Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

http://www.codyenterprise.com

I know one of the popular sayings in marketing or demographic research is that "60 is the new 40."

I don’t think I believe it. I’m not trying to age before my time, but I also don’t want to delude myself into believing I can win the fight against gravity, physics or time. I also wonder why we even spend our energies and money actually fighting those things. But humans are a strange lot.

There are times I feel 40. When I have the courage to really look in the mirror, I’m often surprised at the stranger looking back. The mind and heart wants 40, but the mirror doesn’t lie.

It’s in those times when one is taken completely aback that we wonder where the time has gone. Other things bring the passage of time into sharper focus.

Social media and television are two areas where I know I’m past my prime. I remember my parents didn’t really understand the humor and message of shows like "MASH," "Seinfeld" or "Saturday Night Live." Likewise, I scratch my head as I know I’m clueless about the attraction of "Big Brother," "American Idol" or "Game of Thrones." I hear people discuss shows I’ve never heard of or seen, and have no idea who are the celebrities of the day.

I always thought I paid attention to what was happening in the world, including political, social and pop culture. But I’m woefully out of touch. I ask how that happened, and the only thing that keeps popping up – no matter how much I try to remain in denial – is aging.

I’ve tried watching some shows that seem to be popular today. I’m not much of a television watcher in general, so this experiment was in itself outside my comfort zone. I tried to become more interested in social media sites. I tried to see the attraction that leads to the addiction. I failed miserably.

I found myself antsy in front of the television. I couldn’t focus on the show since I couldn’t figure out what the point was. The more I tried to figure it out, the less I understood. I went on social media more regularly to understand what was happening. I failed miserably.

I tried this experiment for a couple of weeks thinking something would click and I’d then be part of the majority who followed and talked about the same pop culture events. After a while, I put a pillow over my head and screamed. Then, I went in desperate search of "Perry Mason," "Mary Tyler Moore," "Mission Impossible" and "Laugh-In."

Aging happens. I get that. I’m half a step slower. I pause for a moment, after I stand up to make sure I’m steady. I’m more conscious of foods that sit/don’t sit well. It takes a moment longer to flip through the mental rolodex.

Aging also brings clarity. Aging can give us the freedom to be less rigid, less frightened. We have a history to draw upon to shine the light on the value of experience.

Aging is many things, especially inevitable.

Editor’s note: Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The Cody Enterprise, founded by W.F. Buffalo Bill Cody and Col. John Peake in August 1899, celebrated its centennial in 1999. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (http://www.codyenterprise.com).