What's Your Decade?

"Are you looking for your father?" That's what someone asked me when I walked into the office on my first day of work. I was sixteen. It was my first job ever. A summer job working as a telephone operator for the phone company. I said, "No. I'm here to work."

I learned later that I was the youngest person to work as an operator at that office. And at sixteen, I probably looked more like twelve. I've always looked young for my age. And for a long time, I was always one of the youngest at work.

Then I started to notice a change. It crept up slowly. But it does creep up on all of us eventually. In my twenties, I noticed the interns who were still in college. They were always fun, but then I realized that I used to be one of them. Now I was older.

Then I'd hear people talking about their clubbing for the weekend. I'd remember what a relief it was to stop going. It happened around the same time that I started getting sick of Beverly Hills 90210. The first one. I realized that I was moving into another phase of my life.

I remember being in my twenties and loving the show Thirtysomething and thinking how their lives seemed so cool and I was really looking forward to being in my thirties. And I have to say that overall I did enjoy my thirties more than my twenties.

Or maybe it's just that with each new decade, I get to know myself more and become more accepting of who I am and my life as it is. I'm 46 by the way, in case you're wondering. :D

So far the forties are pretty good too, even though I've had some pretty major challenges. A great deal of my life is not what I would have expected. But overall I'm pretty happy. I have a lot to be grateful for. And it's kind of hard to imagine it being any other way.

As I move through each decade, I remember how I was at different stages of my own life, and I've looked to others who are older, or maybe just wiser, to try and figure it out. And what's really interesting to me is seeing how others grow over time. Just seeing my parents getting older has been quite an experience. And as I've learned, a privilege. Not everyone is so lucky. I remember them being in their thirties and now their seventies. The older I get, the more I admire them.

Below are a few songs, blog posts, articles, and some quotes related to different ages that I've found to be pretty interesting.

~ 100 Years, by Five For Fighting

~ It Was A Very Good Year, by Frank Sinatra

~ "at 13, i was ready for my body to change. at 46, i am not." Sarah B.

~ "Biggest differences so far between ages 23 and 24: I take my contacts out at night. I like grosser cheeses. Less concerned about quality of social skills. Martha Stewart Living." Rachel

~ "I have a kind of tempered, hard-earned confidence now that I never had in my twenties. The kind of confidence that comes, trial by fire, through doing the difficult, painful parts of life." Christina

~ Where are all the middle-aged women bloggers?

~ The Latest With Generation Jones

~ The empathy deficit

~ What Is It About 20-Somethings?

~ It’s time to listen to the voice of maturity

*Updated 10/29/2010 with new quote.*

~ "For me, I’ve felt insecure about my writing all my life, always looking to others for approval. My career started in 1975 with my first published piece in a daily newspaper (before some of you were born, I know), and I still have days where I wonder if I’m any good. But here’s what you can look forward to as you grow older: There are fewer days like that. You get more comfortable with yourself. You believe you can do it." Dianne Jacob

* * *

There's so much that I want to write about this topic. Too much for one post. So much that it's going to be a regular series of posts. And I'd like to hear from you. How do you feel about your decade? How are you finding growing older?

I've always been very open about my age. Some people never tell. I feel like I can't really be me and hide something so fundamental. Some say it's gauche for a women to tell her age. Oh well.

Since I only have my stories, I'm hoping that I can have some of you share your stories here. If you'd like to do a Guest Post talking about the subject, please send me an email. I'd like to open the conversation. I hope you join me.

The silver in the picture above was my great grandmother's. I figure that some of it could be close to 100 years old. And it made me think of the lyrics to the song.

15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

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Suldog said…
Hmmmm. Surprised at the lack of commentary here. Excellent post.

I'm 53, and fairly comfortable with it. Because I stay somewhat active playing fast-pitch softball, I'm probably in better shape than most 53-year-old guys. Then again, with my diet and smoking, perhaps I only look that way...

I've always been a bit older-looking than my age. I was dealing blackjack (both legally and illegally) at age 14, but since I could grow some sideburns, I was able to pass as a bit older. That continues today. I'd say that, with my lack of hair and whatnot, I probably look closer to 60 than 50, at least with my hat off. But I don't feel it.

My Grandma is 104 (105 in December) so I might be just halfway to the finish at 53!

Anyway, again, excellent post.
Lisa Johnson said…
suldog - Thanks for the comment! I'm glad that ONE person liked this post besides me. : )

104! That is amazing!

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