Thomas: We are forever ‘too young’ for something

It would seem that age is the ultimate limitation that we can never beat or overcome in our lifetime.

Growing up I would always think about all the things I would be able to do when and if I was older. I'm sure you all know what I am talking about; those times where your parents or an elder would tell you "maybe when your older."

The best part was when someone would tell you "you're simply to young to be doing something like that."

I always got a kick out of it when my mom would say "as long as you're under this roof." Little did she know I would sit in my room pouting and daydreaming of being out on my own so I could do whatever I want.

Of course, she would say supper was ready and the daydream would end and I was ready to eat. This isn't something new, not the part about me being ready to eat. No, I'm talking about when we were children and wanted to do or something, which we were told, we were not old enough to have.

On occasion — not my mother, I swear — we did the very thing or got the item we were told was a no-no. Now in my defense, it only had a momentary effect and I was not harmed, dismembered or lost as you thought I might be, Mom.

A large part of our childhood we spent wishing we were older, out in the world to fend for ourselves. Then, of course, bills started coming in and we learned what insurance, food cost and rent would do to those paychecks, which at one time shouted freedom but now eke out just breaking even.

Then come the daydreams of being young again. You know nothing more to worry about then who is it first in a game of freeze tag or what flavor of juice Mom will have ready for us when we are done playing.

Instead we are now wondering if there will be any sugar at the office for coffee and what sort of madness will we encounter at the job today. Sure we get benefits, vacation time and even sick time though nothing beats a day of doing what makes us happy be it riding horses, fishing, reading or even playing hop scotch and feeling like we accomplished a lot.

I thought I had seen the last of the days where I was too young for something when I turned 18. That was until someone talked to me about a 401K. I then learned that you have to be a certain age to retire, had to have a job with pension benefits and most likely needed to start saving then by putting money in to a retirement plan.

This new age limitation made me feel young again, and not the good kind of young where you want to be rebellious. No, It was the helpless kind of young, where no matter how much I begged Uncle Sam he wasn't going to bend and let me retire early with benefits. Much like my mom and her position about me getting a Chevelle SS for my 16 birthday.

I had put this though in the back of my mind until recently when I overheard a woman ask if her friend was old enough to receive some benefits from the government. The answer was no she was not. Even though she was over 50, she still was not "Old Enough" according to the regulations.

At some point I and perhaps many of you may begin to wonder, if maybe, they are hoping that once we are old enough to receive the benefits we won't be around long to enjoy them.

Those people who work all their lives or are disabled with no other source of assistance have to wait for help. Then you turn around and see able-bodied people driving new cars living in low-income homes watching their 55-inch flat screen T.V. and enjoying the fridge filled with federally-funded food.

I may not be old enough in the eyes of the government; though I'm old enough to see there are some problems with the system.

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer with the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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