Should we be so blessed as to reach them in good health, it turns out our 80’s might be our most righteous years. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I totally get it: the older I get, the more I suspect I’ll enjoy getting even older, as long as I’m able to stay healthy. That said, I totally wanted this to be an article about why THE 80’s were awesome. Alas. But the good news is that if the decades of our lives match up, sweetness-wise, with the decades of the late 20th and early 21st centuries (um, yeah!), then all of us late Gen Xers (I’ll just call us the 96-99ers) will have an even better time in our 90’s (which will be the 70’s). The bad news doesn’t start rolling in until our 100’s, because let’s face it, the 2000s kind of sucked. Our 20s kind of sucked. We got a crap decade to be 20somethings in, but it happens. The good news is that in our 3os, that is, now, we’ll do the ethical, artistic, and socially responsible equivalents of all of those life-affirming-in-the-1930s-sketchy things the expats did. Which means, if my math is right, our 110s will be our new 30s. And since 30 is the new 20, and because of advancements in technology, we’ll actually start to age backwards like Jonathan Winters on Mork and Mindy or Cindy Crawford in real life. I could handle that.
But yeah. I love getting older. I loved turning 30. 31 feels even better. 40 still sounds depressing, but doesn’t 50 sound so full of vim and vigor? That’s when you start defying expectations instead of living into them. 50 is hardcore. I don’t know how old Terry O’Quinn is, but John Locke is my role model for being 50. And, you know, my dad. I mean, my dad’s also a good role model for being 50. (Terry O’Quinn is not my dad).
Here’s the thing. Older people are smarter than younger people. It’s just freaking true. Not about everything, not in every situation, not all across the universe. But 7 times out of ten? I think so. Sure, sure, you have a fancy degree and a smart phone, friend, but they have these intangibles called experience and perspective. It’s mostly true. It’s truish. Get a haircut, hippie.
6 thoughts on “I’ll Heart My Eighties”
Great post, Christopher, but aging sucks. :-)
John Locke is also my 50 year old role model. I want to be able to throw knives like he can, and be as cunning as he is in every situation when I’m 50. Oh, and I want to do all of that while aging backwards like Cindy Crawford. Is that too much to ask?
I think that is perfectly reasonable.
You have so captured how I feel (from your father’s end of the spectrum). I spent my twenties studying (degrees #1 and #2), then practicing ministry, then studying some more (certificate #1), modified my career, practiced consulting and counseling and taught some, then studied some more (degree #3), then practiced some more. And now I think I get it and feel like I can do, with the greatest of ease, a lot of vocational things that once were challenging, puzzling, or even out of my reach. Soon it will be time for another degree so I can be prepared for the 60s, 70s and beyond!
I’ll take dying young and making a pretty corpse, thank you.