I am now officially old. Lauren tells me so.
Of course, Lauren has been telling me that since she learned how to speak, so this should come as no great surprise to me. And, by her reckoning, I am old – older than the winds, older than the seas, older than the ground she walks on. A veritable catalog of ancientness come to life – or somehow miraculously preserved in some quasi-scientific state of limbo – solely to remind her to clear the table after breakfast.
We all serve our functions in the universe.
I don’t feel any different, really, but I have discovered a few things about my world as I turn 45.
1. More and more parties involve less and less motion. When I was younger, this motion was provided by me and my friends. Recently, most of that motion has been provided by small children. But kids grow up and we grow sedate and that’s not a bad thing in my view.
2. The concept of a 401k no longer confuses me as much as it did, though it does invoke a deep and abiding sense of impending doom, much as one gets in the passenger seat of a car sliding on an icy highway. Hit something soft, that’s the goal.
3. I am now officially too old to worry about what other people think of me. I was never very good at this, even when I was younger, but I no longer feel any need to defend or explain it.
4. Similarly, my need to put up with people seems to be deteriorating. Oh, there is rarely call to be uncivil, though I can do that too when required. Mostly it’s just the realization that I have no particular need or obligation to have people in my life who don’t serve any positive purpose by being there. This has been a liberating discovery.
5. On the other hand, those people who do serve a positive purpose I value more and more. There are not as many people in the world like that as I once thought there were.
6. Cookies for breakfast? Sure. Once in a while.
7. I am now at a point where the age gap between myself and the Hot Young Thing on television will never be anything less than creepy, no matter how much older she gets. This goes double given the amount of Disney Channel that my daughters watch. Fortunately, this is even more hypothetical now than it was when I was single.
8. My ability to absorb technology – never great to begin with – seems to have come to its natural limit. This may not be a function of age so much as personality. But I am happy to blame age anyway.
9. “Because it will make me happy and cause no harm” is all I need to justify doing something. Grand causes I leave to others.
10. I have reached the point where if I want something I’ll probably just go out and get it, which means that people really don’t need to buy me presents anymore. Don’t get me wrong – I’m always happy to get presents, whenever they should appear. But they’re happy extras now, and unexpected.
You’re never too old to make discoveries.