The 30th Year

My mom has a better memory of where she was 30 years ago than I do. Incidentally, both mom and dad have a better memory of where they were 30 months and 40 weeks ago today, but I probably shouldn’t mention that on this blog. Please forget that I even brought that up. I know I will.

I’m 30 years old today. I could make a bunch of navel-gazing observations about self-actualization, coming of age and what it was like to have finally arrived at the inevitable baldness that my scalp has been hinting toward since my Sophomore year. Nah. This kind of stuff is predictable and has been done — and has been said even better than I ever could.

From my mom’s perspective, everything changed on this day. From my perspective, everything started on this day. Plus, I would guess that things got colder and brighter to my little 8 pound self, though I don’t really remember. Emily is right: I have a terrible memory. Obviously, this is just one of the many effects of getting older. At least I think she’s the one that said that. I can’t recall. I’m getting older. But I don’t want to go down that road in this blog post, offering pithy comments about life’s challenges or the power of lamaze. It’s already been done.

Of course, I’m not getting any younger as I write this. Time is rolling on, pushing me closer and closer toward 40. I am closer to retirement today than I was yesterday, and I’ll be even closer tomorrow. It’s a good thing we have Social Security. Uh. Wait. I need to start stuffing cash into a mattress so that I have something for our future. And speaking of mattresses, am I now eligible to own a CraftMatic Adjustable Bed? All of the commercials I’ve ever seen for a CraftMatic have featured friends of my grandparents, smiling and laughing as their robotic bed folds them into a new shape. I shouldn’t laugh because I too am on the way to being CraftMaticed. As a matter of fact, I will soon be eligible to get coffee at a discounted rate, posses an AARP card and make scathing comments about how it didn’t used to be this way and how little respect young people have for the aged. Oh, I could write about what it’s like to get old and suddenly eligible for deep discounts, but I’d rather not. It’s been said. I’ve read the pamphlets.

I miss the days where my biggest concern was what I was going to eat for lunch period. I long for the days of pizza, cookies, Lance snacks from the machine and “chicken” nuggets. I’m sure that you might guess that an aged citizen like myself would choose a healthy alternative for a meal. You would guess right. Do you know what I had for breakfast? 2 cups of non-brand Cheerios and 2/3 cup of skim milk. Do you know what I used to do with Cheerios? Threw them at fellow 4th graders. As a special treat on Fridays, we threw Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. This is very different from my experience so far as a 30 year old. For lunch today, I will have a delicious turkey & light cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread. Do you know what i used to do with turkey? Completely ignore it. We ate turkey once a year, and that was only because it was a predecessor to pie. Oh, to be burning 2,000 calories every day just by “riding bikes” as we once did. But I’m not going to talk about how bad it is to be more concerned about calories now that I’m older. That’s already been said in a number of periodical journals.

I guess I’m old enough to deeply agree with the writer of Ecclesiastes — there truly is nothing new under the sun. I’m not the first person to turn a corner to 30 years old, and I won’t be the last. It’s inevitable. I can say with great confidence that it’s probably already been said and will be said again. I don’t’ think I knew that back in college, when I knew everything, including how to fix any problem by complaining about it to other people in my dorm. Those days are gone. Missed. I’m supposedly a grown up, now. I’m past the permission period for a quarter-life crisis. I am now in a career. I have a wonderful family and plans for a hot date with my wife this evening. We will go to Outback steakhouse and carefully select a lean meal with steamed vegetables, just like Grandma used to do. Ironically, she always ate carefully while she was feeding me junk, probably eating vicariously through me. “I bet you’d like a candy bar” she’d often say to me. And she was right. I think our parents do the same to our kids, and I’m OK with that. It’s part of the new scene as a 30-something. But I’m not going to write about that, because, as I know full well, it’s already been said.

A friend of mine just texted me and said “Hey – r u 30 today? If so, welcome to a world of feeling sore for no reason at all.” I wonder if those CraftMatic adjustable beds have built-in heating pads?

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