The last little bit of warm weather is lingering, and I wanted to know how many more days I had to drive Barbie (my convertible) with the top down, so I hopped on the internet to check the weather. An ad caught my eye. You know the kind. There on the right-hand side of the screen. They flash, wiggle and nearly beg for your attention. I am usually annoyed by them, but this time the attention getting method worked on me. “Senior Singles” the banner read. “Find your perfect mate”. I’m not looking for the perfect mate, I’ve got mine, but I noticed the faces of these “senior singles”…they sure looked younger than seniors… and their ages….. This has to be a typo… 42..43..46! Seniors?! So much for checking the weather, my mind was on to other issues.
Since when is 40 considered senior? When did this happen? How can this be? Who gets to decide when a person enters senior-hood? The fact that this bothered me so much…bothered me. Why did I care? Age is only a number. Right? Ok, so I’ll choose my number. I will stay thirty-something.
In one stroke of the minute hand, I went from “thirty-something” to forty. Just one day on the calendar shoved me into the next age group. I don’t want to be rude to all you in your 40’s, this has nothing to do with you personally, its just that 40 sounds so much… well, older than 30-something. And so, I decided to stay in my thirties. I understand, this does make shopping for a birthday card for me somewhat difficult – this year you will need to find one that says “Happy 30-fourteenth”. 30-fourteenth. It’s still thirty-something, even if it is thirty-a-lot-of-something.
Age is such a touchy subject for some of us. They say never ask a woman her age and I’m coming to agree with that. There was a time when I did not mind being approached with that question, feeling young and unafraid of age. I even readily supplied an answer with honesty.
But, alas, the years have come and gone and left in their trail enough evidence that the same question now is not so welcomed. We can fight age, deny it, slather firming cream on it, wear longer sleeves, longer shorts, tuck, pinch and suck it in, but the truth is, we all age. It’s inevitable. And it is not all bad. There is blessing in the aging. Knowledge comes with age (even if we don’t clearly admit what that age may be.) My growth came something like this:
At 18 I thought I knew everything and definitely more than my parents or any other adult for that matter. I had the firm belief that “I we can do whatever I want, I’m 18.”
At 21 I was wise enough to realize that I knew nothing at 18, but still foolish enough to think that now, I knew everything.
At 25 I was ready to admit that I did not know everything at 21. Ah-ha! 25 was the age of knowledge.
At 30…Wow! What was I thinking, I didn’t know anything at 25, how foolish to think I did. 30 is the age of enlightenment. Feeling very smug and full of knowledge I let people know of the genius in their presence.
By 35 I had come to realize that just when I felt I knew everything, the reality was that I knew nothing, there was still so much to learn in life. This would be a continuous cycle. So much more exciting than achieving know-it-all status and coasting from there. There is always something new to learn. My Grandma Ready once told me that you can learn something new each day. She is right. It is a challenge to open my eyes, smell the coffee and look for what each day presents and learn from it.
No matter how clever I get and how hard I try to avoid it, I am aging. In the past few years, God has been leading me to a new-found maturity in my heart –no, I do not know it all now- but He has been showing me the petty, shallow things I’ve searched after and is bringing me to a quiet peace and security in Him and life. I'll take this instead of youthfulness. Aging has its benefits. Who knows, maybe soon I won’t even mind giving up that “thirty-something” charade, but give me a little more time, He is not finished with me yet.
How have you grown through aging? I'd love to hear your story! Leave a comment for my birthday!