R Dub is turning 60 this week. My mind thought I should write about the milestones of aging…but milestone is not the right term.
Milestone. A significant point in development.
Turning 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 is not a point in development. It is merely a point in time. So there is no Milestone in turning 60.
I’ve been invited to join several hundred graduates at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska this Friday to commemorate the milestone of earning a Masters Degree. That is a milestone, but I digress…
There certainly were significant birthdays:
Turning 5 was significant because I started public education.
Turning 16 was significant because I could legally drive.
Turning 18 was significant, because I was no longer a minor, could vote and unofficially began my ‘adulting’ years as the kids say today.
Turning 19 was significant because that was the legal age to drink in Nebraska at the time.
Age 21 was significant because I was no longer a student and could no longer be on my parents insurance and official ‘adulting’ began.
There were many significant mile markers in my teens and early 20s. However, it was turning 30 that meant the most to me. Why? Glad you asked.
I’ve always had a bit of a baby face. Hence, strangers thought I was younger than my actual age. In my 20s when wearing a hat while purchasing adult beverages, I would usually be asked to present my ID to prove my legal age. Once, a gentleman refused to sell me beer even after presenting my ID. He thought it was fake. But he did allow my underage date to buy…she looked older than me…and well she was a girl so…
I digress again…
The point to that rambling is turning 30. I could not wait to turn 30 and welcomed that glorious age 30 years ago this coming Thursday. Why, you ask again? I’m getting to it.
In my mind, turning 30 meant that I would suddenly be treated with a more mature respect than I did when in my 20s. It meant success, promotions, being taken more seriously.
Did it? Yes. I was promoted four times in my 30s to better jobs beginning at the age of 30 and my income rose significantly.
Why? I’m not sure, but here’s my theory. I believed myself to be more credible, mature and respected the moment I turned 30 years old. Therefore, I became more credible, mature and respected the moment I turned 30 years old. Beth would say I brought the universe to myself. You believe it, therefore it is.
…equally important, I started to focus on what I wanted be, not what I was trying not to be. It started with a good friend who asked why I never finished my bachelor’s degree. I began a litany of reasons when he cut me off and said; “Stop selling yourself short.” So I stopped selling myself short and finished my bachelor’s degree.
I recently watched Tim Allen give a graduation commencement speech. One of the things he said that struck me was this. “Aim where you want to go, not where you don’t want to be. As a race car driver, if you stare at the wall that you don’t want to hit. Guess what? You’re going to go hit that wall.”
The 30’s were my development years. Development that continued until my mid 50s when I experienced being downsized for the first time, then a second time, then doubt settled in.
With the help of a good partner, the aim is correct again. Aiming at the target, not at the obstacles. Development has begun once more.
Will the age of 60 be any different? Heck if I know. But…while looking for 60 year birthday pictures it occurred to me. The models look older than I feel. So bring on 60.