Last week, my son asked me a question that I didn’t know the answer to. “But you should know,” he said after I told him that.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you’ve practically been alive forever.”
Wait a minute. Forever? I might’ve just turned a year older (my birthday was the day before), but I haven’t been around forever…
Then a few days later, my daughter said a similar thing. We’d recently watched the movie Enchanted and she was talking about getting married one day. She asked me if I thought the boy she might marry had been born yet. “Probably,” I said.
“But maybe not, Mom. You’re way older than Daddy. So I might be older than the boy too, and he might not be born yet at all.”
Wait again. I’m not way older. I’m only one month older than my husband. One little month…
Actually, their comments cracked me up. From their young perspectives, I guess thirtysomething is pretty old. And even though it took a couple of days to “hit me” that another birthday had passed, I thought about it and realized that with each year, my life gets richer. Each year, I feel like I understand myself and the world around me a little better. Each year, I discover that I have more to look forward to. Like watching my kids grow up. And like growing old with my husband. (Maybe really old…check this couple out in the Guinness World Records. 81 years of marraige…)
I think of my husband’s Nana (who passed away a few years ago at 97) and how rich her life was. I think about all the joys and hardships and all the sacrifices and rewards she must’ve known over the years. And I think about the outlook she had. I remember one Christmas, my husband and I drove her six hours to visit family. Nana sat there with a smile on her face the entire drive. Whenever I’d ask if she needed anything, she’d say she was great. She’d look out the window and say the sky was beautiful. She’d reach for my hand and tell me I was beautiful. In fact, to her, everything was beautiful. And I think that’s what getting older can do—make us appreciate things more because we start to realize how fleeting life is.
Don’t get me wrong. I could do without the wrinkles and gray hairs that keep popping up. And I’m not unrealistic… I know there will be challenges in my future. But I also know there will be joy. And that’s more than something to look forward to. I like the quote from Mark Twain that says… “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
So what do I think about being another year older? I’m lovin it. Even if my kids think I’m ancient.