COUNTDOWN
TO MY BETDAY: WHEN AGE IS NO MORE ‘JUST A NUMBER’

Age
is just a number
– Oluwole Olusanya (Friday, 28th July,
2017)
Last Friday, 28th
July, 2017, the same day I posted my article about the last Local Government
Elections (https://shegzsablezs.blogspot.com.ng/2017/07/last-saturdays-local-government.html),
I was out for lunch with a female friend and we talked about some random
things. One of them – the number of years we have spent on earth and I
concluded ignorantly that “age is
just a number
“. Honestly, I knew I was wrong but I said that because
it seemed appropriate at that time. I also spent some minutes alone during the
weekend and I was thinking about my life in its totality and the fact that I
will be celebrating my birthday in 10 days! I thought; “what have I achieved in life?”  “In the last 365 days, what have I done
differently?” “Am I a better person compared to the previous
year?” “What reasons justify the purchase of cake and a few drinks
for colleagues and co-workers?”
if age is just a number, I should not
be asking myself these questions.

Similarly, On Wednesday,
2nd August, 2017, I was listening to Gbemi on the “Drive Time Show” on the Beat when I was returning home from a
stressful day at work and she told us about a 14 years old Nigerian girl that
just returned from the UNESCO conference where she spoke to World Leaders about
the importance of educating the girl child – I felt like an under achiever.
Gbemi also told her listeners about the teenagers’ plans to premiere a short
documentary in Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and tour three continents – five
countries in a bid to drive home her point on the need to ensure that her voice
is heard by decision makers. At the age of 14, I was in Senior Secondary
School, Class I (SS1) and I have not known what my purpose in life was. If age
is just a number, a 14 years old girl’s accomplishments should not make me feel
sad.

In consequence, an
article by Patricia Aglio, a 21 years old writer titled; Why Age Is Not Just A Number puts our discussion into perspectives.
Excerpts, “It has become a social
normative to place a high value on numbers. We value the amount of likes, favorites,
and shares on a post, picture, tweet, etc. We value the quantity of friends or
followers we have on any given social media. We value the three-digit number on
the bathroom scale, the scores of a standardized test, and the number of
calories in a small square inch of Hershey’s chocolate. The most important
number we nearly obsess about though? Age. Now as a 21-year old, I frequently
hear the common expression “Age is just
a number
” from my elders on milestone birthdays. I understand though, it’s
an expression used to justify the process of aging and I’m sure I’ll use it one
day, too. At what point, however, is age really just a number? At what point do
we stop placing value on a number in a society warped by numerical
values?”

In the third
paragraph, the writer continued thus; “I’m
not saying whether or not I agree or disagree with the current age
restrictions, but I am saying the value of age is something we all think about
differently. Age is the difference between juvenile court and adult court. Age
is the difference between calling your own doctor and your mom being able to
call for you. Age is even the difference between being able to order off the
kid’s menu. We already know aging is inevitable, but we only make the aging
process harder on ourselves and others when we stop meeting the age
expectations that we’re bombarded with by society’s interrogations of what age
we’ll start our careers, what age we’ll wed, and what age we’ll have children.
Think about how we pride people on their accomplishments based on being the
“youngest” or a “rookie” in sports or academia.”
(Source: Age Is Not Just
A Number – Patricia Aglio).

Additionally, I
remember vividly a colleague’s frustration when he noted on his birthday
sometimes in May, 2017 that he is the same age with Emmanuel Macron, the new
French President. Our age has the ability to make us feel less-fulfilled no
matter the amount of victories we can boast of; this is because we tend to aim
higher just like my colleague who believed he has not achieved anything in life
when compared to his age mate – President Macron. I feel the same way too when
I remember that I share the same year of birth with that young Nigerian Hip Hop
artiste. Perhaps, why did I note it in that article when I hit the One Million
Naira mark at a certain age (https://shegzsablezs.blogspot.com.ng/2017/05/lagos-is-my-success-story-land-of-hustle.html)
when most of my age mates are still looking for jobs, some are still
undergraduates whereas others are still searching for their purpose in life. if
age is just a number, I would not bother if the Punch Newspapers published my
first article on my 20th birthday or my 65th birthday.

Conclusively, I also
believe we only shy away from our actual age and the process of aging because
of the responsibilities the society demand from us as we continue to age. For
instance, I would not like to state my real age if I do not have sufficient achievements
that meets my age standard but “by
the time we are walking through our fifth or sixth decade of life, most of us
have hit a wall or two — and those walls can hurt. But we’ve learned that life
only defeats us if we allow it to. We get wiser, more resilient and more
understanding. We now know that we don’t always get what we want. What we do
get, though, is the result of effort, courage and getting up each morning to do
the right thing with a smile of love for ourselves and our fellow man. So those
“laugh” lines around our eyes and that not-quite-so-firm jaw are the outer
badges of inner battles won and witnessed. Age
is so much more than just a number!
With age come wisdom, courage,
humility, compassion, patience and heart-healing laughter. We have earned every
line on our faces because they reflect the passions of willing hearts and souls
that have done some real living and are so much the richer for it
.”
(Age Is So Much More than Just a Number – Robin Korth)

God Bless Us All As We
Continue To Age Gracefully

Olusanya, Oluwole
Sheriff
Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.