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I Am Not Old

January 19, 2007

I hardly ever feel old. But this week? Twice.

The first time was in class. We were doing a lab in computer science. The task was to convert numbers from decimal to binary to hexadecimal and back again. My lab parter, a friendly and smart young woman, looked to me like she was about twelve and she seemed to know absolutely everything. Our exchanges were limited to me periodically leaning over and saying “did I do this right?” Fortunately her answers were always “yes” but still.

The second time was tonight after work. I stopped in to see what the campus Tae Kwon Do club is like. Hey, I’m a student now, I can join. It would be premature to presume I knew exactly what the classes are going to be like there, but tonight was entirely devoted to conditioning as opposed to curriculum. (More about who is the strongest, fastest and most flexible, rather than “who knows tae kwon do.”) The challenging thing about this is that I was in a class exclusively made up of people in their late teens and early twenties. My usual classes consist of people of all ages including people well into their 50s. As I struggled to keep up I wanted to shout “hey, if your father was here I’d run circles around him!” But I refrained and kept my dignity. After all, Tae Kwon Do is more than just youthful athleticism. It’s also knowledge, discipline and respect. And it’s about improving yourself in every way, no matter what your starting point may be.

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  1. I’ve been feeling old frequently lately. Almost always in comparison to others. And the hospital stay certainly doesn’t help. But when I strictly look at myself, (besides having less hair than I’d prefer), I don’t have much to complain about. I’m in better shape than most of my friends, without trying. I started a company and enjoy the work, while so few others even like their jobs. I may not be dating Hillary Swank (yet), but I have a group of amazing friends. And it’s just been in the last few years, at the point where I arguably stopped being young, that I picked up so many new activities.

    I felt old when I was an undergrad senior. It’s easy when you’re comparing yourself to others. But I’m leading a damn good life now, with no end soon in site. Does anything else matter?


  2. I have nothing to complain about, either. I’m living the life of my choosing, working in an exciting field among people I like a lot, have two almost impossibly great kids, the bills are paid, my career hasn’t yet peaked… and Hillary Swank has nothin’ on my girl. 🙂



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