Age Is Everything But A Number


I often hear people contest that age is nothing but a number. Two weeks ago I celebrated my 27th year on this incorrigible planet. Of course up until now, I too shared the same sentiments. But as I grow older, and hopefully wiser, it dawned on me that such sentiments might not be entirely true.

Age is everything, other than the number it denotes. With age comes maturity, of course to take up that offer is entirely up to the individual. I am all for choice and I believe maturity is something you either partake in or refute.

The ageing process is a progression towards a fully fledged maturation status. Age is more than the wrinkles on our face, the slight dip in our posture. The slowness in our talk, the u-turn our cognitive abilities take. It is about fulfilment- fulfilling the ageing process which we are destined towards from conception. Some of us will graduate from this life with having passed the various stages of the ageing process, some of us won’t. Some of us will have it all figured out and pass through the ageing process with flying colours, some of us will crumble, some won’t have a clue.  That is life, there are no guarantees that you will, but nonetheless we still take part.

Society will no doubt give us pointers on how to best overcome each stage of the ageing process; from cosmetics to diets to technological advancement that help us predict the future so we can endure this ageing processes longer and with no defects or ailments. But nature will always have the last laugh and fate will almost certainly deliver the last punch!

Society will also dictate how to best behave in each segment of the process:

–          The Child: Seen but unheard.

–          The Teenager: Rowdy and in need of direction.

–          The Twenty Something: Yet to figure out life, but society can’t afford to have you clueless for long. So you are lured into further education, training and the likes.

–          The Thirty Something: Established, your career is flourishing with your significant other and your nuclear family intact. A house with a good sized garden in your name and your two cars parched parallel to one another on your front parking space.

Society will allow you one hiccup though; one opting out clause and that is in your Forties; on the basis that once you have had that you opt back into the ageing structure.

–          The Forty Something:  Start operation – mid life crisis. Your perfect marriage and career is in tatters. Your forty something self is not that dissimilar to the Twenty something you; only in your forties you have a little more responsibilities than you did then. Isn’t that why they say “forty is the new twenty”?!

–          Enter your Fifties:  You are contributing to the structure again … Alas you are deemed responsible!

–          Sixties: You have earned your stripes; society dictates that you don’t require as much close circuit attention as you did in your yester years. You are now on course on to heralding your senior citizenry status.

–          Seventies, Eighties and Beyond: You are now nothing but a burden on society, so you are slowly but surely shunned out. To the point of no return!

Birthdays thus serve as a reminder, a check point if you like. Each year on our birthdays we review, look back and check where we got to on the ageing process, are we flagging behind or are we on par with this structure?! Then we start to panic, stress and self doubt. I start asking myself fundamental questions such as where am I going with my life? Though having such conversations at 3:00am with myself, often means that those questions remain strictly rhetorical.

My six years old nephew asked me on my birthday “what do you want to be when you are older“? With a slight befuddlement at his question, I replied “I am already old” to which he replied “no no, I mean when you are thirty”!

I suppose I will leave answers to such potent questions for when I am in my thirties, for thirties are when life changing decisions are made. For now I shall enjoy whatever is left of my twenties- cluelessly cheery.

If nothing at all, the ageing process has taught me  that the ability to progress; to succeed, to live will be in my own terms, at my own pace, a one woman race!

N.B This post was intended to be a humorous reflection on birthdays. Somewhere between starting the post and ending it, things took an unexpected philosophical turn!

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35 thoughts on “Age Is Everything But A Number

  1. Hi-hope you are having a great weekend! Wondering if you are on twitter? Would love to follow! Wanted to recommend your blog on twitter, so do let me know! 🙂 My twitter handle is @anjalideshp

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  2. A timely reminder that my own birthday is around the corner! examining the point that I am at and feeling the need to do more (if time allows!). Very good read! According to your nephew( the point of view of children can really humble you!) I’m already old, so time’s a wasting! LOL

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      • Oh gosh! This world cup – devastating for me as my little wankers Brazil became overnight wusses and lost horribly! LOL But the final I expected to be tough for Argentina as Germany was the only teams with a well rounded squad – many just had star players around whom the entire team was built.
        Argentina played better in the final than they did in the entire competition. It was obviously not fated for them to win.

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      • “My little wankers” 😂😂😂 what a description! They were all over the place and their weakness exposed with their two main players out. I would have liked to see the Dutch get to the final though. But i suppose Germany were the only rounded team (and the Dutch) like u said. Hope ur having a lovely weekend. X

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  3. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Mark Twain
    I love this over-said quote.

