I just turned 36. My ever-gracious wife and I have now spent half our lives together. (We started dating in high school.) Although we still feel young, this week on vacation while enjoying candlelight on a Floridian porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, we were laughing about some of the things that do indeed show we’re in a different, how shall I say, “life bracket.” Younger and older at the same time.
10:00 p.m. is now “late”
You remember a time before e-mail
Younger people don’t get my Seinfeld references
You can remember making a deposit at the bank to an actual person
You know someone who once said, “What’s the internet?”
We often call each other “mom” and “dad”
“Nirvana” is again a Buddhist concept and not primarily a rock band
You forget that “tweet” is really a bird sound
You wonder things like, “Where are the more full-figured mannequins?”
Your old Vuarnet hyper-colour shirts are now rags under the sink
You can justify a $4 coffee
7:00 a.m. is a “sleep in”
Can you relate?
Focussing on getting older every year seems natural. Wrinkles, scars, missed opportunities, some regrets. But when you think about it, aging isn’t about age; it’s about gratitude. I’ve been struck by the words in Genesis summing up Abraham’s life: “Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.” I love that: “FULL of years.” As if we are jars that get filled up with years. We’ve been duped to think that aging is a depletion, when it’s really a renovation.
So to those of us in this “life bracket,” enjoy the mixed tape of your life! (Remember Walkmans?) When we play our cards right, our lives have the potential to keep on getting better. Not easier, but better.