I Haven’t Been Realizing I’m Getting Old

I have three sons: 19, 17 and 12. When I tell people this, they have a hard time believing I’ve got kids that old. That always makes me feel good.

I guess I don’t look as old as I really am. When I look at Facebook and see the ‘kids’ I graduated with, some I don’t even recognize, they look like old people and I think to myself, holy hell Batman, I hope I don’t look like that to them!

I’m 46 years old.  In my mind, I still believe I’m 26! My body most days feels like I’m 56!

My wife smacks me at least once a day for something juvenile that comes out of my mouth. I would rather hang out with my teenage sons and listen to their music, watch their movies and play their games.

My last two vacations I’ve decided to take up surfing, because apparently I’m 14 years old.  I’m Benjamin Button, but only mentally!

I’ve been interviewing people who weren’t even born when I started my career. I’ve forgotten more shit than they even know. And, yet, they come in knowing more shit than I’ll ever know.

I’ve been getting old and I didn’t even realize it.

I figure I have 25 years left to work.  I about halfway through my career. When you look at it from that standpoint, it doesn’t seem like old, it seems like primetime! If an NBA player had a ten-year career, year five would be around the height of their ability! It’s when they would be most valuable.

So, maybe I should think of it as old, but think of it as I’m playing my MVP years, right freaking now!

It makes sense. My wife says recently it’s like I’ve been trying to work two full-time jobs. She’s probably right because I have to, you only get one chance at your MVP years. Ten years from now I won’t be going “now is the time!” Nope. It’s right now. I’ve got to make stuff happen. I’ve got win championships! Whatever the hell that means.

I wonder how many people feel this same way, but they’re at different ages?

When I as thirty, I distinctly remember thinking, “holy crap, I’m 30 years old, I need to be a VP!”  I bet there are 60-year-olds out there thinking, “it’s my time to shine!”

From 20-ish to 70-ish are your prime working years. You have 50 years of work. I know, many of you think you’ll stop working between 60-65 years of age. You won’t, that was your grandparents and maybe your parents. It’s not us. 70 is the new 60. Most of us won’t retire until we reach 70+.

50 years of work.

Take the amount of work experience you have, right now, and subtract it by 50. How many work years do you have left? What are you going to do with those years? I bet you haven’t even come close to accomplishing all that you want!

6 thoughts on “I Haven’t Been Realizing I’m Getting Old

  1. Love the stache Tim!

    I see “dwindle” in my functional area within the industry I’m engaged in starting in the mid 50 year old range, if you haven’t “made it” by say 55 years old, you’re in an increasingly small company of peers at the individual contributor level. I certainly don’t see many 60 years olds in the workplace in my arena, let alone 70, but who’s to say the paradigm won’t change?

  2. I’ve been is some area of HR for my entire working life. I refuse to ‘act my age’. I’m older than everyone in my office, and have more outside interests and activities. I recently obtained my payroll certification, and started taking Tae Kwon Do. As long as you are living and enjoying life, age doesn’t matter.

  3. Tim – when I invited you to connect on LinkedIn a couple of years ago, I think I mentioned we must be brothers from another mother because we both grew up loving old-school hip-hop, played/loved hoops, etc. You’ve got a couple years on me (I’m 41), but I often cannot believe I am technically ‘mid-life’.

    I’m half Japanese, so my asian genetics help me look a little younger than I am. But I think my goofy, ‘farts will always be funny’ mentality will always keep me young in spirit. Even if my body with two reconstructed ACLs is telling me I’m much older than I act.

    Once in a while, I’ll wake up and decide I should more like how I perceived my elders when I was 20ish. But it only lasts a bit and then my 14-year old self returns.

  4. Great post Tim that begs a couple questions for me. What does one do to stay in their prime besides listening to their kid’s music? And because 50 is the new 40, how can we (I’m 49) overcome all the bias that is associated with “older” workers?

    • Ed,

      I’ve been writing about age bias for a couple of years now. As my parents got older, into their 60’s and 70’s, I realized they weren’t diminishing mentally at all. Organizations are so worried about diversity and inclusion – but the same diversity and inclusion champions are showing major bias against older workers!

      It’s a problem. The only people who will stop it will be the same folks who championed against females not getting hired. Minorities not getting hired. LGBTs not getting hired. We are so stuck on hiring young and we don’t even realize it.


  5. I feel the same way Tim. I know I drive my wife and daughter crazy with some of the crap that I say or want to do. I know you are speaking on a professional level, at the end of your life, the only accomplishment that is going to matter is how well you raised your boys and the effort your put into your marriage. When your personal life is in order, everything else just seems a lot easier.

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