Friday, August 7, 2009

Over the Hill

What is it about age that gets people all wonky? I recently walked into a retail store [Spencer] and saw all this 'Over the Hill' stuff. It would be a black background, and say Over the Hill in some old looking font, and it would have on a tomb stone, 30, 40, 50 etc.

What? 30 is now over the hill? I think not. 30 isn't even close, and if it were anything on the hill it would be base camp, maybe.

I mean if one needed to make the analogy of life to climbing a hill, I would say it would be like climbing Everest. People spend their life looking at Everest, wanting to climb it's sheer faces, navigate over the ice falls just to go to the top, take a few pictures and then come down.

Isn't that what life is?

Being born and up until your 20's you are getting enough gear together and saving enough money to fly to Nepal, to try and tackle the mountain. You climb a few little mountains first before you tackle the big one! Your gear to climb the mountain of life is the emotional gear. The heartbreak in college, leaving the family for the first time for an extended time, even being elated when you had sex for the first time, then only to find out that the girl [or guy] was also sleeping with the rest of your friends too. These things get you ready enough to start making that trek to the base camp of 'The Mountain'.

In your 20's you start to get acclimatized. You just graduated from college [flew into Nepal] and you have a blue flame of ambition shooting out your ass, and it is now time to start your journey. There is no more hypothetical situations anymore. No more training. This time, if you fall, it isn't into a foam pit, it's into the jagged rocks of the valley below. The trek isn't always hard, but you think you might die at times, but the views are spectacular on your assent. Your first love, maybe your first marriage, and having your first child. The 20's are amazing and challenging at the same time. By 29, you are trucking right along. Just as you enter base camp, things are going just fine. That's when your 'real' climb starts.

I am still a year away from entering base camp, but the wife is beating me there this year. She is all beside herself. She thinks her life might be over. She is getting 'old'. My God, that couldn't be further from the truth. Some people think that life starts to end at 30. I think it only begins. There is a story she tells when her entire family thought their grandmother was 3 years younger than she was. Is it true? It might be, but it could also be urban legend, but why would you do that?

Now, this is where reference points to the summit can vary from person to person. I know what you are thinking. What do I consider the summit of life?

The summit is retirement. It's the pinnacle of your entire life. Your kids [if applicable] are grown, married, and are just getting to base camp themselves. You can see all the accomplishment behind you as you look out over the highest point on Earth, enjoying the view. That is when you are over the hill and are back down. But this isn't the beginning of the end of your life. This is when it gets fun. Sure the hike down is not easy, but it's not as hard as climbing up.

Is 30 over the hill? Not in the least. So stop all your whining, that's just you making that final push to base camp. It only gets harder and more rewarding! The mountain has claimed lives before they even reach the summit, so consider yourself lucky once you make it!

Embrace your life, you're not old.

29 comments:

Vodka Logic said...

Interesting post. I didn't start blogging until I was 49. Midlife crisis for me approaching 50..yes big time.

I know the saying age is only a number but wait until you turn 50. I want to read your blog then. lol...

Have fun with Everest.
xx

Diggestive said...

Dont spend time worrying about your age. You should embrace your future with joy and live the best life you can.

Lols said...

Dreading 30 so badly, hope it doesn't rain. Stocking up on tissues either way.

25 was bad enough, I'm definitely not looking forward to 50.

Age is like the word 'love', may look small - but its a BIIGGG word.

Danica Dragonfly said...

WOW!
I peeked at your blog when I saw it on "the list" ... I'm a joiner, I guess - but boy am I glad I did ... if only to read that post.

Very sage, Mr. Adam. I didn't find my bliss until I was past 30. (To be clear, I was 8 mos pregnant for her when I turned 30) My life really didn't even begin until I became a parent for the first time. It felt much like everything up to that point was merely a dress rehearsal.

I'll say this: If you are this sage in your late 20's, you are in the minority. I was an idiot in my 20's ... and thought I knew everything.

I only started to feel like an adult when I began realizing how little I actually knew.

Excellent post - you are on my fav list!
D

perfectlycursedlife said...

30 is definitely not over the hill. i don't get why people think it is, especially in this day in age when people are living longer and longer.

Julie said...

OK Vodka Logic I am going to say what you just made a point about. Age is only a number, I know we all feel differently about it but I feel like I can still do anything (within reason) and my age had nothing to do with anything. I'm sorry Jenn is freaking out about turning 30 so I'm guessing throwing an "over the hill" party as a gag wouldn't go over well huh? :-D

Ginger said...

I just turned 59 on the 4th and mowed my mother's lawn (an acre). Used a push mower because my step-father broke the rider (AGAIN). Am I going to slow down when I'm 60? Uh, NO. Live, Love, Laugh! Be outdoors often.
Ginger

rxBambi said...

My best year EVER was 31. Now I'm 38, I have teen aged daughters, hubs and I are thinking about vacations with just the 2 of us, and since he's a bit older than I am, thinking about retirement and lots more travel.
I might be past base camp, but I haven't made it up the mountain yet!

Rosie said...

I dreaded turning 30 and when I look back I wonder why, it was here and gone again in a flash, now I'm approaching 40 and I'm loving every minute.

LouDuk said...

HaHa! I am still getting my gear together, and falling on that foam mattress!

John said...

I will be 44 in September and have a variety of feelings on the subject. On one hand I feel pretty well and look good for my age. I appreciate the experience I have gained in my life and the knowledge and security it brings.


