Monday, June 6, 2011

This day, and age

Today's my birthday. Just another day in the year, another opportunity to ponder the arbitrary celebration of one particular moment in time as being more significant than any other, as if it represented some sort of video-game leveling up or something. Still, we're conditioned in our thinking to attach significance, to find patterns in the chaos and so: the calls, the cards, the co-workers taking me out to lunch. And I confess, it's hard not to see some sort of milestone in turning six hundred years old.

I trot out all the old lines, of course..."Yeah, I'm turning 200 - again!". "It's not the centuries, it's the light-years...", all the traditional bits. There's odd comfort in it, even if a large part of it is the smirking disdain for the cliches.

The funny thing is, I really don't feel six hundred. Or rather, I should say I don't feel like what I grew up thinking six hundred was SUPPOSED to feel like. I remember when I was younger, even up to my 100th, that 600 was OLD - maybe it's just that life-extension tech has gotten better, but I remember looking at anybody past the half-millennium and thinking that they'd just...shut down. That they'd accepted that their prime was over and that it was time to just sit down and stop moving. I know the culture's changed - they say 500 is the new 200, and folks my age have refused to accept the expectation that their lives are pretty much done and used up at that point, but I think there's more to it. I think the life I lead, the career choices I've made and the people I associate with, have all kept me feeling younger, more engaged. I even look at others my age and while they're certainly not the six-century fogeys I remember from my youth, I still secretly feel that I am younger and more alive at heart than any of them.

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