I turned 32 today.
For some reason, 32 and 26 are the only two birthdays (so far) that have really caused any awareness or “ouch” about getting older for me. When I turned 26, I just wasn’t at a great point in my life, and I also worked with students and was painfully aware that I was not a college student anymore; in fact, I was closer to 30 than 20!
But why 32? I’m not certain. I did realize the other day that I was reading something up close more easily without glasses than with glasses. My mom does this. Yikes.
I also realized that I had a gray hair. I’ve never found one before. (Missy did my hair the next day, so who cares, but still….)
I am in love with the most wonderful man in the world, who I consider my one true love. A few weeks ago we were at Wal-Mart, and we were exhausted from working on the house and packing. A mom with several kids walked by, corralling her kids. She looked frustrated. Tired. Old.
She was probably 25.
We laughed, knowing that if we have kids, we’ll be much older, and even more exhausted.
I’ve also noticed that ever since I started working at a physician’s office, I have become even more aware of our mortality. I feel the weight of death, illness, and aging more than I ever have, even if it’s just vicariously through our patients, particularly the ones I have grown the most fond of. I’m lucky enough to hear stories of the best moments of people’s lives EVERY day. I have the privilege to pray for people, even while they’re talking to me about their problems, and without them ever knowing it.
My boss/friend and I were discussing what it is that keeps people young. He believes it’s adaptability, and the choice to try new things and embrace technology and opportunities to grow. James proposed that courage was the trick to staying young–that being adventurous and willing to learn and change and not stay in a rut out of fear is what keeps people young.
I think I’m going to guess it has something to do with “carpe diem.”
For right here, right now, for just what it is. The ability to see beauty where there is very little. The choice to turn on the light in the darkness. The daily action of opening our hands to let go of everything from yesterday and let Him place something new in our palms.
And embrace it.