Birthdays and Set Points

Tomorrow is my birthday, or more appropriately, in about an hour it"ll be my birthday. Iā€™m turning 34 this year and there will be grand festivities for sure. I’m taking the day off of work and spending it with my wonderful wife and daughter. I never made that much of birthdays until I met Tammy. She really considers it a big deal, and likes to go all out for the day. If it’s your birthday, it is your day without exception.

This birthday has me thinking of the concept of set points. Not familiar? A set point is just a position that objects or systems target. You can nudge it, and it will swing back and forth, but eventually it will return to it"s set point. Your thermostat in your house is always working to achieve a set point. I think, that in a unique way, people have an age set point.

You see, I"ve always felt older than I was, at least once I got to a “real” age (i.e., past being a teenager). Throughout my 20s I looked upon every birthday as a marker to get to where I felt I should be. I’ve never looked back, always eager to move forward. I think I’m slowly approaching my “set point”, somewhere in the late 30s. Iā€™m just a little less eager to see the this birthday click by than the past. Perhaps we can start to slow down a bit now.

My wife says her “set point” was 27. If I surveyed my friends I’m sure I would get a variety of responses from people that are still waiting to get to theirs and those that past it a dozen years ago. It"s not bad to be past this, but I think it is a life marker of some sort. I suppose you could just jumble this rambling in wife my Fractional Life theory.

Perhaps it’s just my first birthday as a father, which in odd ways that I cannot describe, is different. Happy Birthday to Me!

Jamie Thingelstad @jthingelstad

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