Recently I needed my driver’s license for something, and when I was taking it out of its little slot in my billfold, I caught a glimpse of my picture, and I thought, “Oh my goodness, I look SO much younger in that picture!” …Which led me to the thought, “How long ago WAS that picture?” …Which led me to look at the dates and then … “OH crap! My license just expired on my birthday last month!” WHOOPS!
Don’t worry. I’ve now gotten my license renewed and am driving legally. But that picture threw me a little. It was six years ago by the way; that’s how long it is before you have to renew your license in my state. Six years that absolutely flew by.
The birthday I just had last month was number 39. Just in the last couple years I’ve noticed more and more wrinkles, more and more gray hairs … and other things that I’m not sure is because of age or what, like my eyes are constantly puffy and watery … what is that about?? Is that a getting old thing?? My oldest son is now taller than me and will be a high schooler next year. It has finally happened … I’m starting to feel kind of … old. For the longest time, the high school years and college years didn’t seem all THAT far back. People in their 20s didn’t seem all THAT much younger.
You know those gag gifts that people do for big number birthdays? Well, there is a gag gift that has been passed around through the women in my family for a while now. It is a figurine of a very old, wrinkly, saggy lady. I think it was given to my mom first for her 40th birthday and has been regifted back and forth through the years between her, my aunt, and my sister on other “big” birthdays. I can’t actually remember who has it now, but I guarantee whoever has it is counting down the days until they can pass it on to me, the youngest of the family, on my 40th.
If I’m being honest there is a part of me that dislikes this whole getting older thing … mostly the vain part of me that wishes for the smoother skin in the old picture. But then there is a part of me too that thinks it’s kind of great! I have so much to be thankful for. I have 4 children who are growing into pretty decent human beings, and that is so cool to watch … (even though I’m quite certain each of our kids are responsible for their share of my gray hairs). I’ve learned so many things through the years that I’ve been given so far … about myself and about the character of God, and I know God will continue teaching me more with each new year He gives me.
I just want to always remember and keep fresh in my mind how fast it goes! I look back through the years, and I’m frustrated with myself for how much complaining I’ve done. Of course, it is perfectly normal and okay to feel down at times, but overall I wish I could say of myself that there was less pouting and more praising! That is what I want to remember for the next six years. I want to sing every day the words Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote for Eliza Hamilton to sing: “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now!” I don’t want to take it for granted … any of it.
So if you are reading this, maybe you’re more responsible than me and do something smart like putting a reminder in your calendar about your license expiration … if not, maybe take a second and check it just to be sure! Also, (telling myself this as much as anyone else …) don’t stress about the extra wrinkles that may show up on the picture next time … they just represent another day we get to live and love.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12