If I were a better debater I might be dead now. Back in my college days I ran a debate case with a partner suggesting that anyone reaching the age of ____ should end their lives. I don’t remember wanting to kill them, but they were to dutifully off themselves. I don’t remember the precise age either; but I am certain 40 would have been as old as I would likely go. More likely 35.
I was 18. That seemed forever away, and I couldn’t imagine wanting to be middle aged. Let alone old. It’s the same kind of thinking four-year-olds show in seeing 16-year-olds as adults.
Recently, though, I read we are typically lasting longer. I know my RSS feed for birthdays regularly shows someone hitting 100 featured in their local paper. It’s no longer a big thing. According to the Press of Atlantic City, the National Study of Aging projects the population of people 100 and older is expected to increase 400 percent or more.
A Saskatoon paper in my native Canada recently covered six centenarians’ celebrating their birthdays together in the same senior’s center.
Also recently on social media there was an image going around of a 98-year-old man wanting to get 98 likes from his granddaughter’s network. He was over 69k when I read about it, and the messages were from around the world wishing the man a happy day. I loved seeing people from Ireland, Tokyo, Australia and France wishing the near-centenarian happy birthday.
And now that I am officially middle aged, I can appreciate someone living that long. I still don’t know that I want to, but I understand the appeal. After all, I have a son now and would love to see as many of his birthdays as I can. Plus, seeing a grandchild’s birthdays (while a largely unfathomable idea right now) would be something to enjoy too.
So, take this blog as a public retraction of my earlier stance. I will live and let live with my own special emphasis on birthdays going forward!