Tuesday, May 26, 2009

30 = 100,000??

This is a big year for Erin and I. Both of us turn 30 this year (she turns 30 first, which you can guarantee will be reinforced many times in the upcoming months), we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in November, and we're living the excitement of becoming new parents.

However recently I've been wondering if turning 30 is the same as having a car turn 100,000 miles.

Usually the rolling over of a odometer to 100K means a few things.
1. You're only 11,111 miles away from 1's across the board. It's an awesome goal that takes forever to get there and is over in 60 seconds (that is if you're driving the appropriate speed on the highway)
2. A perfectly good car will start to behave erratically. At 99,999 you might be thinking that everything is running smoothly, 200K will be no problem, and you can count the money you're saving by not buying a new car or fixing an old car. However, within the next 15,000 miles watch out. It's easy to rationalize the simple things that everyone agrees a car needs (i.e. good brakes, a working clutch, tires, fuel pump, fan belt, shocks/struts) and the fun things are easily rationalized as summer approahces (i.e. a/c). However I'm amazed how quickly these "little" and "necessary" things add up when you take stock of your monthly and yearly car bills. With our short attention spans we forget that we just spent 300.00 on a different fix a few weeks back. And before you know it, you've spent enough money on fixes that could have been used on that new car you've been eyeing (and one the government and automakers are begging you to buy).

So how does this relate to turning 30...
1. Well turning 100K with 111,111 looming is oddly similar to the fact that 40 is only a digit away. For the next 10 years I'm going to have to hear and feel the buildup toward this wacky age filled with parties aimed at humiliation and consumerism beating the drum to make a much too big purchase all under the guise of being "over the hill" and having a mid-life crisis. Plus, like a car, 222,222 K or 80 years old should be attainable. But lets not get our hopes up (side note: I'm writing this as Erin's grandma just celebrated her 97th birthday yesterday and is probably aiming to go on another zany trip around the world soon. She didn't take her first plane ride until 90 but in the last 7 years she's been to Italy, Germany, Ireland, Canada, and Jerusalem. All for multiple weeks each time and in all times she was the first one up and the last one of the group to go to bed. She ran circles around everyone in the parties she traveled with. An amazing individual. My grandmas are amazing individuals but that's a time for another blog)

2. Much like cars that seem to be running great break down after turning over 100K, I'm feeling the same way. Prior to the last few months, I was on a 5 year cycle for seeing doctors. It's not that I don't like doctors or feel out of place in the medical setting. It's just that I was never sick. Ibuprofen and my season allergy medication was pretty much all I needed to handle all medical emergencies in my life. However in the last few months, I've been to more doctors offices than I've been in the last 10 years. I've been to opthamalogists (twice), general doctor (twice), and a dermatologist (once). All have been related (horrible allergies, strep throat, and allergic response to amoxicilin for said strep throat), all have been necessary, but is it coincidence that they're all happening as 30 is getting ready to rear it's head. I don't think so.

Unfortunately in my case, I can't trade myself in for a newer model. I'll just have to take out a bigger HSA/FSA next year and load up on the icy-hot.


  1. Oh! Another fireside philosophical chat with Michael! :D

    Milestones are great things to celebrate, I think. And people love a reason to celebrate. Nice round numbers seem to always provide good excuses :) But at the same time, just as many people get mopey because "oh no, I'm turning [insert undesirable age number here]."

    We forget that numbers are just...numbers. Maybe physically, we need to start taking a little better care of ourselves (heck, last time I went to Cedar Point, I came home sore and wondered "am I getting old"?). Ok, so, no more constantly eating junk food and running at breakneck speed into walls like we might have at age seven when there were no permanent consequences.

    But Erin's grandma knows age is just a number :) (I joke constantly that my own grandma and her boyfriend have more active social lives than I do!) I think the moral of the story is to live life as if there were no numbers attached. :)

  2. the moral to me is that i never used to think that numbers meant anything and that all of those "milestones" were a bunch of hooey bent on making people spend money to feel better or just feel depressed because of reaching the milestone. heck the last of the great milestones for me was 25 which meant i can rent a car without having to pay extra.

    however that idea that milestones are hogwash is under serious attack due to the compounding of issues to deal with as i near 30 and the fact that it is oddly reminescent of my car turning over 100K about 2 years ago and the litany of "minor" things i've had to do it since then.

    so i'd wait until you reach one of these milestones, automobile or age, before you casually dismiss them. unless of course you're using a certain age to justify taking that trip to costa rica. for that, any age can be a major milestone in my book :)

  3. ah...you don't have to tell me about the car-thing....mine hit the 100k mark a little while back and suddenly started having some major-ish repair every month....fun times. ;)