Tens

April 16, 2008

in Excavating

Decades are strange things. We know that:

  • the ’60s were about hippies and rebellion
  • the ’70s were about disco and bell-bottoms
  • the ’80s were about excess and big hair
  • the ’90s were about grunge and the internet

But as we near the end of the current decade, it is difficult to tell how we will characterize the 2000s. (We don’t even know what we’ll call this decade. I remember in 1999 when we were all talking about its title: would it be the “oughts,” the “uh-ohs”, or something else? The decade is close to over and we still don’t have a term that has stuck.)

Sometimes you can see most clearly through the rearview mirror.

I realized recently that my personal decades are like this, in that I don’t know what one was all about until it’s long gone. I can see that:

  • my 20s were when I was at my most attractive
  • my 30s were when I was at my most physically healthy (I take better care of my health now, but my parts just worked better in my 30s)

What will I call my 40s? My real question is: what should I be enjoying now while I have it?

What am I taking for granted?

***

They are tearing down my hold high school. It was built in 1963 and had reached its place as the oldest high school in the district. Asbestos removal starts next week, and then the wrecking ball comes in.

Over the past year, a brand new high school has sprung up on the adjacent land. Teachers and students filled up its classrooms for the first time recently, right after Spring Break.

All alumni were invited to visit the old school before it is demolished, and to tour the new state-of-the-art building. So this past weekend, I took my kids to walk through both schools. I was hoping to see some alums I knew.

But all I saw were a bunch of old people, some who looked slightly familiar.

OMG. Do I look as old as they do? Is this illusion or self-delusion? Everyone else looks old but surely YOU don’t. You see others as they are but you see yourself as you THINK you are.

Which, for me, is about 10 years younger. A decade, at least.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

You describe my feelings entering my old schools exactly…I have had opportunity to sub at some of the schools I attended..very odd to be teaching along the teachers I once thought were older then the hills…wonder what that makes them now…DebiP

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Anonymous April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

You describe my feelings entering my old schools exactly…I have had opportunity to sub at some of the schools I attended..very odd to be teaching along the teachers I once thought were older then the hills…wonder what that makes them now…DebiP

Reply

beagle April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’ve seen you, and you look great now. Not old, great.It’s funny about what should we call the oo’s? Doesn’t really work well does it? I also have to add that you just freaked me out by mentioning that this decade is almost over. 2008. Oh my, how did I fail to notice that??

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beagle April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’ve seen you, and you look great now. Not old, great.It’s funny about what should we call the oo’s? Doesn’t really work well does it? I also have to add that you just freaked me out by mentioning that this decade is almost over. 2008. Oh my, how did I fail to notice that??

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Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

DebiP — yes, I remember when teachers seemed “old,” even the ones in their late-20s!Beagle and Yoka — thanks for your kind words. I certainly don’t FEEL old.Pam — time is freaking me out lately. Where DOES it go?Steph — I’m about to be rich. So don’t cross me.Ms Planner — you can’t imagine what your words mean to me. Thanks for making my day.

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Ms. Planner April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Lori, you have an amazing life energy that – I am certain – just exudes from every molecule of your being. I suspect that even when you are in your much, much later years, you will always have a youthful vibe about you. Happiness and living an honest lifestyle will do that to you.

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Yoka April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Lori, you still look fantastic!

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Steph April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

You don’t look as old as they do. Promise. But you know what? Your meme is finished in a way. Kind of. You know, because I like to put my own spin on them. Ok, I totally ignored the spirit of your meme and did something else.

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Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’m TOTALLY guilty of that — I’ll see some show –like Oprah or something and the person will be 36 and I’ll think “oof” — and then I realize— wait a minute — I’m almost 36…and, um…do I look like that?Yes, yes I do.I know, I always think I look 27 still.Hah. Many of the pictures I have on my blog — the Montana ones, were taken ten years ago now.Ouch.Really, where does the time go?

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Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

DebiP — yes, I remember when teachers seemed “old,” even the ones in their late-20s!Beagle and Yoka — thanks for your kind words. I certainly don’t FEEL old.Pam — time is freaking me out lately. Where DOES it go?Steph — I’m about to be rich. So don’t cross me.Ms Planner — you can’t imagine what your words mean to me. Thanks for making my day.

Reply

Ms. Planner April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Lori, you have an amazing life energy that – I am certain – just exudes from every molecule of your being. I suspect that even when you are in your much, much later years, you will always have a youthful vibe about you. Happiness and living an honest lifestyle will do that to you.

Reply

Yoka April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Lori, you still look fantastic!

Reply

Steph April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

You don’t look as old as they do. Promise. But you know what? Your meme is finished in a way. Kind of. You know, because I like to put my own spin on them. Ok, I totally ignored the spirit of your meme and did something else.

Reply

Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’m TOTALLY guilty of that — I’ll see some show –like Oprah or something and the person will be 36 and I’ll think “oof” — and then I realize— wait a minute — I’m almost 36…and, um…do I look like that?Yes, yes I do.I know, I always think I look 27 still.Hah. Many of the pictures I have on my blog — the Montana ones, were taken ten years ago now.Ouch.Really, where does the time go?

