Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Birthday

Today I am officially 57 years old. I wonder how many more years it will take to reach full maturity? I am always reminded of a saying attributed to the famous baseball player Satchel Paige. He once asked the question "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was"? There is no doubt that my body often feels 57 years old although my healthier approach to living has improved how I feel. However, I believe a person's true "age" is determined in the mind and in the heart. Although I sometimes feel old, I try to think and act young. My rock and roll exploits are a source of great humor within my family. I tell my wife and youngest son, "I'm still out there getting it done"! Their response is "Yeah, but you always have to take the next day as a vacation day"! Of course, life not all about having fun. My spiritual pursuits also keep me young at heart. What I call contemplation can also be called "maintaining a sense of wonder about life". I can still be impressed and there are moments I am in awe of life and beauty and I feel great joy. I love to play with my granddaughter Chloe even though she wears me out and thinks I am a beast of burden. As you get older you must sometimes surrender to the needs of the body and act your physical age. At the same time, you must also continue to expand your mind and think new thoughts. As far as the heart goes, age tends to soften a person. I am much calmer and patient than I used to be. When you get older the small things are never a big deal and the list of small things is always getting longer. I don't freak out as much. I am more loving, kind, and tolerant. I've come to realize that nothing is as important as people. Although I am usually a calm person on the outside I find myself more emotional as I age. Feelings seem deeper and tears come more easily. Admittedly, feelings are still sometimes difficult to express verbally. I can write my feelings better than I can speak them. When you get older you have fewer illusions about yourself. I am aware of my strengths and my weaknesses. Do I want to be 25 again? No way! I like being 57 years old. Of course, I'm not as young as I used to be so if any of you see me wandering around in the office, please tell me where I sit. I may not even know why I am up. You may also need to actually show me the way back to my seat. I'm a little more forgetful now and sometimes I wander about just for the fun of it.

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