Thoughts on Age…and the New Year

It is a freshly-minted year — 2014, and the plastic film is still on the shiny bits of it, waiting to be peeled off.  I think this is going to be a good year…definitely better than 2013 was, anyway.

2013 was tough.  It saw me laid off from my job for about 15 minutes, and installed in a new position with my employer, at a 25% pay cut.  It saw six months of hardcore job-hunting and interviewing, which is stressful as hell.  It was a stressful year in general.

This new year is full of promise.  I think 2014 should see my wife and I both in jobs we really like, earning decent money, living in a nicer, bigger house for less money, and in my case, gaining excellent experience in my field to really open up my options when I can move on from this employer.

The passing of a new year leads to some introspection, as well.  That, and spraining my ankle on Christmas Day when I tried out my son’s new skateboard.  It’s a hard thing, seeing clues that I’m getting older — my white chin when I grow a beard, longer times to heal from injuries, that stuff.  I don’t like those things, those reminders.

The thing is, you see, I don’t actually feel old.  I’m 43, for a couple of months yet, but I don’t feel like it.  I still feel like I’m in my twenties — aches, pains, cholesterol, overweightness, and grown-up perspective notwithstanding…I still feel like I did when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree back in 1995, for the most part.  I still want to do twenty-something things — I want a fun car, and to try skateboarding, and video games, and junk food, and alternative music.  I try to keep up with internet memes, and at least some pop culture.  I get along with twenty-somethings way better than I get along with people my age — people my age are boring, and like boring things.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to like — I suppose it’s wine instead of beer, and fine scotch or bourbon instead of kamikazes.  I’m probably supposed to eat healthy, organic, vegetable-heavy food, and listen to “adult contemporary” music, or jazz.  I’m probably supposed to eat at restaurants that charge $13 for a hamburger…but not GET the hamburger, no, I should get a salad with dressing on the side.  I should drive a car with four doors, and a good rating in “Consumer Reports.”

Yuck.  People my age talk about their retirement accounts, and the way that Jimbers gave the director his spreadsheet instead of mine, and their neighbors’ shortcomings, and sports statistics.  Actually, I don’t really know, because I hardly ever talk to people my own age.  Come to think of it, I don’t really talk to people in their 20’s much, either.  They think I’m too old to talk to, and people my age think I’m too, I don’t know what…”out there” to talk to, I guess.

So what’s my point?  It’s that I think 2014 could be a great year for myself and my family, and that I feel twenty years younger than I actually am.  Those aren’t bad things, I guess.

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