Age is a funny thing. When I taught preschool, the children were SO excited to turn 4. They were really big kids then! About ages 7-11 children are sure to add the "half" to make themselves seem older. They are not 8… they are 8 and a half. We long to turn 16 so we can drive, 18 so we can be independent, 21 so we can be officially legal for all things. Our youngest daughter turns 16 on Monday. What an exciting, challenging and busy time of life she’s walking through. One of my friend’s daughters just turned 30. It’s another exciting and busy time of life, having added the roles of wife and mother to her list of experiences. So many lessons learned from 16 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50. I’ve heard some women say their 40’s and 50’s are the best years! From then on, we are not quite as anxious to reveal our age, unless of course, people think we’re younger than we are. We may do a big celebration for 30, 40 or 50 but that definitely seems to be where the celebrations end.
The older we get, the less we feel we should mention our age. For the most part, age and the wisdom that comes with it are not esteemed in our culture. On a tour to British Columbia a few years ago, I made sure to make note of everybody who would celebrating their birthdays while we were on the road. One woman, in particular, would be turning 70. I asked her if there was anything in particular she’d like to do to celebrate. She jokingly replied that she’d be afraid we’d need to call the fire department if we were to celebrate those 70 years. She said that she had decided quite a while before to stop celebrating birthdays. That really made me think. Why do the 16, 18, or 21 year olds get all the awesome birthday celebrations? Why not the older you get, the more special the celebration is? Surely with every year and every "season" comes rich new wisdom and new life lessons. I arranged to have a birthday reception for her at the next hotel we were headed to. Though it was a wonderful time for all of us, she told me later through tears that it was the best birthday party she had ever had and one of the most memorable times of her life.
Each age has its own special joys and experiences. What is it that I could be or do right now that may not have been possible 2 years ago or 20 years ago? What can I do right now that I will not be able to do next year or 5 years from now? Most of life’s experiences have no age assigned to them, and most of us don’t know what the next month or year will bring. Are we making the most of this time in our lives or are we wishing it away until we’re older? Are we walking through the open doors in our life or are we not quite as adventurous now that we’re not as young as we’d like to be? Whatever age you are right now, you are the perfect age to say "yes" to life. You can make new friends… read new books…learn new things…see new places. Now is the time!
So, this weekend, look around. Take note of the special joys and experiences that are unique to this time of your life and maybe unique to you altogether. Then, determine to say "yes" to life. This is your time… you are the perfect age!
Have a great weekend!