Posts Tagged ‘Birthday’

Age Perception

One of my co-workers celebrated his 30th birthday today. Some of our colleagues decided to highlight the achievement on his whiteboard with the diagram below. It was nice they included me in their calculations – I am on the yellow sticky below the board.

Celebrating my co-worker's birthday ... I am referenced on the yellow sticky below - click to enlarge.

Celebrating my co-worker’s birthday … I am referenced on the yellow sticky below – click to enlarge.

Actually, I thought it was quite funny. Well played.


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I was chatting with an old friend in Toronto last week. ‘Old friend’ doesn’t tell the half of it – we met in kindergarten and have been friends ever since – 55 years at last count. We both became geographers and are involved in education in different forms. Doug was a high school teacher until he retired. He now teaches education at a university in Toronto as well as mentors current teachers. For me, I have a certificate in adult education, spent 12 years in environmental education and now teach earth science labs part-time at MacEwan University in Edmonton. And Doug and I still talk every month or so.

Anyway, in our last call Doug mentioned that his wife, who went to our high school, had her 60th birthday the week before. I turned 60 in August while Doug hit the mark in April. He said their family had gone out to a restaurant to celebrate Jill’s birthday. There were a few families celebrating birthdays and at one table was a banner that read, “Happy 60th”. Doug said Jill immediately wanted to know if the banner was for her. When he replied that the banner was not for her, she replied, “thank you”.

This got us on to a discussion about the significance of one’s 60th. As we have grown older, people have always remarked on milestone birthdays. Hey man, you’ve hit the big four-O (or whatever); do you feel different? Up until now, I can honestly say I didn’t feel different for any of the decade celebrations. It always seemed to be a bigger deal for the people around than for me.

But Doug and I agreed that reaching 60 has some significance. I wonder if it is the ‘senior’ connotation. Senior citizenship always seemed to be such an abstract concept when we growing up. But now that we are here, it seems to carry some weight that I really didn’t expect. Senior discounts, senior’s rates – the first hint that I had turned a corner was on my bank statement when there was an entry of “senior’s rebate” and I got $4.00 off my monthly bank fee.

For me, part of the issue is I don’t feel like a senior – or what I had imagined a senior should feel like. Our perception of seniors when we were growing doesn’t seem to fit the actual experience. I still like to watch cartoons, play rock and roll and be silly when the occasion fits. When we were young, we were told to “act your age”. I am not sure I want to.

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In honour of me clicking over the odometer one more time, here is the best birthday song ever …

Parents can easily relate and my kids have used the song at every birthday since.



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