My wife and I recently celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary (and should, when you’re reading this, in theory be on a little celebratory trip) and I have to be honest here, I honestly didn’t expect to make it this far. I never intended to break my wedding vows, but I just assumed something would happen, whether death, my wife leaving me, or just the general Armageddon. The reality is I’ve never been one to look far enough into the future to actually see us making it to our golden anniversary.
On top of that, I’m just about to crest the terrible mark of having lived for four decades on this earth. When I first met my wife, I had it in my head that I would mysteriously die by the age of twenty-five and here I am a whole fifteen years past that age just going on like this is how things were supposed to happen.
In other words, this morning, I looked in the mirror (on accident) and realized that I somehow actually managed to get old.
Getting old is something which has always terrified me. It was why I had this age of twenty-five in my head for the extent of my life span. Sure, forty might not be that old, but I simply couldn’t imagine myself as a forty-year old. Now that I’m here, I still have a hard time seeing myself as one.
Look, I don’t feel old. Sure, my knees don’t bend the way they used to, and I’m definitely noticing some issues with my right elbow that I didn’t use to notice, and I’m tired a lot and I go to bed a lot earlier, and I get grumpy if I don’t have my dinner ready before 6pm and I watch a lot of court room television and…Okay, at least one of those is a joke, but the reality is that although my body is showing signs of wear and tear, my brain still things of me as being twenty-five. In fact, I still do a lot of things that I did when I was that age, thinking that I should be able to do them just as well as I did back then.
For example, for father’s day this year, my family got me a pair of roller blades because I like to talk about how much I used to love roller blading. I took them out for a ride a few days later, to take my kid out to his summer school fun times, and I immediately injured myself in such a way that it took over amonth before I stopped limping completely.
I’m old…and I’m not a fan.
I do a pretty good job of ignoring my own aging, but it gets hard to ignore when I see things like how much older my kids are getting. I’ve got a kid in middle school now. She’s almost as tall as me. It’s wild. I’ve got a niece headed to college this fall. My friends and family keep showing all these signs of aging which means I must also be showing those same signs, even if I try to pretend I’m not getting older.
The world is getting older and so must I be.
And I’m not a fan.
So…for today, I’m halting time, just for a few minutes, and living the dream of not getting older. We’ll see how long I can hold on to that.
Have fun out there!