I’m home from an extended period of hard work, the kind of hard physical work that I have not had to do in a while. I have not exactly bounced back. I am tired and I am feeling, well…old. There is nothing startling about this, my next birthday is the big four-0. What is startling to me is the feeling of relief that is accompanied by feeling older.
Whatever philosopher taught knowing thyself as the highest goal was on to something. With age I know that I hate rollercoasters, prefer not to drive, don’t enjoy shopping, and love the library. And I am just scratching the surface! Age has given me the awesome by-product of experience, and though I dare not think that I can handle anything, I no longer brace myself for the worst. I do not have it all figured out, but have made it through the struggles of learning new jobs, inconsolable babies, balancing parenting with work, the weariness of caring for the ill, and the heartache of being unable to help someone in need.
When I am distracted by certain aspects of age – creases, veins, unfamiliar parts of my own body – I am reminded of the comment, “it beats the alternative”. I look forward to an incredible afterlife, but I cling to the life I have now. I have held a baby that never got to breathe outside the womb, watched my father suffer a long illness and death, gone to a funeral of a family member my own age, and seen depression take away the desire to live. I can’t help it – I am grateful for this day.
And yet, I am tired. My body seeks to betray the agreement I thought we made to stay the same. I feel almost 40 – no, sometimes I feel more like 60. But instead of spending much time looking in the mirror, I will avert my gaze. See what I mean?
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Funny for me to read your comments about aging….from experience I can assure you the 40s are a tremendous decade which you’ll absolutely love…and as a side-bar comment…it will be all the more enjoyable for someone like yourself that looks like they just turned 30!
Mols–I have never heard any expression as dumb-or as profound-as adopting an “attitude of gratitude.” Good for you. Besides, the 40’s, I think you will find, are the best decade ever. I hope I’m here to ask you if I was right in 2021!
Welcome home! Glad your trip was successful! xo
Exactly where did you learn to write so beautifully?
I love your outlook. The creases and veins are rewards for experiencing life. 40 is an achievement!
I’m not sure when your birthday is Molly but I want to wish you a great day. I love your writing how you capture the essence of growing older gracefully. You have a long way to go until you can reflect as I can but it is a wonderful journey. Happy Birthday!
I am stunned that you will be turning four 0, guess I just have always thought you were going to be a young, gorgeous gal, never old. Hey, two our of three isn’t bad, and besides, you haven’t even started to see the other side of young! Well, let’s just say, it takes some getting used to………you will always be young in our eyes.
Few people work as hard and as consistently as you and Robert did this summer. Now you need to have some fun. That is one of my two philosophies that have guided my ministry and my life: If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing. So I try to make even the most mundane things fun. My dogs are a lot of fun, especially Strider, who is a 10-month, 80-pound Golden Retriever who has no idea that he is not a little puppy anymore. He bounds around our house, looking for the chairs he used to be able to fit on when he was little. I have a favorite place to sit in our living room and he likes to jump up behind me and sit in back of me on the chair. We don’t fit, but he doesn’t know that.
Thank you for serving us so well this summer. I would like to spend time with you and Robert and the girls WITHOUT work.
I’m hoping that Jhan and I can get to see you one of these years in our travels. We are always on the lookout for Frank Lloyd Wright houses throughout the country, so perhaps there are some near you.
In the meantime, rest and have fun.
40 easy and I can attest to the fact it continues to get easier — I would hate to go back to my teens or my twenties or thirties. My father will be 90 this year and he would say the same thing about his sixties and seventies!
I see what you mean 🙂 You’re amazing and beautiful. You radiate light and love from the inside out and I am so much better having known you.