Reply

excavator April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Since my mid-thirties I’ve noticed when someone my age has done something that has gotten them in the newspaper. (Frequently these are people who have done something nefarious). (Like Mark Foley, who is my age). (Or Karl Rove)I study the faces and think how they look like my parents’ version of 40, 50, etc. And I wonder if my picture was in the paper would I look like my parents’ version of 40, 50, etc? Are there filters on my eyes that put a pink light on my features when I look in the mirror? would I look Mark Foley’s age if my picture was on the same page as his?A couple years ago for my 50th birthday my husband took me to the Rolling Stones concert. I hadn’t been all that enthusiatic; I figured it to be a geezer-rock concert. Before the show we walked around the arena and so I was surrounded by thousands of people my age. Tens of thousands of boomers all cranky and up past their bedtimes. And the Stones were in better shape than all of them.Will Mick be rocking into his 70′s? How long can this go on?

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Lollipop Goldstein April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

In my head, I look much younger, but the ChickieNob said to me today: “I love your grey hairs.” Um…You do look great. Not old at all. Not a day over 23.

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Denise April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how old a person looks versus how old they feel. Except in my case, I’ve been feeling really old lately and wondering if I actually LOOK older because of it.And by the way, you don’t look old to me at all.

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Aranne and Dan April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I got my high school reunion notificaton recently and that shocked me! I can’t be THAT old and then it hit me… I have done some pretty great things in that time so was OK with it. Not really okay with getting old but OK with my life. I think we need to start being okay with the numbers now too!

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excavator April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Since my mid-thirties I’ve noticed when someone my age has done something that has gotten them in the newspaper. (Frequently these are people who have done something nefarious). (Like Mark Foley, who is my age). (Or Karl Rove)I study the faces and think how they look like my parents’ version of 40, 50, etc. And I wonder if my picture was in the paper would I look like my parents’ version of 40, 50, etc? Are there filters on my eyes that put a pink light on my features when I look in the mirror? would I look Mark Foley’s age if my picture was on the same page as his?A couple years ago for my 50th birthday my husband took me to the Rolling Stones concert. I hadn’t been all that enthusiatic; I figured it to be a geezer-rock concert. Before the show we walked around the arena and so I was surrounded by thousands of people my age. Tens of thousands of boomers all cranky and up past their bedtimes. And the Stones were in better shape than all of them.Will Mick be rocking into his 70′s? How long can this go on?

Reply

Lollipop Goldstein April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

In my head, I look much younger, but the ChickieNob said to me today: “I love your grey hairs.” Um…You do look great. Not old at all. Not a day over 23.

Reply

Denise April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how old a person looks versus how old they feel. Except in my case, I’ve been feeling really old lately and wondering if I actually LOOK older because of it.And by the way, you don’t look old to me at all.

Reply

Aranne and Dan April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I got my high school reunion notificaton recently and that shocked me! I can’t be THAT old and then it hit me… I have done some pretty great things in that time so was OK with it. Not really okay with getting old but OK with my life. I think we need to start being okay with the numbers now too!

Reply

Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Debora — I’m laughing about the cranky boomers.Isn’t it weird the first time you have a doctor who is younger than you??

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Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

Debora — I’m laughing about the cranky boomers.Isn’t it weird the first time you have a doctor who is younger than you??

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Pamela April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

“My real question is: what should I be enjoying now while I have it?” excellent question. It used to me superficial vain things (e.g. smooth, unwrinked skin and the like), but after losing my 43 year old SIL two years ago to cancer, it’s now my health and the fact that I’m still here walking the planet to enjoy the sun rise, the beauty of a garden or the bouquet of a great wine.

Reply

Pamela April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

“My real question is: what should I be enjoying now while I have it?” excellent question. It used to me superficial vain things (e.g. smooth, unwrinked skin and the like), but after losing my 43 year old SIL two years ago to cancer, it’s now my health and the fact that I’m still here walking the planet to enjoy the sun rise, the beauty of a garden or the bouquet of a great wine.

Reply

Kami April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I have been thinking about my age a lot lately. Could be because I am pregnant with hopefully my first live baby at 40 years old.I notice the wrinkles and gray hair more than I did. I wonder how our child(ren) will remember us as we grow older. I wonder if I will be able to keep up with a 10 year old at 50. Ug, I remember when my mom turned 40 and I was 20 when she turned 50!Just recently I took a “belly pic” and I just about cried when I looked at it – it looked like my mother! How did THAT happen. Fortunately, I have a very optimistic husband and when I express my fears of age he just repeats the same mantra: “Nanobots and regeneration vats”

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Kami April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

I have been thinking about my age a lot lately. Could be because I am pregnant with hopefully my first live baby at 40 years old.I notice the wrinkles and gray hair more than I did. I wonder how our child(ren) will remember us as we grow older. I wonder if I will be able to keep up with a 10 year old at 50. Ug, I remember when my mom turned 40 and I was 20 when she turned 50!Just recently I took a “belly pic” and I just about cried when I looked at it – it looked like my mother! How did THAT happen. Fortunately, I have a very optimistic husband and when I express my fears of age he just repeats the same mantra: “Nanobots and regeneration vats”

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Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

PJ — beautifully put.Kami — your husband is a gem!

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Lavender Luz April 7, 2010 at 12:03 am

PJ — beautifully put.Kami — your husband is a gem!

Reply

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