When do you transition from being young to being old?

I’m not exactly sure if I’m considered young or if I’m considered old.  There are definitely moments where I still feel quite young, even having hit that infamous hill called “30” … and gone over it.  I look around me sometimes and still see some friend,  that are yet unmarried and still living the life that I once called norm myself.  I find myself living vicariously through them on Facebook.  In some ways I even envy their carefree lifestyles filling their passports with travel, eating at the latest hot spots and sipping expensive wine (that is if I actually drank).  Not that I was a big party animal or anything — a simple night of hanging out late, even at a friend’s house while the guys play poker and the girls watch chick flicks on the couch or watching a really great baseball, football game or boxing fight.  I miss the days of deciding to go snowboarding one moment and picking up our boards and hitting the slopes then next.  But when they do stupid things like get pulled over for drunk driving, or playing beer pong complaining of a hangover the next morning, the parental side comes out of me and I’m shaking my head in disapproval, wondering when they’ll ever grow up.  When I see someone my age and a fellow parent as well, wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt or the word Juicy across their ass, I think to myself, oh dear, someone’s got a midlife crisis, a la Jon Gosselin — I want to scream, can you please put on some more age appropriate clothing?!  Those are my “old” moments even though I’m not wearing the cardigan sweater with matching pearl earrings and necklace.  Then there are days where my daughter and I can be found bopping our heads to Kanye’s Welcome to the Good Life and rockin’ to Lady Gaga (Ra Ra-ah-ah-ah Roma Roma-ma GaGa Oh la-la) and I think I’m still cool… then again I am doing this with my 2 year old and not at a night club.

I do love where I am in life RIGHT now.  A mom of two. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the whole world.  Though sometimes I ask myself, when did I get so old?  I am married, I have a house, a mortgage payment, car payments, things to worry about like filing taxes, working, etc.,  When did my life become about schedules, play dates and Gymboree?  While I may envy the younger versions of me — one taste of it, even for a little bit, makes me yearn for my own life again.  Maybe that’s the key… to every once in a while remind yourself that you’re still young.  To commit to still having those girl’s night’s out or enjoy date night with hubby at a fancy hot spot.  Even if afterward you retire from exhaustion and admit that you’re too old to being doing this.  So when do you transition from being young to being old?  One friend said it was the point where you became responsible for or to another person, but I guess that could really be subjective depending on who you define as being responsible for or to.  I could mark it by the biological clock age and say maybe 35 is the transitioning age since that’s when you begin the advanced screening when conceiving.  Although in this age, isn’t 30 the new 20 and 40 the new 30?

I don’t think its about still being cool, I think my cool factor went out the door a long time ago, about the time sweats became a regular staple in my wardrobe along with pulling my hair back in a ponytail on a daily basis because I’m too lazy to do it up.  I’d rather be a good parent than a cool parent anyway.

Maybe young is simply a feeling.  Today while making an errand run to Ikea, my daughter was skipping up and down every aisle with such glee.  The smile on her face was intoxicating.  I’m sure all mom’s say this, but I could live in this smile forever.  To her it was simply the best day ever even though it was just an errand run for mom and dad.  At one point as we were picking up our build it yourself furniture piece, she turned to me and said… “Momma, I like this song!” (indicating the song playing over the store loud speakers) — and proceeded to, as she said… “Shake your bootay! Shake your bootay!”  I had to stop in my tracks, grab my husband, shake my own bootay and all of us just started laughing so hard tears were coming out of my eyes.  I felt young in that moment, dancing in the aisle at Ikea with my daughter and husband.  While I still wanted chastise the kid in the elevator who asked his friend why they had no school today (MLK day), I hope to continue feeling that feeling until the next time she says she likes that song and I have no idea who or what group is singing it and wishing that “noise” would just stop.

About Suzanne Chan

Suzanne is student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) certified registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother… She shares her journey on this blog and The Disney Files. Read more about her here.

  • I loved your thoughts about this topic of transitioning from being young to being old! It reminds me of a book I love by William Bridges called The Way of Transition. He talks about the “neutral zone,” which is the experience we go through in the middle of a transition, when we aren’t quite the “old” person we used to be (but haven’t completely let go of that person yet) and aren’t quite the “new” person yet either. It’s a time of so many possibilities and great creativity but can also feel overwhelming and uncertain! I actually wrote a blog on this just the other day http://blossomingbrillianceblog.com/. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts around this topic!

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