On the other hand, I can feel that I have slightly less energy, my up close vision is starting to go (doh!) and I no longer know who the young new bands and movie stars are (and don't seem to care!)


Since we have no choice in the matter, I am trying to gracefully move through life's stages, savoring each of them as I go.

Kelly Muys Wood said...

Good post! On my mind too. I gave a shout out to you here...

http://tearinguphouses.blogspot.com/2009/08/older-than-dirt.html

Miranda said...

This is very well stated. If you spend too much time worrying about what happens next, and where you are in the line-up of things, you aren't ever going to get to enjoy the "now." I like to spend as much time as I can enjoying where I am at right now, because I know that I will never be here again, and some day, I'm probably going to miss it. Soak it up while you have it, and look back on it fondly later, but don't worry about it before you get there.

Shawnee's Girl said...

You know, I think the longer we live, the earlier "over the hill" becomes. Ridiculous, really. I mean are we going to get to a point when 10 is over the hill too?

I never could see my future. I remember being in jr high and not being able to think of what it would be like in high school, let alone after. I never would have thought that I would have gotten married, let alone had a child. I just figure I might as well not worry about it as I don't have a clue what is in store for me.

I would ask you to tell wifey that age is only what you make of it, so stop stressing, but I know that it is something you have to learn for yourself.

We will try to bring some pasta home with us, and I will have hubby let you know how he made the sauce. I think it was very simple.

Amanda Owen said...

Great post - and oh so true! My husband thought the world was coming to an end five years ago when he was embarking onto the big three-oh. So much so, I decided NOT to throw that surprise party for him for fear it would send him straight into depression and that he might throw himself off of a bridge or something. Personally, I think 40 is 'prime for women' and I'm looking forward to the day I reach it. By then, you know what you want, what you don't want, and hopefully by then "the stupid" has left scars to remind you...well, not to be stupid again.

Found you on Blogs of Note and glad I did.

Bebe said...

Loved the post. I started fibbing about my age years ago... But I always add a few years instead of subtracting like most women do. I like it when people think I have more experience and wisdom than I really do. I truly believe things get better with age. I'll get there myself someday, until then, I'll keep telling lies! I love it when someone say "47? You look gooood for 47!" Yes, yes I do! :)

Dr.S.P.Padmaprasad said...

Really, it is adventurous, to try to mount the life to the peak of enjoyment,in its pure sense.This blog throws so many original thoughts on keeping our minds young.Thanks

Rev. Kelly Sabie said...

I'm 46 and wouldn't go back for anything! I'm with you... life really does begin about 30 and the older I get, the more I enjoy living. It has nothing to do with status or income level; it's the liberation you gain from your life knowledge. No longer plagued by what people think of you or being ego-centered. Enjoy and look forward, THIS is the time of your life!

Stacy Curl said...

Tell that wife of yours that 30 is great! Especially once you have baby #2 you will then have a full fledged family of 4! And when you are twenty you are so uncertain about life....still learning in the 30's you can take all that you learned in your 20's and know that you know better and there is so much more to learn about. And not to mention the memories you will make together with those precious children....30 is prime and age only gets better, minus gravity and the aches and pains.....just ingnore it...appreciate the good things. Cheers!

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California Girl said...

I like the way you envision age as a climb up Everest. I'll say it is.

as one who thinks her thirties and early forties were the best years thus far, I can agree with what you say. It's all in your head and probably based on your health as well.

tell the wif to quit obsessing about her age. it won't change a thing anyway.

I will take issue with one idea you have, I don't think retirement is the summit. I don't even know if retirement is a realistic goal for most people nowadays. Life is too precarious and money even more so.

fpapale said...

If women ever feel old they should just watch Sex and the City...Samantha is "50 and fabulous".

And wonky. Word choice is totally boss.

sKiNNyGirLsRoCk said...

lol loved it! people obsess over the dumbest things .. i think with age comes wisdom and delicious memories. keep up the great work, mi amigo!

dannyd said...

Great analogy! It made a great point.

Sarah said...

That is a really great analogy! Very well said!

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Confessions Of A Cashier said...

I definitely don't think that 30 is over the hill. But my dad's girlfriend's daughter is going to be 30 and she's so depressed about it haha. Someone had told her though that it's not depressing until you have to say thirty and then another number.

Bargain Books in TN said...

On 9-11-2001 I turned 40 years old. I was upset about turning 40 since 1-1-2001. I did all kinds of crazy youthful things during the year. I even hurt myself a coupe of times wanting to prove I was still young and hip. My friend called me at 6:20am PT on 9-11. I was still sleeping and thought it was someone calling to wish me a happy birthday. She said "ARE YOU WATCHING THE NEWS?" I said no why? She told me about the world trade center. I turned on the T.V. and sat still in shock for the next 15 mins. The second plane had just hit. As I prayed for those in tribulation I realized my Lord was screaming at me to LIVE EACH AND EVERY SECOND AS IF IT IS THE LAST. If I am doing the dishes do the dishes. How many times we are thing of one thing while doing another. Live life this moment. 40 Has turned out pretty good. This year I will be 48. My body is not what my minds still sees, which sometimes causes me frustration and I am grateful for the observation. That reminds precious life. Thank you for letting me share.

akooz said...

Awesome post! I completely agree that 30 isn't even close to 'over the hill'. People just make you think you're older than you really are. Travel the world, conquer as many mountains as you can, and tell stories that your grandkids will be telling their grandkids!

Check out my post:
http://storiesyforeveryone-akooz.blogspot.com/