I will turn 50 this spring. That’s hard for my ears to hear. I’m beginning to believe it’s all about perspective. Some would look at 50 and say the really good stuff is all ahead of you and some would say I’ve already got one foot in the box ! Since it’s not anything I can control, I might as well go with the flow and seek contentment in the moment.
Sometimes I look back at pictures of my father and grandfather to see what they looked like at whatever age I’m presently at. Maybe we all compare ourselves to our forefathers in some fashion. Maybe it’s a measuring of some sort. I look to see how they’d aged at that point and then my mind takes me to memories of those stages. They are my memories and they are surely slanted from my perspective at the time. Most times I feel like I am not the man that they were.
When I bring the subject up with my father mostly what I get is that he thinks I’m doing fine and I’ve over inflated my sense of who they were. That they were just doing the best they knew how to do at the time with no manual of life. I wonder if I will have similar conversations with my children at some point.
How should I see myself at this watermark of life. Maybe I should just take some comfort in the “er’s” of life. I’m not wise or smart, but perhaps wiser and smarter. The older I get the more I realize how much I don’t know, and that having all the answers was never the big point anyway. At least I don’t ever think it was Gods point for us. Maybe He wants us to rattle and bump along. To be in the moment of falling, reaching, getting up, crying, laughing and loving.
As this stage I sometimes struggle with this middle ground. Neither young nor old. Reading glasses are everywhere in my home. Waistlines are not where I’d like them. Joints are stiff. Memory is like Hudini, disappearing without notice ! Hair is gray headed for white. Youth gets younger. Fashion and music harder to relate to.
But I have my health, my family has its health. My children are wonderfully centered and loving. With a little warm up I can still shoot a game of hoops, chase a tennis ball, swim, surf, and throw a frisbee. I grow more and more comfortable with who I am. More comfortable in my own skin. There are many things I don’t like, and many poor choices I will live with forever, but all in all, it’s a good life. It’s simple and full of wonder, and I try to embrace each day and what it holds.
It makes me think of the Jimmy Buffett song “Growing older but not up”. Willie Nelson has always said that they key to not losing your sanity and creating happiness is humor. To keep laughing, and to be able to laugh at yourself. Or like the Walt Wilkins song “Stand Up Seven” “Fall down six times, stand up seven, that’s how yo make it” ! I’ll go with that. Sorry this post is a bit long winded. Time has been on my mind. I’d love to know how you feel about time from your perspective.