Lately I have been wondering how I should feel at 40. It felt like such a milestone, but somehow I often find myself wondering if this is what 40 is supposed to feel like. I am not as fit or physically playful as I would like to be. Stay tuned for my plans to change that in the coming months! I work less than in my 20’s and 30’s but still get a solid full-time work week in, so that is very forty like. I don’t quite cook like I would think a 40-year-old should, but that is coming along also. I value my family and my friends and delight in my relationships so that feels somewhat right at 40…It is not as fun or exciting to buy a car or computer as in my 20’s and 30’s, but there is also more value in saving or at least in spending less….so that feels somewhat 40ish! The more I think about this being forty, the more I realize that age is a funny thing….
I remember my first job out of Calvin at Sunshine Community Church as Director of Children’s Ministries when there were hundreds of kids every week for children’s Worship, Cadets, Gems, Bible Studies and Rap groups (rap as in conversation not rhythm) Do you know that there are still times I think I see one of “my Sunshine Kids”, but the problem is that they are still the age I remember them between 1991 and 1998. Then I read on Facebook how so many of them are married, having kids and enjoying life in all of its fullness. When I envision the faces of the many kids and families who I loved being with at Sunshine, I realize time is a funny thing….
I read about my HighSchool classmates who have kids going off to college this week and have kids getting married and I am struck by the fact that if I had married and had children, I could be approaching (ok, maybe ten years) a grandmother age. I laugh out loud because that seems so different from what I feel….and I realize that there have been definite moments in my life where I have longed to be married and enjoy a family, but it has not come to be. Today I just smile as I think of the many phases of life a family brings…I wonder if watching children grow and age also in some fashion would make me feel more my age. And then I think, age really is a funny thing…..
I am sometimes surprised the great gang who call me Aunt Trish haven’t made me feel older.My niece Janneke is starting her senior year in high school. It seems like just yesterday we got the call of her birth! I remember when, at two years of age, she would bellow out Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Janneke has grown up and matured but still has the same joyful heart, loves to sing and lives life with a spring in her step and a smile on her face. When I think of each of my nieces and nephews, I am grateful time has a way of standing still. That I feel as full of love and delight for them with each passing day….it never grows old to be an Aunt….being an Aunt is a WONDERFUL thing…
And so, on the journey to my heart, I often feel ageless…living life in the moment, remembering yesterday with crystal clarity and yearning for tomorrow to see what surprises will come my way. I can clearly identify the ways I have changed during my ageless life. Where I have matured, how I see things differently, where life is less about right and wrong and more about respect and understanding. I remember the moments when I understood Grace because it was offered to me and how much kinder of a person I became when I also learned how to offer Grace….I am grateful I am in the process of change and do not feel stuck….
I wonder where you have felt ageless…what marks for you the passing years. Do you feel the age you are….are there moments that seem just like yesterday in your heart but when you process through your head you realize it really was quite some time ago. I am grateful that the journey to my heart is more about people and places and the faces of those we have journeyed with than about the number of days in a year or the number of years we are! I would rather say I live life to the fullest than I act my age! wouldn’t you?