As we near our birthdays, I imagine most adults perform some sort of year end review, a progress report of sorts, just to see where we fit into the scheme of our own life. We evaluate how close we are to accomplishing life goals. We chastise ourselves for missing opportunities and not being where we should. We congratulate ourselves for the life we managed to craft out of the various opportunities the world has thrown our way.
I turn 34 this coming Tuesday, and while I know I am still a spring chicken to many and a wise elder to the rest, I was curious how I fit into the world age dynamic. So I turned to the interwebs to give give myself some perspective on how I should feel about my impending age.
At the ripe old age of 34, I pass into the latter half of my life. According to the average world life expectancy, 67 years and 25 days, I have begun my descent. Anyone looking ahead to some sort of surprise birthday party at 40 complete with black streamers and compliment of black helium balloons has missed the boat. I am officially over the hill.
Compared to men the world over, I am in worse shape. Little did I know that I surpassed the middle of my life a year and a half ago. Whoops. Apparently, women have it much better than men, outlasting us by four years. Good to know Samantha won’t be over the hill for a number of years yet.
Apparently, I am also in the older half of the population as well with over 50% of the population aged under 30 years. I guess it is time to hang out on the front porch with a water hose and yell at the kids who walk in my lawn.
So, I will say thank God I live in the United States where I still have another five years until I officially pass over the hill at the age of 39. Too bad I don’t live in Japan where I can postpone that party until 41 and a half, or any of the other 32 countries whose populations live longer than us. I am definitely not looking a gift horse in the mouth though, since I would have been over the hill in Sierra Leone ten years ago and would be looking forward to only 13 more years.
From the more personal side, if I were my Dad, I would have three kids - the oldest a handsome devil aged 13, the youngest just entering his terrible twos.
If I were Oprah, a whole lot more people would read this blog. Other than that, I would have been the host of my own show for only two years. This would be the year I launch my own production company, purchase the rights to my show, and move it to ABC.
If I were J.K. Rowling, I would have just published the third Harry Potter novel, but I wouldn’t have seen young Harry on the silver screen.
If I were Daniel Radcliffe, I wouldn’t have played Harry Potter. In fact, I wouldn’t have been born.
If I were Harrison Ford, the world wouldn’t yet know me as Han Solo.
If I were Beethoven, I would be midway through my transition into deafness. If I were Mozart, 93% of my life’s work would already have been published and the Oscar award winning movie about my life would still be 194 years in the future (the year 2207 for those of you not wanting to do the math). If I were Franz Schubert, I would have already succumbed to syphilis.
If I were Jesus, I would be sitting at the right hand.
But, I am not any of those people. Take it or leave it, I am who I am. Two days from age 34. I am not worried about how many more days I have left on this planet, or what I have done or not done up to this point. I plan on living each day to the fullest and letting tomorrow take care of itself.
Happy Birthday to me. Thanks for coming along on the ride.
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