I was 12 the year that my dad turned 40 and I will never forget his birthday party. He
was is a stinker and would try to sniff out surprises and ruin them. My mother had a big old cookout planned but he wouldn’t go where we asked him to so that the guests could arrive.
As a result, at the last minute my mother had everyone meet at the convenience store near our house (Lord only knows how they pulled this off without cell phones) and drive up the street together. It was literally a parade. I remember so clearly that it was such a fun day and everyone was cracking up at how much effort it took to trick my dad into thinking there wasn’t a party.
But the part I remember most was thinking about how old my dad was turning. 40!? Holy cow. “It’s all downhill from here,” I thought. “He had a good run and now it’s just a matter of time.” It’s worth mentioning that my dad was a fit and active 40 year old which makes all of that even more hysterical to me now.
It’s also funny how my definition of old evolves every 5 years or so. When I hit 15, I thought 25 was headed straight for a nursing home. At 25, I thought 30 was the beginning of the end and 35 was ancient. I just knew that somehow time would freeze before I got there because how could I possibly ever be 35?
Guys. Tomorrow I turn 35. Literally how did this happen?
It’s easy to feel the crunchy knees and look at the wrinkles and dread the aging process. Most people catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and wish they could rewind the clock if only for a little while.
I joke a lot about my “fun” years being behind me but I’m here to tell you something. The fun years are whatever years you want them to be. I’ll tell you something else, I believe the reason time seems to fly as we age is because we start looking outward instead of inward.
The world stops revolving around ourselves and we see people who have greater needs than us. We see places that we can serve. We see those who have been dealt a tough hand and others who have lost their life too soon.
This is when I get mad. Not at the crappy stuff in life. We were never promised a life free of troubles. I get mad at myself for wasting even a second wishing I wasn’t getting older. You know why? It’s a privilege. Truly. I get to feel the crunchy knees. I get to play and laugh in the sun as new wrinkles settle in. I get to watch my kids grow and grow like weeds. I get to marvel at how my husband magically becomes more handsome as he ages.
There’s nothing wildly profound in this post. I just wanted to share in the hopes that maybe somebody needed to hear this today. In my world, 35 feels good. So will 55 and 85 if I’m privileged enough to enjoy that many years this side of heaven. Bring on the candles, experiences, joys and struggles. Thank you Lord for this beautiful ride.