I had a big birthday this past weekend. A B.I.G. birthday.
My age does not have a '0' attached to it, like the big birthdays that other people feel are monumental. But to me it was a defining birthday...making me officially 'old.'
Two years ago I was asked if I was at 'mid-life crisis' age (and you all shared some interesting thoughts about that here to make me feel much better). For many people, the troublesome birthday seems to be 40...but for me, this one was harder than I think 40 will be.
Here's one of the big reasons:
The 'marketer' in me knows that I have slipped past the young marketing category and am now considered very middle-aged. Here's the typical breakdown for marketing...
[ ] 18 to 34
[ ] 35 to 44
[ ] 45 to 64
[ ] 65 and Over
See that shift from 34 to 35? That's where I now fit. (And the slap in the face came yesterday when I actually had to take a survey online and choose my new category.)
In the marketing world, there is quite a big difference between the lowest and middle adult age groups. I am pretty much no longer targeted by many of the companies where I like to shop. And I will most likely see a big rise in the companies most interested in my business at this age...primarily loan granting financial institutions.
I am in the prime 'net borrower' age group now, instead of the fun, frivolous, consumer group. Ten years from now, I will be entering the 'net saver' age group where all the fun is gone from marketing (in my opinion) and you get targeted by investment groups, and people asking for donations. There is another dramatic shift when you reach the last category as well, although usually at that point the marketers get a bit more savvy and look at multiple demographic factors other than just age.
Marketing aside, it was a nice birthday and I'm working to get over being sad about a silly number on a survey. A mid-life crisis happens when you second guess the choices you have made and decide you want your life to go in a different direction. I have chosen a direction in my life right now and will do better embracing it than fighting it. 35 is a key age in a career path, but my chosen path includes being surrounded by my children every day...and they don't have any concept of middle age and could care less about a number. All they care about is birthday cake!
I think I'll choose to make my 35th year a good one!