It was the poet Maya Angelou who said, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
A favorite quote at graduation speeches, inspirational talks and perhaps in the messages to a person you're trying to impress, Angelou hit the nail on the head. She also made me realize that I'm getting older because my life is becoming one breath-taking moment after another.
You can blame it on the world we live in or the 24-hour news cycle, which lately has been crazy story after crazy story. Personally, I'm blaming it on the fact the starting quarterback for the University of Kansas football team is a full 10 years younger than me. I was just in college! I have the diet and sleep habits to show for it.
Has my youth really passed me by so quickly? Living in a pandemic hasn't helped much, either. The fun, mid- to late-20s activities are mostly kaput. I'm not saying I have an itch to do millennial things like throw an ax or paint-and-sip my way to a beautiful canvas piece I can hang in my living room, but I wouldn't mind just hanging out with some friends without worrying which one of us might be an asymptomatic virus carrier.
Some are getting creative in their newfound old age. I read an article last week from MEL Magazine that said some young people are just refusing to age because of the pandemic. If the world isn't open to eat, drink and be merry, then people my age want no part of it. And I'm with them. That birthday I had? Never happened. (You're not getting your presents back.) Heck, my mother has never revealed her age to anyone in our family. She was ahead of the curve and I still don't know how old she is.
The only thing holding me back in my refuse-to-age plan is that I'm always going to audibly gasp when I hear some crazy, that-can't-be-true piece of information. Like when my TV told me the quarterback's age. How can a 17-year-old handle the pressures of college classes, not getting lost on campus and playing in the Big 12 Conference? I surely couldn't handle all that at 17. But then again, Kansas got rocked Saturday, 55-14, by rival Kansas State, whose quarterback is practically a seasoned veteran at 19.
Maybe it pays to be a little older sometimes.
(Pete Sirianni is the assistant editor at the New Castle News. Email him at email@example.com.)