Every once in a while – and especially when a person is celebrating a birthday – the subject of age always draws comments. Such as “I remember when I was 21 ... or 30 ... or 40 ...”
As a child, I thought if someone was 30 or 40 they were old. But once I was 21, no age looked old to me anymore.
With the exception of one time, age has been nothing more than a number to me. That exception was my 21st birthday. Finally I was 21! That meant I could cast my vote in political elections! It also meant I could sign a contract to make a major purchase and pay for it over a certain length of time. No longer did I have to ask my parents to sign the contract with me and guarantee it.
Everyone has memories of particular ages in their lives. For instance, how old you were when you got married, or your age when each child was born.
People will often joke about their ages. “Today I feel like I'm 29 again – then I feel a twinge here and an ache there and I am brought back to the fact I'm quite a ways past 29.”
I've often wondered why people sometimes say they aren't looking forward to their birthday because of the age they will be.
For me my birthday means I'm starting a new chapter in life. It's a time to rejoice because it means there are new adventures waiting for me, trips I've dreamed about to take, the start of another year to enjoy being with family and friends, and perhaps making new friends.
There's a saying many people quote: You are only as old as you feel. Well, some days I feel like I'm 150, even though I don't know what it would feel like to be 150. Other days my mind set is I'm much younger than I am, but it isn't long before my body tells me that isn't true.
However, I believe that you really can feel younger. It's all about attitude. I've met people who are 80 who make you think they are much younger and people who are 35 who by their actions and words lead you to surmise they are at least 10 or 15 years older than they are.
Some of the older people – and by this I'm talking 80 or more – have such a cheerful outlook on life. In visiting with them, you soon discover they've had some rough times, but their determination, drive and faith have helped them get through those times. And still they greet the world with a smile and a chuckle.
I've encountered people in their 30s or 40s who reflect gloom and doom. Nothing is right in their world, they have more problems than anyone else, it's always someone else's fault things aren't going well for them and on and on.
Of course, I've talked with people on the opposite side of the coin – older folks who are bitter about their lives and younger ones who are fairly shining with optimism.
It's just my opinion, but I honestly don't feel the number of the age you are has a whole lot of bearing on your attitude and behavior.
Not long ago when I checked my Facebook page, I had to chuckle when I saw a cartoon figure of a "mature" woman saying, "I've been told I should act my age, but I've never been this age so I don't know how to act."
To that, I say, "Amen!" Age really is only a number.