Monday, December 17, 2007


My birthday came and went quietly this year. I did a short bike ride to keep alive my tradition of a birthday bike-ride, but it was hardly the epic adventure of some previous years. I seem to have finally reached the age where birthdays are more an uncomfortable reminder of what's behind me than a cause for celebration.

There's an idea that I came across years ago that people tend to think of themselves as being the age at which they were most happy. If that time happens to be in early adulthood as it is for many, then a person's self-image diverges further from reality the older one gets. I'm not sure about this concept, but recently i've had some flashes of self-consciousness upon realizing that other people probably view me in the same way that they view other 40-something guys. I admit that sometimes this is because i realize that some pretty girl in line at the Starbucks is young enough to be my daughter. But it extends beyond that to my peers and even elders. Recently, i was playing "ultimate" frisbee with some work friends and i intentionally pulled back from an attempted interception in order to avoid a collision. One of the other players, who is around my age, said something to the affect that "this was a good idea for people our age".

I'm not quite ready to be a person of my age. But i'm beginning to see that good physical health or musical taste that resembles that of a college student doesn't really exempt me from being a person of my age. I assumed when i was younger that the compensation for getting old was the attainment of wisdom, and that's true in a way, but the problem is that wisdom is frequently the insight that some things really do suck as much as you'd expect them to.

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