And they're probably right. Thirty isn't old.
On the other hand, I often get reminders that I'm not quite so young as I used to be.
As a friend of mine said to me Monday as I told him the following story, "You're not a spring chicken anymore, Jared."
My most constant reminder is my left shoulder. I'm not certain what's wrong with it, but it hurts like crazy sometimes. I think part of the issue is years of sleeping on my left side. Something just gave way after a while.
Once my left shoulder became a lost cause, I did the only logical thing and began sleeping on my right side.
In my retirement, I can probably look forward to years with two arthritic shoulders and the inability to lift my arms over my head.
Let's hope I can afford to replace them with the cyborg arms that will most certainly have been developed by then. I'll use them to drive my flying car.
But let's get back to 2011. My already damaged left shoulder got more abuse on Sunday evening. I was carrying a box that weighed 30 pounds or so into the house.
Even with my shoulder's problems, carrying things isn't an issue. On the other hand, coordination has always been a problem. It's not so much an age thing as it is a Jared Jernagan thing. I tend to trip and stumble a lot. (Everyone insert your drinking joke here.)
So it should be no surprise that my toe caught on the top step of the front porch. With 30 extra pounds out in front of me, I proceeded to lurch to the right and fall headlong into my vinyl siding. I think there's a permanent dent there to prove it.
The worst victim of the collision, though, was my shoulder, which bore the weight of the impact. Now my shoulder hurts, my upper arm hurts, my elbow hurts a little and my neck hurts.
I think my arm even bruised my ribs as it smashed against my body.
It was sort of like adding injury to, well, injury. Not a good time.
Of course, it could have been worse. I remind myself that if I'd stumbled straight forward I would have crashed through the glass of the front door. Then I'd be writing this from a hospital bed, still picking shards out of my head and forearms. A sore shoulder isn't the worst thing in the world.
So I'll tip my cap to all of you who will tell me I'm not old. You're right -- 30 is a wonderful age.
Just don't expect the cap tipping to come from my left arm. It's resting.