An Observation

Since early adulthood it has been my habit, at the start of a new year, to begin identifying myself as the age I will be at my next birthday and to tell people that I’m that age, even though that natal celebration isn’t until June.

In one week I will turn 42. However, I notice — have observed for months — that I’ve been careful to tell people I’m 41. When someone mentioned the other day that I might as well say I’m 42 since I will be next week, my reaction was mild surprise, as in, “Really! So soon?”

Some people celebrate their 39th birthday forever (or some other arbitrary number). I’ve joked with my husband in the past that when I turn 42, I will remain that age. After all, it’s the inverse of my birthday (24), which I think is neat (and in case I ever forget my birthday I can use it as a mnemonic); furthermore, 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything according to Douglas Adams, and he’s pretty cool.

Hmm. I used to be eager to reach the next year. Now, not so much. Is this internalized ageism? Or am I simply content to be who/what/where I am? Something to ponder over the next week.

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6 Comments on “An Observation”

  1. Chad Says:

    I’m not 35, I’m 18 with seventeen years’ experience.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Hee! That’s good!

  3. Siona Says:

    Well, *I* would never have guessed.

    So what do you want for your birthday, hm?

  4. Kathryn Says:

    Well, I’m getting my gift on Sunday — a trip to Austin for 9 days!

    And there’s another something I want, but will need to wait for. And find out, you need to wait too! 🙂

  5. kat Says:

    wee, a trip to austin! what a great b-day gift!

    and i too start identifying with my next age before it happens, sometimes forgetting momentarily how old i really am. odd habit or sign of oncoming dementia? 😉

  6. CW Says:

    It’s a very Chinese practice – in Chinese culture you are a year old when you are born – the 9 months in your mother’s womb being practically a year, after all! I hope you have a happy birthday! Does it help to know that the Chinese also traditionally really only celebrate ‘major’ birthdays, beginning with one’s 60th? The 70th, 80th and 90th birthdays are also really special 🙂