Category Archives: age

A letter to the 22 year old me

A new post over at www.reallyjennifer.com

I’ve seen some blog posts lately that were the letters from the authors to themselves at a much younger age… The, “if I knew then, what I know now” wisdom posts.  So, to be a “follower”, and to impart some learned lessons, I thought I would have a go at it too…

At this ripe old age of 44, I can look back at myself at 22, and see a completely different person.  I’m actually amazed at the work God has done in my life thus far! If I could write a letter to myself at 22, I would say;

Dear Jennifer;

I know you feel like you have the world on your shoulders, and you can handle it.  I know that you think perfection is expected in this life of ours, and I see how you strive for it in almost everything you do. READ MORE


Am I really a grown up already?

I spend a lot a time talking about parenting, and how my kids have grown, but last night, while watching my 13 year old try to take out his new contact lenses, I got a sudden “chill” of realization that I’m grown up. Maybe remembering being a teen wrestling with my own new contacts caused this “familiar” revelation… I don’t know if you know what I mean, but every now and then, out of the blue, I realize that I am a real adult, and it’s weird.

We spend our childhood wanting to be older, and our teen time wishing the years away.  Then one day, all of a sudden, we notice we have responsibilities, debt, and lots of lists…   Do you ever stop and ponder that for a second, or am I just on my own with this one?

I remember watching the premiere of MTV, now I watch the news, and care. I remember big hair and bell bottoms, and mocking my little brother for wearing parachute pants.  Now, comfort trumps style, always.  We really did come in when it got dark and no one was worried about it.  Now, I always know where my kids are playing, and I check on them periodically.  Kids talked on the phone, and didn’t mind being connected to a wall.  Now, the art of actual talking is fading into the land of abbreviations.  We used to wear our “Sunday best” to church and liked it.  Now, it’s all about looking relaxed, because apparently, Jesus loves us no matter what we are wearing.  Too bad a potential employer doesn’t share that philosophy… Fast food was a luxury, and dinner around the table was the norm… Really…My kids think fast food is a way of life.   I used to dream that I would marry Shaun Cassidy and I loved Donny & Marie… I married someone way better than Shaun, that exceeded my dreams, and no one has yet to replace Donny & Marie… Life just seemed easier.   This world that my kids are growing up in, is a very different place than the one I experienced.  I like to believe that this generation is made for such a time as this.

Sometimes I feel like it happened so fast!  When did I become this “responsible” parental kinda girl in this seriously material world?  I think I’m just too young to be this old… But then I look around at all my blessings, shake off the “chill”, and smile, because I am. Really.

Carly Simon put it this way-

I remember a time, rompin’ through the woods

Sun against our skin instead of clothes
When we felt hungry we would eat, when we felt glad we would dance
And whenever we felt drowsy we would doze

It was so easy then never takin’ any stands
It was so easy then, holdin’ hands

I remember a time when our fears could be named
And courage meant not refusing dares
I remember when we took such cares to step never on the cracks,
No only on the squares
Or else we’d be abducted by the bears

It was so easy then never makin’ any plans
It was so easy then, holdin’ hands

And now we are grown, with debts and regrets
And broken hearts and sentimental schemes
Now every tender failure seems to overthrow old dreams
Love can lead a normal woman to extremes

It was so easy once, holdin’ hands without a plan
It was so easy once holdin’ hands
Just holdin’ hands

 


My Birthday

My birthday was last week.  Let’s just sit on that for a second and think about your own birthday.  Are you one of those who lie about their age or never wants to tell anyone?  Or do you just smile and blurt it out to anyone who asks?  My mother-in-law is 39, even though she lived though the depression and has great grand-children. (I’ve been advised by my counsel the ramifications of that sentence. I’m hoping her sense of humor has grown with age)

I must admit that I have always been shy about my age.  Not because I’m old, but because I’m young.  Crazy huh?  I think it comes from having children so young, and having that “you’re tooooo young” response.  The 2 weeks between my son’s birthday and mine was always the time I prayed that no one would ask my age, because if they did the math, they would figure out that I was 15 when I gave birth, instead of 16…like 16 is so much better? Anyway, I’m 43 and you’d think I’d be over it by now.  I am for the most part. But I still have my days.

I wanted to add a top ten list to this post about birthdays.  I thought the funniest list I could come up with would be “top ten worst gifts from your husband” but then I thought that wouldn’t be fair, because my husband has only given me a few really bad ones and this year, with the help of my daughter and friends, he outdid himself. So, given the awesomeness of this year’s celebration, even if I know the helpers did all the work, I don’t want to throw my man under the bus, so I will go with the “top ten ways you know you’re getting older”…

  1. You can’t focus on conversations in the car if the radio is too loud. (or even on in some cases)
  2. The radio is always too loud, unless you’re alone, and you’re trying to stay awake or you’re really in a praise and worship mood, and then you don’t care who sees you singing your heart out at a red light.
  3. Dinner and a movie are rare date nights, because after the dinner, you’re full and ready for bed.
  4. Eating fast food really does make you feel like crap.
  5. Jumping out of bed in the morning is a thing of the past.  Now you stretch, snap, crackle and pop before you roll on out.
  6. Your friends are not all getting married and having babies, now your friends kids are graduating, getting married, and having babies.
  7. You’ve realized that recreational and school sports are just games.  The outcome will not permanently affect anyone’s life.
  8. You realize that PBS & the History Channel do have some good programming.
  9. You check the weather forecast regularly. (although I still don’t know why)
  10. You’ve realize the importance of listening, sharing and patience, and that time really does fly, and you don’t want to waste any of it.

So there you have it.  I know this list could really be a top 100, but I can’t sit here all day.  I love growing up. I don’t even mind the gray hair coming in.  God was so sweet to put these verses in His Word for us;

Proverbs 16:31 (NIV) “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”

Isaiah 46:4 (NIV) “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:3b-4a LB I have created you and cared for you since you were born. I will be your God through all your lifetime, Yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you.”

If you have something to add to this list, please do!  Thank you for reading and may you be blessed, whatever age you are…