“Over the hill” is a term we’ve all heard, and on some level, come to fear. A quick search turned up the definition. Past the peak of one’s youthful freshness and vigor; far along in life; old.
You talking to me?
I continued my research. A few web sites said “over the hill” applies to anyone twenty years older than you are. Interesting, but a tad depressing.
I wanted to find the definitive point at which one has indeed reached the apex. The Urban Dictionary says “over the hill” applies to people forty and over because they have reached the climax of their life time and it’s downhill from then on. Forty was so long ago, I can’t recall if I’d climaxed or not. Would I even know?
The most frequently cited age for being over the hill was fifty. Regular readers know I’m all about the facts. The definitive answer, based on my careful research over the last fifteen minutes, is that a person becomes over the hill sometime between forty and fifty.
Any way you slice it, I’m heading back down the other side of the hill. If you ask me, going downhill is a lot more pleasant and enjoyable than climbing ever was. Going up the hill was hard work. Going down is easier. Just stop, drop, and roll.
Rolling can be a little bumpy. The downhill trip requires many more visits to various and sundry doctors than were needed on the way up. But I’ve got good insurance and make enough money to pay my medical bills, which wasn’t always the case on the other side of the hill.
Having done the same work for more than 25 years, I know what I’m doing and how to get the job done. False starts and dead ends aren’t the occupational hazards they used to be. Every time I think I’ve reached the peak of my career, a new opportunity comes along and, to my surprise, I somehow manage to surpass myself. I don’t expect this will change any time soon.
On this side of the hill, my work no longer defines me. Since turning fifty, I’ve developed interests I didn’t have before. I’ve written five books, published four, and become friends with many writers. I’m in better shape than I’ve been for a very long time.
If you ask me, life begins on the other side of the hill. Once you reach the top, things get easier. Coasting is less work than climbing, and a lot more fun. Don’t let anyone tell you different.