I recently hit the big one...40. I don't feel any different but yet at the same time I keep telling myself if I am ever to be a grown-up, the time is now. LOL. I think I thought being a grown-up would feel differently. It doesn't. No matter my age, I still feel mostly like a 13 year old fooling everyone...sneaking to sit at the 'big' table at Thanksgiving and somehow getting to stay.
I have reached an interesting place in my life though; as we are surrounded by death and dying in our families and church family...as we watch the 'oldest' generation get smaller and smaller...as we become the older generation and watch the olders become the oldest. It is a bit unnerving. And yet, at the same time, I really don't feel any different. I am still me. It makes me wonder what being 80 will feel like. My aunt Dola used to tell me she felt the same as she did when she was 20, she just kept wondering who that old woman was in the mirror. Then she would laugh and study my hands and say they were so young and hers looked so old. That image is forever emblazened on my brain...I thought her hands were beautiful, especially juxtapositioned next to mine. I wish I had a picture to match the one in my mind...so I could show it to everyone. Aging is beautiful. Life is beautiful. A privilege, in fact.
I have a good friend that always used to say he wanted to die young. He thought the aging process was ugly and humiliating. To that I say, it can be. I know old people who are cranky and miserable and can suck the joy out of a room with a word. I dare to say, they have always been that and age just makes it sharper, uglier, naked and exposed. I also know other old people who are such beautiful encouragers and it makes me think, YES! That is what I want to be. I want to make sure I am still fun and funny. I want to make sure the youth of the world know God is good...even when you are elderly. I don't desire pity, I don't want to have to use guilt as a weapon...although I won't mind it as a slight motivational tool. I want to have invested my time well enough that I am worth a break from routine for a visit.
So, I officially announce that I shall embrace getting older until the day comes that I don't. Then I will embrace my Lord. Hope you aged gracefully this weekend.