Thursday, January 9, 2014

If you want me to feel old, say this

Everyone in professional positions seems to be younger now. That's supposed to signal to me that I've gotten older. I'm not giving up the fight just yet.

It's satisfying to declare, "I have two grandsons, so I'm done with all that" when my fellow yoga teacher trainees trade stories about the difficult age their children are. The universe gets me back, though.

The other day I requested an introduction on LinkedIn from a friend. If I have to explain to you what LinkedIn're even older than I am. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

My friend responded right away with, "I know him IRL and everything."

IRL? I messaged back. "In real life." So I filed that away in case I ever capitulate and get texting unblocked on my unsmart phone. Not likely.

She copied me on her introductory message to the colleague I wanted to connect with on LinkedIn. Here's the part I choked over:

"She was the campus president's speechwriter extraordinaire, back in the day, and she mentored me early in my career."

OMG. I counted how many years it was...let's see, it's 2014, and I ghostwrote for that particular campus head from 2000 to 2005. Yup. It WAS back in the day. Shoot.

You know what would've made a great illustration for this post? A picture of my child-size antique spinning wheel. How's that for "back in the day." It would still be in our garage except that my husband secretly carted it off to the thrift store who knows how long ago—probably back in the day. I only recently realized it was missing because I've started emptying out the garage and closets in earnest.

That's what older people do, they downsize. Yuck.

There's no escaping it. Whether I'm at home unearthing knickknacks I haven't used in a decade, or hustling for freelance writing gigs from kids who were undergrads when I peaked in my career, I am reminded that so much of what I know is about the past, and I know little to nothing about the future.

You could say that's exciting. And depending on the kind of day I'm having, I might agree with you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have more downsizing to do this evening. On my bathroom counter are five or six novelty wristwatches I bought when we went on one of our cruises—you guessed it—back in the day. Who even wears wristwatches any more?