Redefining Age

Let’s see…hobbies and pastimes…OK. I snow ski, windsurf, scuba, cycle (both single and tandem) and run. My usual cycling workout is 20 miles, 3-4 times a week, alternated with a four mile run on the "off" days. I’m a volunteer camera operator for our televised church services, and I build websites for money. Anything else? Hmm…I do digital photography and a little MIG welding, I’m learning to play the guitar, and I just completed courses in CSS and search engine optimization. I thought MatrixRel was inferior to the first one, and I can’t wait for T3 in July. I’d rather watch any of the "Alien" movies than anything with Orson Welles. I think that about covers it.

Oh, yeah…I almost forgot. I’m over 50. Not much, mind you, but still…

What’s up with the self-disclosure? Well, it seems that Joe Territo of the National Interest weblog is aghast because AARP tried to recruit him for membership. Joe’s only 34, you see, and as far as he knows, he doesn’t have any "pastimes or hobbies" (AARP’s words) that would put him on their radar screen. His post started me thinking: what does the typical "senior adult" look like today? Is there such a thing?

I guess I’m too busy to do any serious investigation in this area, but I can tell you that my "fifty-plus" is vastly different than my dad’s "fifty-plus." I also can’t imagine anything more boring than the kind of retirement that his generation — for the most part — looked forward to. Is my definition of life after 50 better than theirs? No, I don’t think so…it’s just different.

My advice to Joe is to just chill a bit. So far, life on the far side isn’t a heck of lot different than on the near side, and I suspect that the demarcation between young and not-young will be increasingly blurry.

To paraphrase a previous cliché: in the blogosphere, nobody knows you’re an old coot.