Aging can be problematic for many people, but especially for those of us whose health conditions sometimes make us feel as if we’ve aged way beyond our years. Nothing like arthritis in your 20s, or a heart attack in your 30s to make you feel as if you’ve joined the ranks of senior citizens way before 65! And, yet, even if you do feel old beyond your years, people might tell you that you “look too young to be so sick,” thus multiplying your confusion and frustration. Or, in my case, by accident I’m sure, some might peg you as way older than you really are…and you’ll face a decision point: worry that it might be true, or look upon the “oops” with amusement. Two examples:
Years ago, when I was digging into my first “real” job, I received an AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) membership card. The anomaly struck me as so funny that I pinned it to my cork bulletin board for all the world to see. I certainly didn’t feel ready to retire, and I sure didn’t feel old. But I did like the smile that the little card brought each time I saw it; those “golden years” sure seemed far off, someone’s data base notwithstanding.
That card is still in my possession, pinned to another cork board in my current workspace. It shows its age, having turned from white to yellow, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? And, alongside it will soon be pinned another piece of mail that I recently received. This one, an advertisement, invites me to go “on a wonderful, sentimental journey back in time” to 1942 (!), apparently a year that the folks putting together this mailing seem to think I really enjoyed. Did I?!
The point of this is that, throughout life, some will think and say (or mail you something) that you look younger or older than your numerical age. But appearances and numbers have nothing to do with outlook on life, approach to adversity, enthusiasm for what you are doing, and friends, family, and others with whom you surround yourself. In fact, the number of birthdays we celebrate have nothing to do with who we are as people (except, perhaps, in ushering us into the realm of eligibility for ‘senior’ discounts). After all, in Scipture, we’re told that God knows each of us by name from before we are born, not that he’s tracking each of our birthdates on some celestial calendar.
Each birthday I have brings with it a sense of accomplishment, too. It might not have been easy, or pretty, to live through another 365 days, but I (and you) met the challenge! I say we wear those years with a large dollop of pride and profound thanks!
Don’t worry, be you!
Now, would someone please tell me what was so wonderful about 1942?
Blessings for the day,