Age is just a (perceived) number

Just recently I went to a conference in California where I was charged with managing all of the tweeting and blogging, I also presented my work on virtual reality, and moderated the education innovation session. Taken together, one would think I had the air of young and hip to all those around me — one would be wrong! That fantasy was quickly obliterated while out to eat with my *much* younger colleagues, one of whom mentioned that while he was out at another bar the previous night, he decided to leave because the clientele of 30 year olds was too old! Yes, you heard that correctly folks, too old! Now, I should preface this by saying I will be 40 years old in just 2 weeks; not 70, not 80, not 90…forty, 4–0! So when he said the 30 year old clientele were too old, I proceed to choke on my drink and then scold him for insinuating that I too was old, I mean come on, I am going to be 40 and I am definitely not old. Hell, my wife is going to be 50 (we have the same birthday, 10 years apart) and she is younger than I am most days!

To add insult to injury, at the end of the night when the bill came, I said I would pay for dinner — as the elder (in professional status), it only seemed right. As the young-ins argued that they would chip-in, I once again told them not to worry, that I was happy to do it — then it happened, the same person who left the bar because of the geriatric 30 years olds said to me, “you are such a mother”… such a mother??? For god sakes, I am turning 40, I am not pulling tissues out of my sleeve and offering you a mint! When I think of a “mother” I am far from that sterotypical image; I am full of tattoos, I tweet, I blog, I podcast, I am up on all the latest music the kids are listening to these days. But perception my friends, is all relative I suppose!

I never really cared about age, to me it is just a number, one I often can’t even remember. I am resigned to the fact that I will get older, we all will! But I don’t mind, in fact, the older I get, the more I love the person I am becoming — you really do get better with age! Besides, what is the alternative?

As we finished up dinner, the group decided to find a more happening place as the night was still young — it was only 10p after all. When they suggested I come with them, I laughed, it was 10p after all, which is only slightly past my normal bedtime (I am a busy person and I like my sleep, it has nothing to do with age!). As they left, I did put on my best, “mother” impression and said “you kids have fun”, as a they went to find another bar and I went to bed!