I turned 47 on this birthday.
Now, on its surface, 47 isn't anything special. Just another random number. But in truth, it's the one that puts you on the downhill slide to 50. And that's a biggie, because it declares to the world you are officially Over The Hill. Mostly because there is no chance I'm living to 100, so I'm definitely on the back side there.
So, I thought about how I could do some cute blog post about being 47, like "47 Things You Don't Know About Me." That might work if I was twelve, but fourty-seven? There is no one in their right mind that wants to read all that. Especially since writing forty-seven facts about me would require I scrape the bottom of the "interesting" barrel. Does anyone out there want to know that I refuse to sleep with a top sheet because I think they are silly and useless and just create more laundry? Didn't think so.
Sadly, last years Christmas card picture is the most recent one I have of myself
There are always the posts that go "40 is the new 30" or "50 is the new 40" and all that crap. No, it isn't. I know this because 37 year olds don't get heartburn for no apparent reason. They don't throw out their backs by turning off a light switch and they don't find themselves saying "What? I can't hear you" all the time.
Or how about the "Good Things About Being 47" or the "Bad Things About Being 47." If you already around this age, you know them, and if you are not, there is no point in my ruining your youth for you. Enjoy it while you can.
So, what you get are Things About The Second Half of Life That Are Not Good, Bad or Particularly Interesting But Just Are The Way They Are. Let's face it, I am well into the second half of my life at this point, since I don't see myself getting past 80 or 82 without some serious medical intervention, and 94 isn't likely to happen.
1) Shit doesn't work the way it used to. Hearing, knees, energy levels. You will wear reading glasses, which suck except for the part where you can give the librarian stink-eye look to anyone who interrupts you. This is ok though, you don't want to hear most of what people are saying anyway.
2) You will diet and exercise, but for completely different reasons than before. The idea of doing it so you look great in a bikini is out the window. That ship has sailed sister and it ain't coming back. Now you will do it to avoid getting diabetes and having to use the rascal scooter in the grocery store. Still noble goals.
3) You no longer need to worry about what the latest and greatest fashion trends are. No one wants to see old people in Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister. Those are not fashionable anymore you say? See, proves my point. It makes shopping so much easier when you know that not one person on this planet gives a damn what you are wearing because they aren't looking anyway.
4) It doesn't matter how hard to you try keep up with the latest technology so that you aren't "one of those" old people, it will pass you by. Probably when you aren't even looking. Pick and choose a few thing to try to learn and screw the rest. Most of it is drivel anyway. Twitter anyone?
5) You will become impatient. Your time here is limited and you can't be wasting it. Those of us who have always been impatient will get there first and be the worst offenders. Those of you who had reams of patience when you were younger will take longer, but eventually we will all scream "Get off my lawn!" at someone.
6) You will be able to tell who are your real friends and who are just people hanging around. Its a great thing really and everyone should learn it in their 20's. Except for the part where you are impatient. That causes you to be rude. On the upside, now that you are old, you won't really care.
7) You will discover what you really want out of life. However, it will most likely not be what you have spent all your time and money up until now obtaining. *sigh*
8) You will start losing people around you, if you haven't already. If you're like me and have managed to get this far with both parents and a large majority of Aunts, Uncles and cousins around, you know whats coming and it won't be pretty. It is still surprising when friends pass away, but it will become less so over time, sadly.
9) You will start to see kindred spirits in all those old people that used to be invisible to you when you were in your 20's. All of a sudden they become more like looking through a time machine that is a little too close for comfort. This will spark the exercise and healthy eating kick that will suck the fun out of the rest of your days.
10) Things will seem like more trouble than they are worth. What things? All the things. This isn't bad, this is a level of zen-like clarity that Buddhist monks aspire to. Things are more trouble than they are worth most of the time.
You will try to impart the wisdom of age to those young people that run across your path, telling them all the thing you were once told. Enjoy your health, take care of your body, save money, find out what you really want and go after it, call your Mom, visit your loved ones, life is short, don't waste your money trying to impress people you don't really care about, slow down and relax........
They will ignore you. Let them. Trust me on this one, its more trouble than it's worth!