Friday, October 19, 2012
On Turning 63: Some Reflections
I am now 63. Some reflections:
Whoever said, "You don't have anything that Prozac and a polo mallet can't cure," was wrong. The wrongness runs deep and healing isn't easy or simple. I still believe and trust in my being an image-bearer of God, but I thought I'd be a better man by now. Not saintly, but, on the other hand, not nearly still so ego-centered.
Looking back on those early years of marriage, I would have studied less and come home earlier. I got the M.A. and summa cum laude --thank you-- but I'm not sure my wife got much. I'm blessed and thankful for a wife who has been in this marriage not for what she could get, but what she could and can give.
As a dad I would have yelled less and held more. I'd have avoided less and attached more. I can come up with innumerable excuses but no reasons.
I'd have rejoiced over the pearl in the poop instead of complaining about all the shit I had to wade through.
I'd have worried much less about what others might think; I gave their opinion entirely too much weight.
I let fear govern or inform too many of my decisions. Fear has crippled several dreams. They are still alive but I am yet to pursue them, and time is running out. Instead of merely thinking about and entertaining my dreams I would have acted on them. I'd have pursued them and not allowed the fear of failure to stomp on my neck. I refuse to give up and by God's grace I will go for it.
I'm grateful for what I'm becoming. The desire to be like Christ--the longing for transformation--is still intense. I do not notice significant change but am told by those wiser than me that the desire itself is a holy and promise-filled thing.
I like being comfortable in my own skin. I used to hinge my actions and words way too cautiously, fearful of offending or upsetting the moral police. Now they can ticket me all they want.
When I was a kid my best buddy and I would share a snack consisting of a big pile of peanut butter covered -yes, drenched--in clear Karo maple syrup. Each of us ate it by the spoonfuls. A nearly unparalleled sensual experience. An epicurean delight. I need to enjoy more of the simple pleasures in life.
For decades I have battled and continue to fight depression. I regret I have allowed depression to win too often. Too many times the lethargy, the lack of motivation has caused me at end of day to wonder what in the world I accomplished, seemingly having nothing to show for the 24 hours--except sleep. Too many times it has nearly defined me rather than merely influencing me. I am determined to fight it. I am determined to rejoice in the light; I've spent too much time lamenting the darkness.
I still chew my nails. Embarrassing. How is this going to look when I'm lying in the coffin, hands folded and people filing by as they whisper about my unsightly hands. Really embarrassing. I can't imagine how would they would react if they knew I didn't have any pants on.
For the most part I do not like aging. I'm more forgetful. I get injured more easily and heal more slowly. Oncoming car lights bother my night vision when I'm driving. I'm more forgetful. I already said that. I look over not through my reading glasses. I don't want to die a crotchety old man. I want to be joyful, I want to laugh more, cry more gentle tears of gratitude. I want to inspire. I want to mirror Christ well.
I can't think of a better note on which to end. So I will.