What normally innocuous events caused you to pause for a moment and consider that “Yes, I really am getting old…”?
Here are a few examples of what I’m asking:
(FTR, I’m 37)
Today I was talking to our summer intern, describing technical stuff she was going to do. As I reflected on our discussion, I suddenly realized that in her eyes, I’m from the generation of her father. I tried to imagine situations from my younger days when I, as a nineteen-year-old, spoke with folks in their late thirties, and I realized that I am now squarely on the other side of the hill, no longer a maturing young man, but a steadily aging fully grown adult.
Last week, I noticed a slightly bent business card laying on the dining room table and I took a glance at it. It bore the symbol of the U.S. Navy and the name of a first-class petty officer whose office was listed as Detroit, MI. After a bit of head scratching, I realized that the card had been handed to me over twenty years ago by the fellow who told me what a great future I had in the Navy nuclear power field. Twenty years! Who knows where my wife stumbled across that card, but she dutifully put it where I would find it, not even imagining how old it was.
Last year, I walked up to the counter a local pharmacy and lay my two-pound bag of M&Ms on the counter, right next to a sign taped to the counter that said “You must have been born before this date in 1985 to purchase tobacco products” What was so weird about that? That was the year I graduated high school, and it has always been, in my mind, the year I graduated high school and nothing more. It’s very strange to think that in the brief time since that fairly memorable and seemingly recent event, enough time has elapsed for a baby to have graduated from high school.
Of course, these kinds of events must happen all throughout one’s life. I recall as a young fellow of twenty or so wondering exactly when a guy actually ceases to be a “boy” or “young man” and becomes a “man” There have been a few milestones, both major and trivial, in the intervening years that have let me know clearly that I passed that fuzzy divider long ago.
I suppose one day something innocent will happen that will let me know that I’m a grey-haired old fogey.
How about you? What small details really brought your aging process to your attention? Don’t forget to let us know how old you are!