Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too old?

Recently I was invited to attend a meeting for people 50 and older. I can't begin to tell you how that made me feel...other than old. Up to this point, it hadn't really occured to me, but evidently I have now moved into a new phase of my life. I'm not sure when it happened, but evidently I have entered the phase of life known by some as "old." It seems that just yesterday I was facing the prospect of "getting old enough" to....drive, vote, live on my own, start a family, etc., etc., etc. Then suddenly I turned around to discover I was now "too old."
Now some of the things I am too old for I don't mind. I'm too old for the Olympics...not that I ever had the talent or desire to participate in them in the first place. I am too old for mini skirts...but honestly those were uncomfortable in the first place. I'm too old to trick or treat...but I never was much for going door to door begging for candy. I'm too old to be cool...okay, that one bothers me a little.
I watched a show the other day which featured the lead singer of KISS and his family. I remember when KISS was the epitome of pushing the edge...now the lead singer is nothing more than a dad trying to be cool and missing the mark...seriously. On stage, he still rocks, but at home he's just as middle aged as I am...richer, but still middle aged....and definitely not cool.
On the flip side, I am now old enough to be President of the United States...not really something I want to do. I can also join AARP...another thing I really don't want to do. I am almost old enough to get discounts on food at restaurants. (I will admit that one is nice.) I can get a parking place closer to the entrance - which is stupid. I am not disabled...I can still out run some people half my age. I can.....well, I guess that's about it.
According to the results from a search engine, I am not too old to: get pregnant, for motherhood (which anyone can tell you is MUCH more difficult than just the pregnant part), to skateboard, to get a record deal, to learn a new language...the list really does go on and on.

Still, I'm not really thrilled with the whole idea of getting older. I don't like that my eyes refuse to work, my body evidently has decided to become a fat storing machine, and my skin seems to be permanently creased. Mostly, I hate the feeling of being invisible...no longer needed. I'm beginning to feel a little like some sort of antique plate. I don't want to be put on a shelf and dusted, occasionally brought out for fancy occasions. I want to be used!!! I don't want some special effort made to "include me", I want to be a part of the everyday workings of life. So what if I get cracked or broken in the process...make me into a table top mosaic or something, but trust me, I'm far from being ready to just sit.
I spoke with a friend last night who is a good deal older than me. I told her the worst part was feeling like I was no longer needed. She nodded and said, "If you think it's bad now, just wait." Not exactly what I was hoping to hear, but I have to admit I know it's true. Our nation has always celebrated and admired youth. Legend has it that one of our early explorers, Ponce de Leon, spent his entire life searching for the fountain of youth in Florida, (which might explain why so many older people move there to retire.)
I wondered what the Bible had to say about aging...after all, it has survived popular opinion for thousands of years. Psalms 71 talks a good deal about getting old...and declaring the goodness of God to future generations. (I assume that means they actually listen.) But my new favorite may have to be Psalms 92 (especially verse 14): The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; (13) planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. (14) They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, (15) proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."
Okay, I admit it....I'm getting older, but don't count me out yet....there is still fruit to bear and a work to be done....keep up if you can.

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