paycheck and you should gladly give it to them.  That seems fair right?  Well at 65, you can go on and on (and often do) about what’s fair and right etc.  You find that parts of you are sounding a lot like you did as a teenager.

??:

This age isn’t quite as definite.  In fact, it appears to be optional.  Sorry to end this blog on a downer, but…You see there is a point in your life at which you are no longer vibrant.  Either through disease or inaction, you can feel your clock winding down.  You just wake up with the aches and pains of life. And the stack of medications that you have to down every day and you realize that you are just a walking bunch of trouble.  It should be noted that this age only happens when you literally can’t do anything that you like anymore.

At some point when you go to the hospital, you will stop expecting to come out better, if at all.  From what I’ve seen there are a few people. Who stave this age off by remaining active and interested in things.  They let their interest push them through the pain.  Easy to say if you aren’t in that situation, it’s just what I’ve heard.  Apparently Bingo is one of these activities.

Geeze Mark, that was a real downer.  Yeah, I know.  Life has to be taken as a whole and the sum of all of it’s parts not each part by itself.  If you aren’t living the life you have like you would like, then make your changes.  The only good changes are the ones you make yourself.  All of those other changes people keep telling you are good?  Yeah, they are liars and their pants are on fire.

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