Age is a magic number.

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As I approach my magical 40th birthday I begin to think about age. My mom is twenty years older than me and we talked about how the way you feel does not always match the number of your age. She still feels young and I have a joke if you are as old as you feel I am about 95! At least I feel that way some days, other days I am in my early twenties or any of the many other ages I have had the good fortune to be able to experience.

George Carlin did a great bit about age and how you get to keep all of the other ages you once were. Is age a number, a state of mind, why does it matter what the number is? We need to know when we are 5 so we know when to go to school, when we are 16 to be able to drive, 18 is when we become adults in America, 21 legally able to drink alcohol, 25 is a reduction in car insurance premiums, 35 for women is when the biological clock starts to tick, not too much going on until 65 the current time of retirement though many are working longer now, but you can join AARP at 50 and get your senior discount. After that there is a long quiet black void as every night you go to sleep to play the life lotto game to see if you wake up the next morning until one day you don’t.

That’s quite simplistic though. Abe Lincoln had a great quote “It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years.” That seems true to me. It’s about the living we do, what we pack into the time we’ve got that matters. What difference does a number make? I’m not just saying that because I am turning 40 either. I think 40 is a fabulous age for a woman to be. I’m the most confident, most independent and self-empowered I have felt during this whole time I’ve been on this planet. I love this age!

Many talk about being younger but when I was younger, I felt obligated to take in so much more of what everyone else thought. I needed a man to want me so I could have children, I needed an employer to like me so I can have a job, I needed the teacher to like me so I could get a good grade. Now, although it’s great to be liked, I don’t have to be. I don’t feel the need so much to sacrifice who I am to assimilate and I love that feeling. I think that is the best present to receive in my 40th year.

So what’s in an age? Just a human created number allowing the government to properly track us for civil planning and census counts, it’s a ticker that lets us know how far we’ve come? I think a higher age number is a great testament to survival and that is pretty cool in my opinion.

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