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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The dawning of a new decade

Friday, December 10, 2010

On Wednesday, I did something I haven't done in, well, 10 years -- I turned a decade older.

That's right, it was the big 3-0.

I remember almost 10 years ago when my brother reached the landmark. His wife said he was pretty down about it, and I wondered why.

Of course, at that time, I was counting down the days to my 21st, which I will admit is way cooler than most birthdays.

But I remember thinking that things must change a lot in those 10 years. My whole concept of time and aging would have to turn around to get me to be upset by 30.

Now that I've also put the day behind me, I must say, my attitude hasn't changed much.

On Wednesday, I was really only a day older than I was on Tuesday.

The only difference was, on Wednesday, I had an excuse to have a completely awesome day.

I took the day off work. I slept until 11. My wife made me a cake, a pizza and bought me a 6-pack.

I spent some quality time with my wife and son. I took a few hours to watch two of my all-time favorite DVDs.

(If you're wondering, I watched the 2001 Monon Bell Classic -- greatest game I've ever personally witnessed -- ended with the greatest sports play I've ever and "Pulp Fiction.")

I couldn't really focus on being 30, because I was having a great day.

Why should people worry about their actual birthdays? You're getting older all the time, so you're birthday shouldn't bother you more than your run-of-the-mill Tuesday.

However, your birthday is the one day a year when you can pretty much ensure you're going to get your own way.

Why am I wearing bib overalls and not shaving today?

It's my birthday.

You don't like red velvet cake?

Well I do, and it's my birthday cake.

You don't like this movie?

Too bad; it's Dec. 8, and I said so.

It's the one day a year when "because I said so" is an acceptable argument.

With all that said, though, I can recognize that these landmarks are important. I look back on 20-year-old Jared and see a pretty different person than the one I see now.

Ten years ago, I could have lived almost every day like I now live my birthdays. I was selfish, basically just looking to have a good time all the time.

As the decade wore on, I began adding people to my life, and my values began to change.

My wife and I began dating when I was 25, and got married shortly before my 27th birthday. Now I had to consider two people when I made my decisions.

Then this July, we added little Miles to our family.

This one was even more important since it was actually a life I helped bring into the world. I'm personally responsible for that life, and it's time for me to act like it.

So as I look toward this next decade, I hope to see someone a bit more responsible and well adjusted because that's the place I've reached in life. My decisions affect other people in ways I don't always like to think about, but I have to.

Just don't expect me to start telling you how much older I feel. I'm balding, I'd like to get more sleep and I have a bad left shoulder.

But that's exactly the way it was last week -- when I was 29.

Jared Jernagan is the assistant editor of the Banner Graphic. He can be reached at jjernagan@bannergraphic.com.

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