Growing Old Is Mandatory but Growing Up is Optional

In a few hours I will be turning 45 years old. 45 sounds SO OLD!!! To put in perspective how many years ago I was born – the internet wouldn’t be invented for 20 more years! And it would be 27 years before Google was launched!! Yikes…that sounds SO OLD!!!

I’ve seen things change a lot in the last 45 years of life:

The year I was born gas was .40 cents a gallon and a movie ticket was $1.50. Walt Disney World resort opened the year I was born (coincidence…I think not!). The Jackson Five and the Osmonds were all the rage back then. The biggest TV shows that year were The Brady Bunch, Mary Tyler Moore, and The Partridge Family. The hottest toys were Malibu Barbie and the Etch-a-sketch.  Richard Nixon was the US President. And the year I was born Texas Instruments released the first pocket calculator and Intel released the world’s very first microprocessor.

When I turned 5 years old, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the Apple Computer Company. NASA introduced the first space shuttle and Jimmy Carter became the US President. But most important that year the TV show Charlie’s Angels began and Jacquelyn Smith’s character was the first woman I wanted to grow up to be like. The TV show Happy Days was on its third season and Laverne and Shirley had just launched.

It wasn’t until I was 7 years old that video game Space Invaders was released. When I was 8 the first Walkman was introduced by Sony (if you are too young to know what a Walkman is just ask Siri).

When I was 8 the Dukes of Hazzard TV show began and my first crush became Luke Duke.

At 9 the game Pac Man was released and Ronald Reagan became our President (best President of all time!).

At 10 I watched Prince Charles marry Lady Diana on TV and I was fixated on that screen. I wanted to grow up to be a princess like she was.

It wasn’t until I turned 12 years old that the very first IBM Personal Computer was released. The biggest fashion buzz of that year was the Swatch watches hit the market and you just weren’t cool if you didn’t wear a Swatch watch. But the highlight of this year was Michael Jackson’s Thriller Album was released and I was obsessed with his music and his dance skills. Oh and the very first mobile phone was released at a price of $4,000 each so no one and I mean no one had one.

At 14 sadly the Dukes of Hazzard Show came to an end but it was replaced that year with my new crush, MacGyver. .

I was 15 years old before the Microsoft Windows operating system was invented.

At 17 the first Nintendo Game Boy was released and the first GPS Satellite was launched into space.

At 19 the show Beverly Hills 90210 began and Dylan was my new crush.

It wasn’t until I turned 20 years old that the Internet became publicly available for unrestricted commercial use.

At the age of 26 mobile phones were finally more affordable if you were in business even though they were still heavy and the only game they had on them was snake. I think it was around this age that I got my very first cellular phone.

At age 27 the very first iMac computer was released and the search engine Google was founded.

And now I am turning 45 years old, we have big screen TVs in almost every room of the house, we have smart phones that have more processing power than the first computer that was used to send a spaceship to the moon, we don’t have to Google anything because we can simply ask Siri, we get an automatic reminder on our phone when we need to leave the office to get to our next appointment which is based on driving distance and current traffic conditions being updated in real-time, we have refrigerators that notify us when we are running low on milk, and 3D printers that can cook our food for us, and cars that drive themselves….HOLY MOSES I have seen a lot of changes in my life and just listing them out made me realize just how many years I have been alive….

But look, Walt Disney said it best when he said “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” I may not be able to stop myself from growing older but I can sure as heck stop myself from getting “old”. Physical age may affect our bodies but it cannot stop us from staying young at heart and young in attitude. I refuse to be too old to act silly. I refuse to be too old to sing at the top of my lungs to One Direction and Taylor Swift while driving my car (yes I realize One Direction broke up..sadly..but their music lives on in iTunes #oneDforever #Harrycomeback ). I refuse to stop dancing and laughing and playing because I don’t ever want to be “old” on the inside!!! So Happy Birthday to me! I may be 45 on the oustide but I am still 18 on the inside 🙂

Stay young everyone and have a fantastic day!

~Amy Rees Anderson

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