It’s my birthday today and this causes me to reflect. I am turning 44 and the most common comment that people say around someone’s birthday is “man you are getting old”. I want to unpack that statement a little.
I love being 44. I love the fact that I no longer have that pressure you have in your 20’s and 30’s to prove yourself to the world. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I have shown the world that I can get a woman to fall in love with me, I can stay married for 21 years, I can make a couple of kids, I can get a degree or two, I can be successful in my chosen career, I can travel the world, I can learn a musical instrument, I can manage my finances, I can buy a house and I can run for political office.
I love the stage of life that my children are at. Both Lakeisha and Laura are great conversationalists and a real pleasure to be around. Sure beats having a colically crying, non sleeping, diarrhea baby, that requires feeding every 4 hours. (If you have just had a baby and are reading this – good for you).
I love having long term friends. I have a friend who I knew when we were in school together, when we were 8 – That’s a 36 year old friendship (albeit with a bit of a break in between). I was at a wedding the other day and met a young lady who I knew when she was 5 and I was at the Lighthouse Church. What a privilege to see children I knew, now growing into wonderful young adults.
I love having a broader and wiser view of the world. Now getting older and getting wiser at the same time is not necessarily a given, but I would think people around me would hopefully conclude I am getting wiser as I get older. I love the richness of the experiences that I have had over the last 25 years of being an adult and how that deepens the lens through which I interpret the world.
Finally, the greatest thing about getting older is that I am getting older. I know too many people who would have loved to be celebrating their birthday, but have died. I was greatly impacted by Ps Simon Campbell’s death about 18 months ago. He was just 45. He would have loved to be getting older. Simon’s death changed my attitude toward birthdays. So I love that I am turning 44 and I will love turning 54 and 64 and 74. The greatest thing about getting older is that I am getting older and that is simply delightful.