Monday, November 15, 2010

The Age Formula

Time flies. It seems like just yesterday that I was digging around in the back yard, trying to make roads in the dirt for my Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. (Actually, it doesn't seem like yesterday, but it doesn't seem like it was forty years ago, either!)

I've got to face it: I'm getting old. (Getting? Gotten.) I'm trying to hang on to my youth as best as I can. I married a much younger woman, and now I have two young children. They make me feel like a young father every day. Unfortunately, they also wear me out and keep me up at night, making me feel like an old man.

In an effort to stay young, I could get me a sports car, except that: a) I can't afford it; and 2) getting a sports car is a bit too much of a cliche for a middle-aged man trying to look young.
Will I look younger because I drive the car from Magnum PI, or will I look older because I actually remember watching Magnum PI? (Actually, I should look younger here, because this picture was taken over 15 years ago.)

Instead, I have to try to look young by driving a mini-van. (The mini-van is huge. Why do they call it a mini-van when it is so big? The Wife says it's because it is smaller than a cargo van. Then two minutes later she is bragging that it can hold nine people, a double stroller, five large suitcases, and a picnic lunch large enough for the entire BYU football team.)

So, here I am, a 44 year old man clinging desperately to his early forties. Early forties? Isn't 44 clearly in the mid-forties? Yes and no. I've got a whole early-mid-late formula worked out. Here it is:

Early forties: The day you turn 40 up until the day before you turn 45.
Mid-forties: The day you turn 42 up until the day before you turn 49.
Late-forties: The day you turn 46 up until the day before you turn 50.

This formula works for any decade, not just the forties. Obviously, there are some overlap areas. The overlap areas are:

The day you turn 40 up until the day before you turn 42: early-forties only.
The day you turn 42 up until the day before you turn 45: either early-forties or mid-forties.
The day you turn 45 up until the day before you turn 46: mid-forties only.
The day you turn 46 up until the day before you turn 49: either mid-forties or late-forties.
The day you turn 49 up until the day before you turn 50: sorry, you are late-forties.

These overlap areas give you a little freedom to say what you would more like to be. If you are a 22 year old trying to appear more mature, you could say you are in your mid-twenties. Others, like my brother, for instance, can hang on to his mid-forties for another few months, up until the day before he turns 49 in April. I'm in a similar situation. I could say I'm early-forties or mid-forties for a few more months, but then it's goodbye forever to the early-forties.

In the end, though, what do these age labels really mean? Nothing. We're only as old as we feel we are, right? So, I've just got to work real hard at ignoring the aching bones and the sore muscles. Maybe I'll take The Boy out in the backyard with some Matchboxes and Hot Wheels. It's been a while since I've made a good road.

[NOTE: I originally posted this well over four years ago, in November of 2010. I am re-posting it now, just hours after the mid-forties have been lost to me forever, and the fifties are just right around the corner.] 

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