You're not old, you're in your prime

Every day brings little reminders of how long I’ve been on this earth. They’re the things that I didn’t used to notice, things that didn’t faze me when I was twenty or thirty, but now — now they catch my attention, sometimes my ire.

Sometimes when an ache or pain catches me off guard, I’ll tell my wife I’m old. She usually replies, in a playful tone, “You’re not old, Honey. You’re in your prime.”

Many of us feel frustration or resignation when confronted with signs of getting older. But what if we saw them not only as taunts on our human frailty, but also as gentle reminders to appreciate what we still have?

Everything in our physical world is changing. It’s easy to wallow in the downside and miss the upside. I’m not as fast or strong as I used to be, but time and experience have made me wiser and more comfortable in my own skin. Those non-physical improvements account for more fulfillment in my life than I ever knew existed when I was young and unfamiliar with my limitations.

So here’s to noticing the differences and letting them feed a sense of what we have, rather than a sense of what’s we’ve lost. Here’s to being aware of those youthful gifts we still possess, instead of squandering them.

Maybe, in the big picture, my wife’s playful response is actually true, and the key is a little awareness and appreciation.