Why is it that we commonly refer to a birthday as “Turning” a particular age? Even considering my convoluted mental processing, I cannot ever recall any noticeable turn during any of the celebrations of my birth. I went straight through the day without any noticeable corner at the precise time of my birth.
So if aging is such a slow, nearly imperceptible arching rather than turns, why do we remember so many age benchmarks? Very often, I hear birthday celebrants wish they were some other age again. I thought maybe I’d embark on that delusional retrospect into my age benchmarks. What age would I like to have remained?
The first obvious stop was One year old. I looked at a few pictures. It looked quite inviting to me to loll around in a swing that played music. Hmmm, why does the music not keep the same metronomic beat as the ratcheting swing spring? Ahh, but that’s an adult recollection. I didn’t ponder that anomaly at one year old.
Fact is I didn’t ponder much of anything. I got just about everything that I wanted. At least I think I did. However, that’s the problem with being One…you can’t remember much. Hmmm. That’s not much different than today. I guess I don’t need to be One. I’m sure I’ve got about everything I want….I just can’t remember where I put it.
I can remember 10, though. Except for taking out the trash and doing dishes, I had no responsibilities. Gee, wouldn’t that be great era to languish in. Come to think of it, I’m not particularly responsible now, and still take out the trash and help with dishes. So 10 doesn’t really hold much of an advantage over today.
How about the teen years? Oh, now there’s an age to be. There’s definitely a tempting mystique about being a footloose and fancy free youth. Yet even those foolhardy years had drawbacks.
Girlfriends…or lack thereof, was a constant and often overwhelming challenge for me. And so was wrestling. No, not with the girls—fat chance of that happening. Actually, for me, it was a slim chance. Yet slim did keep me wrestling against boys my size. Being small was certainly not a disadvantage in the sport of wrestling.
Diminutive size was definitely a disadvantage in all my other athletic endeavors. My body took a severe beating in most every sport I tried. Low and behold, today my body takes a beating in about every game of softball I play. So, why should I desire to be a skinny teen?
Oh, for the glory years of post teen. Twenty would surely be the age to be. Independence at last. Free to do as I please, when I please. So why did I choose to renounce that liberty and go to college with its restrictive scheduling, required attendance, obligatory studying and incessant testing. Not to mention hectic pace. Why would I want to trade the leisure of my current retirement for that constraining regimen. Besides, even at my age I can still have an “all-nighter”. Of course, in my college days that meant staying up all night. Now? it is NOT getting up all night.
You know, now that I contemplate my past, it was certainly filled with wondrous moments, yet I’m not so certain I want to repeat any year of my life. I suppose that’s what they mean by the “Myth of Nostalgia”. Our wistful thoughts of our past are often filled with grandeur, yet with closer reflection, our life then was not without drawbacks. I think I shall very happily turn all future age changes without yearning to go anywhere else than around the corner and onward.