There I was. Walking across that stage; receiving my diploma; and ready to take on the world. I was one of the younger ones in the family and was usually referred to as one of the younger ones growing up as a kid. It was so liberating to think that I now possessed the liberty to move out of my parents house and be on my own. It was going to be awesome!
Sure I heard of the horror stories of grad students moving back in with mom and dad. But, I just knew that would never happen to me. I couldn’t think of anything better to live for. Me being on my own and having all of the fun I wanted to. That included having whatever female come visit me without mom getting sensitive. That meant being able to leave without creaking the door too loud when I entered. That meant I could leave the dishes inside of the sink overnight without any repercussions.
Then, all of a sudden I wake to realize that I actually had it pretty good. I never thought about the dinner table conversations on how to make ends meet; the blocking out of time for helping kids with homework; date night; morning preparations for school; extracurricular activities; not to mention trying to squeeze in something for myself besides work. I wake up today and it is literally 2018!! I mean almost a month into 2018! Scary. Those I graduated with in high school were are now over the mid thirty mark. I can remember my aunt telling me I was still a baby when I was 30. I thought that she was drinking too much. But, she was in fact correct. Now all of a sudden 60 doesn’t seem that old to me and 70 looks like a great time to enjoy life.
I now take so many things that much more serious. Simple things. Like waking up at a respectable hour to still call that part of the day morning. I try to get as much out of the day that I possibly can. I always wondered why old people would wake up at 4:30 in the morning instead of sleeping until almost noon with all of the time that they had on their hands. It’s remarkable to know that they are in some ways more ambitious than most young people.
I guess my definitions of young and old have changed as well. I met an 80 year old at a YMCA that swam 40 laps a day. I was thinking, “I’m almost scared to share with him my age. Because one lap for me and it is over.”
I even live in more fear sometimes. I used to be scared of nothing. Now I fear for the lives of my wife and kids. I watch the television and just about anything can happen to any of us. I was always amazed at the fact that so many of us live as long as we do with all of the possibilities. It certainly is special. So, I live and work as if I’m working for the Lord. Of course, I’ll fall short at times. But, that’s part of the beauty of it.
Physically, I’m starting to feel it. I could run for days, lift for months, and not feel a thing. Now I have to tell myself that I can scale back and take it easy. With the torn muscles, pulled hamstrings, and not even have done anything. The clouds get dark and my knee hurts! Whyyyyyyy??!! It’s all part of that management process that keeps us all going. Nothing stays the same and now I see my friends almost grandparents. We were just carrying book bags a few days ago.
I get invited to weddings, funerals, and all other life changing events and I still feel like a kid sometimes. I guess that’s what we all are. Just big kids with kids. Most of my friends I can still see the kids in them the same as when we were in school. My kids would never believe that I could run fast enough to hear the wind whip in my ears. And I like that, because it gives me a chance to be “legendary” when I show them tapes and newspaper articles.
So, yeah, I guess I am that old and look forward to getting older. Just like I did when I was an old teenager. So. What is your take on your life thus far and how would you plan to live it today?