Age vs. Calendars
I recently read an article in Wired by Clive Thompson about skeuomorphism. A skeuomorph is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Here are a few examples of what I am talking about here: Fake window shutters on houses, plastic covers moulded to look like leather (but aren’t) and one of my favourites, flame shaped lightbulbs on chandeliers. You see all of these things have one thing in common, they do nothing for the design except to make us feel good about days gone by. We just think they look cool, so we keep on putting it on our products. It’s like nipples on men, they do nothing but look pretty.
One of the skeuomorphs I think is the biggest and baddest of them all, is the Gregorian Calendar. Honestly with all of our technology and measurement of the sun and planets, can’t we come up with a more accurate system. You look at all of the leap years and day light saving times and how accurate is it, really? Wasn’t George W. going to get rid of daylight savings anyway? How important can it be if you’re going to just get rid of it. Skeuomorph right?
Boarding that train of thought, let’s examine the whole concept behind age. We celebrate a birthday every year when the planet makes it’s way around the Sun to the kind of, sort of, same position in space it was when you were born many years ago. This is just a arbitrary marker right? Because not only does it not feel like the same relative time, but it doesn’t even feel like the same place. We’ve moved on, we’ve changed. So I have a solution.
Everyone should keep their age by their experiences, how their heart beats. The heart is amazing and it keeps going until it stops, then you’re dead, what better way to measure something than that. Sometimes it beats with happiness, other times it beats melancholy, other times more afraid, but it never stops. Listen I’m not saying put a counter on your ticker, I’m saying judge your age by what you’ve been through. If you’ve never been through anything to make your heart race, or ever had your heart broken, then you are going to be young. But if you’ve put yourself out there, lived, loved and laughed, then you can consider yourself older. I don’t think it should be called young at heart. I think old at heart is way more appropriate. At least in my books anyway.
Let’s shrug off the old calendar. Don’t tell people your real age, tell them you have the heart of a warrior, with a hunger for adventure. That the walls of your heart have been strengthened by triumphs and heart break and the only way it will ever stop beating is if you will it to. Because a date on a calendar is just like the spokes on a cars wheel, they do nothing but make us remember the days back when. Who cares, let’s reinvent the wheel (sorry about the pun) but it’s true, you may have lived, but not really lived. And what is the point of a life not lived anyway.