    The truth is, the world is becoming a place where age is becoming irrelevant to the rest of the happenstance we go through. Teenagers building seminal inventions, forty-somethings are becoming Pop İdols and what not. It’s almost like the time period that starts with you thinking straight until you can’t is a big jumble of experiences.
    Age really doesn’t matter, especially when you are refusing that it does, and are resisting time wholeheartedly.

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  4. Good post. Although ageing is inevitable, I think being swept from one milestone birthday to the next is not.

    If young people are encouraged to set some life goals (based on their authentic values, skills and desires) they could be taking action to find professional / personal fulfilment in their 20s and their 30s.

    That might mean, in future, that fewer people in their 40s are trying to find themselves, since they will operating from the place where they wanted to be all along.

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    • That is very true, if young people were encouraged to set life goals that is relevant to their skills and desires, maybe we wouldn’t have as many disenchanted young people with their lives. We are too quick as a society to tell others what to do based on what we deem is good for them as opposed to letting them make that choice.

      Thank you for stopping by, i appreciate your insight.

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  5. I loved reading this. I recently turned 27 myself and have been having mixed feelings towards it. Reading your thoughts definitely made me feel better. Thanks!

    PS: I read in the comments that you recently joined twitter and I followed you 🙂 Welcome!

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    • 27 is a weird and wonderful age. You are on the fringes of turning 30 and being more responsible yet not quite 30 so you can still get away with childishness.

      Glad you enjoyed it. Oh and i am following you bk now 😃

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  6. Oh my gosh. As one of those people who is edging closer to 70 and becoming a burden on society and being shunned out I better talk fast. Don’t worry you are just getting started in life. I say that to all of your commenters too who are in the same age range. I think that although there is so much written about where we should be at different ages and stages I don’t believe it is a one size fits all deal. I love stories about “late bloomers.” You know people actually discover new things about themselves and keep changing and growing even after 60. You will too. All of you 20 and 30 somethings, don’t worry 🙂

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    • Hi Deborah, thanks for stopping by and please don’t feel rushed at least here 😃

      You are right it’s not as rigid as one size fits all. We are continually evolving as individuals intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially and whatever else.

      Have a lovely evening!

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    • I think its the process of leaving one age bracket that we got very accustomed to for another one we are unsure of that scares us the most.

      I don’t think i would want to be 20again either if given the choice- all that soul searching and finding out who you are, what you like, want .. Lol

      Thanks for stopping by, hope the city of love is treating you to a good monday evening/early tuesday

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  7. Great article! As one now finding myself in another age group from the above commentators, the mid fifties, sometimes there is a growing tendency for me to look backwards on my life and focus on the missed opportunities and focus on the regrets. Have I really done much with my life to make the world a better place? I have to leave those regrets and missed opportunities behind, and focus what lies ahead, making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. There are still lots of great years ahead.
    In my late teens and early twenties I did things that seemed I was immortal. In my fifties still like to push my levels of endurance, but definitely think much more of my mortality and weigh in the risks. In my fifties now each day is becoming more and more like a gift, something to be treasured. Yes, there is a fear of one day becoming a burden to society, and try to eat healthy and keep fit.

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    • Great article! As one now finding myself in another age group from the above commentators, the mid fifties, sometimes there is a growing tendency for me to look backwards on my life and focus on the missed opportunities and focus on the regrets. Have I really done much with my life to make the world a better place? I have to leave those regrets and missed opportunities behind, and focus what lies ahead, making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. There are still lots of great years ahead.
      In my late teens and early twenties I did things that seemed I was immortal. In my fifties still like to push my levels of endurance, but definitely think much more of my mortality and weigh in the risks. In my fifties now each day is becoming more and more like a gift, something to be treasured. Yes, there is a fear of one day becoming a burden to society, and try to eat healthy and keep fit.

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      • I suppose in our teens and twenties we tend to go with the flow and jump right into anything that we deem “fun”. Like you specified when in those age categories we deem ourselves as immortal and thus neglect our health amongst other things. Once we go past our thirties we start to look at things more logically i suppose. Of course that is not to say that everyone in their teens and twenties are careless and those in theirs forties/ fifties aren’t and vice versa; there are always exceptions to the norm.

        But we do take things for granted in our younger years.

        Thanks for stopping by and for your insightful input.

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