I read an article that said you tend to see yourself at the age where you most enjoyed your life. For me that is 33, exactly half my age. At 33, my wife & I lived in London, had a great job, no kids yet, explored our surroundings, had enough money for an enteraining life style & loved our lives. Unfortunately, while I still think of myself as 33, I don't look like my perception of myself when I look in the mirror at night. I see my father staring back at me with his white hair & spider webs underneath my eyes.
Two weeks ago I picked up my mother from her retirement community to take her to the hair dresser & the market when one of the other residents complimented me on how nice my wife looked. I told them that she was my mother. I mentioned this to my wife & asked her if I looked 89 to which she replied that I looked old - well that made my day.
One of the young women who reports to me introduced me to her mother. She later confided that her mother was really old & had all sorts of problems; I found out that she is three years younger than I.
taconner, what an interesting concept! I am very curious to hear from others regarding the age they most enjoyed life and why. Are they also surprised when they look in the mirror or are referred to as "old" or "seniors"? Great topic!
I think I've almost always had fun. Well, except for the fat years. There was a 10 year period of time when I put on about 60 pounds, had no energy and simply didn't enjoy much. When the pounds went away the enjoyment of life returned. The white hair is another matter entirely. We look dignified, not old!
My paternal grandfather had white hair. Don't think I would trade the (no) hair for the white.
I seemed to always think of myself as older. We called it "mature". I would not necessarily agree with the connotations of that. :-)))
We had a couple of years before the kids, but not many. Seems like that attribute takes over and defines us.
On looks, both of us seem to look younger than many we know. One lady friend tried to convince my spouse that she was older but that wasn't true. It can get a little touchy to set that misconception right.
However, I got a shock when I had to dig up another job 10 years or so before I pulled the plug on job hunts and at a fairly early stage too. You see, I had a beard for well over a decade, I don't think a couple of the kids knew me without a beard. There's nothing like stopping into the restroom before that important interview and looking in the mirror and thinking "Boy! Do you look old!" A face full of gray looks OLD! My daughter got on my case and the beard was finally gone. Not sure that was the success factor since there really is age discrimination out there.
It is never to early to plan your goals. By the second or third year of college you should know want you want and how to get there.. Otherwise you will still be in school in your late 20's or have dropped out working in a a manal labor job. For me it was easy stay in school or go to Vietnam. DUHH!!
I had the very same motivation to stay committed to college studies. Afterwards I was protected by deferments and a very high number in the draft lottery.
Maybe it was another of my failures in judgment, but when I mentioned to a now-retired, very famous and high-ranking general after he spoke at the local arts center that 2 years in high school ROTC had convinced me that being drafted could have resulted in the remainder of my tour being in the brig. Just the look on his face told me that he didn't think that was very humorous and absolutely in violation of his military commitment. :-(((((
Better in the Brig then a pine box!
My NC local Selective Service Board approved my year-long application for status Conscientious Objector. I volunteered and served 24 months "alternative" (non-military) service 1969-1971 after grad school.
After our 1980 trip (one month) in Kenya, my beard would "go" for the duration of each subsequent month-long work camp. After we returned, I would re-grow my beard. Our son followed with the beard style. When he and his spouse became parents, I shed my beard - so that is how the first grandchild (and now second grandchild) have known me - Grandpa "B" -- or for those who have seen "Frozen" - now Gran - Pabby
I know what y'mean!
But actually, I really like who and what I am now. Sure, it would be nice to still be able to run 5-10 miles/day several times a week, and it would be great to be able to continue racing the sports cars I owned ... but would I want to work 60-70 hours a week again? Don't have to think on that one very much, y'know?
When people say something that makes it clear they notice I've aged (and they do; I minister to college kids in my church), I tell them:
"Actually I'm 147 years old. But I've had a good life and just don't look my age." They laugh, which is better than if I told them it was none of their business!
Related story: when I spoke with my mother after the party for her 90th -- eleven years prior to her death! -- I asked her how old she would like to be if she could go back. She thought for a minute, then said "Oh, I dunno, but it would be nice to be really healthy and able to go square dancing again."
So I asked "What age would that be?" (She and my dad started square dancing when they were in their thirties.)
She replied "My Seventies were nice."
I'm enjoying mine now. I think she was right.
I'm delighted to be right where I am. I retired at 61, a year ago, and am thoroughly enjoying this stage of my life. When I turned 50, I decided it was time to stop dying my hair. I started graying when I was 16, and at 32 decided I was too young to be so gray, so started coloring my hair. As I grew older, I regularly felt pleased when folks commented that I didn't look my age. It took 2 1/2 years for the halo of white to totally take over. Now I don't get told that I don't look my age, but I regularly get compliments on my white hair. Feeling comfortable with yourself, wherever you are in your life path, is a true blessing.
I look in the mirror and see my grandmother looking back at me! When I take my mother out people ask if we are sisters. But I'm really looking forward to retirement.
There was a lot going on when I was 33. I guess I could look at the bad, or at the good. My dad had just died and my mom was soon to be diagnosed with the cancer that would take her life. It didn't help that I was packing on pounds following a back injury. And paying the bills was a day to day challenge. On the other hand, my 9 year old daughter was starting to swim competitively, my 6 year old son was in his first year of tee ball, I managed the switch to a blue collar job, and my wife and I were building a new house and feeling on top of the world.
That was 29 years ago and there's a lot going on now. My back issues have been resolved and most of the pounds went away (although they have taken on a different form than before), both kids have become successful in their chosen fields, my wife has survived cancer and is looking toward a bright future, I'm in my last year before retiring and we're in the process of purchasing a lot on which we plan to build a retirement home. And we're debt free. Other than the uncertainty of my upcoming retirement - and that is fun and exciting in it's own - there doesn't seem to be a downside. I'm pretty happy with where things stand.
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