Some things we can debate until we are Bulldog blue in the face. But some things are pure fact. One such thing? That with each passing moment, minute, and month, we are getting older.
When we are young, getting older seems only a good thing. A goal. But when we become adults, when we start packing decades under our existential belts, this getting older business is more complicated.
How do I feel about getting older? It depends on the day. Some days, I hate it. The fast march of time. The reminders of lingering mortality. The threatening wrinkles. The robust responsibilities.
But some days, even most days, I'm okay with it. Maybe it's because I'm settling into a sweet season of my life - boy, babies, blog, book - but I feel that with each day, things are becoming clearer in complexion. I look back at myself ten years ago and I was cute and clueless and fabulously flailing in a sea of question marks. Today, the question marks are still here. And I'm thankful for that. Today, they are friends. Reminders of an abiding depth. Connections to a quirky cosmos.
Gwendolyn Brooks once said, "As you get older, you find that often the wheat, disentangling itself from the chaff, comes out to meet you."
Per my very favorite metaphor book, separating wheat from the chaff denotes separating the valuable from the useless. With this bit of information in mind, the above quotes really speaks to me. As the years pile up, I feel that I am better able to see - and feel - what matters. As age mounts, I feel that the wheat of meaning - once mixed up with the chaff of excess - sways closer.
I'm not sure I'm making any sense. It's likely I'm not. But I will publish this odd little musing anyway. Because coherent or no, it is about something big that affects each and every one of us: Time.
Each of us is getting older. Marching on. Away. Through. Toward.
- How do you feel about the reality of aging?
- Do you think it's acceptable these days to embrace the physical effects of age, or do you think our culture - as Hollywood evidences - is obsessed with prolonging youth at all costs?
- How do you personally handle the emergence of wrinkles and wisdom?
- For you, is aging about growing or graying or both?
- Do you think things become clearer or more complicated with age?
- Do you think our attitudes about aging are tied up in what we have - and have not - accomplished so far?
- Would you shave years off your age if it also meant shaving off everything that's happened to you in those years?