Why I’m Flipping My Age

Pablo Picasso said, “It takes a long time to grow young.”

My grandmother Katherine decided she would have no further birthdays when she reached the age of 39. She eventually had almost fifty years without a “birthday celebration.”

I, however, live for celebrations, so grandmother’s idea doesn’t appeal to me.

So this Sunday May 1st on my 53rd birthday, I’m flipping my age to 35.

Why, you may ask?

  • Because it’s my birthday and I can if I want to.
  • Because you’re only as old as you feel, and frankly, I feel 35 NOT 53.
  • Because age is a psychographic, NOT demographic thing.
  • Because Satchel Paige once asked, “If you didn’t know how old you are, how old would you be?”
  • Because maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had, and what you’ve learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
  • Because Lucille Ball said, “The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”
  • Since women rarely admit their age, I choose not to act mine.
  • Because 35 seems the perfect age.
  • Because I believe in magic!

What about you?

How old would you be this year if you flipped your age?

In the words of my therapist, “How does that make you feel?”

If the numbers of your age this year make you older, then I ask you this question…

“If you didn’t know how old you are, how old would you be?”

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46 Responses to “Why I’m Flipping My Age”

  1. I got all excited about this idea until I remembered I’m turning 44 this year! Dang! ;)

  2. I wish I could do that at my next birthday, but 94 doesn’t have too good of a sound.

  3. Randy you are the most 35-year old 53-year old I know. Go for it! Although now I’m ashamed at accomplishing so little compared to someone only a year older than me :)

    Hope you have a great birthday. I know you will celebrate well!

  4. I flipped mine, too. I am 55. ;-)

    Happy birthday, dear friend.

  5. Happy Birthday!
    Love this idea … now I (almost) look forward to turning 50 in a few years because then I can be 15, 25 and 35 again :)

  6. Flipped birthday this December will make me 75! But I agree that the numerical digits are irrelevant. I actually feel like I am 30 again. I am back in a church community that is nurturing my faith like the one I left at 31. Went through a long dry-spell that was my own fault. Your comments remind me that God has a totally different viewpoint on time.

  7. Brilliant! I would be 5 years old and I’m thinking about how amazing it would to be a female pastor at that age entering kindergarten. If only! Have a Happy Birthday!

  8. Uhg! 93 just doesn’t have the same appeal!!

    I know what I’m going to do! Once I hit 40 I’ll just start counting back from there!


  9. I love the post… turning 38 this year feel 25, however if I flip you can see I would be 83 while I love my Grandparents and their wisdom I want to get the good old fashion way:) none the less, Happy Birthday and thank you for your youthful spirit, it inspires me!

  10. Love the Satchel Paige quote! It’s almost Yogi Bera-ish?!

    Unfortunately if I flipped my age it would make me older than I am… so I’ll what to flip it until it works in my favor!

    Have a great Birthday Randy!

  11. well that would make me 52 in July.

    Hmmm, this doesn’t seem to be working for me

  12. For about 9 years, I was 31… because who would lie about 31? I was then 33 for several years. But since it’s a little harder to pull that off these days, last October I also turned 35! Really… who would lie about 35?

  13. If I flip my age at my next birthday I’d be…um….4. I just got through that age with my daughter, and in some ways I think she had it very good. Someone gave her food and clothing, set up fun things for her to do, and she could live in her imagination with no one telling her any differently.

    Sounds kind of appealing, huh?

  14. “Since women rarely admit their age, I choose not to act mine.” <<< My favorite reason!

    If I flipped my age, I'd still be turning 33 this year. Thanks Randy…..

    I'm wondering how this will play out for you next year: 36 (35+1) or 45 (flip)… Either is better than 54, I suppose.
    But what I really wanna know is what your lovely Chris thinks about this, since it will officially make her a cougar! ;)

  15. At my next birthday, I’d be 83… wise, retired, and enjoying the benefits of a long life. Doesn’t sound so bad.
    !yadhtrib yppaH. since you’re flipping things.

  16. When my daughter was young I had her trained to tell waitresses, “My mom is 21 and she drinks decaf!”

    Now she’s 24 and I’m … well … a little older than that. But I want her to stick with her original story!

  17. I strive to live every day as if it were my birthday. It’s a very celebratory way to live! Plus daily cake and presents are necessities, not once-a-year luxuries, IMHO (which, if you read it wrong looks like an abbreviation for “I’m a HO” – but just for the record, I’m not – no matter what Patsy Clairmont says)

  18. That will work well until you become 95 (59). I stopped having birthdays and started having anniversaries of being 39, I’ve had 17 so far.

  19. Randy, Granny (Katherine) stayed 39 until I turned 39, then in one fell swoop she was suddenly 49. She said, “I can no longer be 39 if my grandson is 39.” I guess grandchildren were the only ones that counted, because none of the kids turning 39 affected her age. You sparked some good memories when I read her name, and remembered. I still remember her boundless energy, up to the final years!

    • @Chuck, Ah, Chuck. Priceless memories. Granny Katherine was indeed fiesty and an inspiration to allus grandchildren. Thanks so much for
      joining the conversation!

      It’s rare for me to have a family member comment. Thanks!

  20. I don’t know that I think about my age necessarily but I know I feel younger every year. Odd. But good. It’s happened since I turned 39.

    I ate at the kids table at the last family reunion. Felt right at home.

    The more emotionally and spiritually mature I become, the younger I feel. Interesting. And it’s a mindset. I think Pablo Picasso has it right; it takes a long time to grow young.

  21. I think I’ll stay 26 for now, though 62 has a nice ring to it :)

  22. oh my goodness, Randy! happy birthday!!!

  23. awesome. i get to be 04. sounds like super fun to me. my son and i will be right there together. love this post Randy. you stay young.

  24. Being 04 is fun, although I’m not looking forward to starting school.

    Happy Birthday Randy. I miss you.

Created by Randy Elrod

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