Ah…the innocence of youth!
During our unscheduled “Snow Day” earlier this week, my wife and I and the kids had hunkered down in the den of our warm house as the weather outside was, well, frightful!!
We were each absorbed in different things…reading, my older daughter on Facebook and my younger daughter and I were watching something on tv.
Something in the show that we were watching prompted Annie to say to me, “Daddy, what is middle-age?” My wife looked up from her book and smirked at me as if to say, “yeah, Stephen, tell her…tell her that YOU are middle age!” I explained to Annie that middle-age is a point when someone has reached the half-way point of their life.
Annie paused and then without missing a beat she said, “Daddy, YOU are middle age”.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Yes, I know I am 45 which by all measures is still considered young. But then I started to think about being 45 and wondered if there were more good years behind me or in front of me?
Besides, I still think of myself as being a kid. I often act silly (probably why I relate so well to my kids), I have become known as the zany Uncle in my family. However, the flipside is, I sometimes feel that I don’t want the responsibilities of adulthood because, well, they suck!!
But here was my little 9 year old girl who hasn’t completely understood the concept of filtering what she says (we were at a coffee shop and she asked the woman who served us if she was pregnant. Of course, the woman said no….uh-oh…foot in mouth!!). Annie just said what she knew to be true. I am in fact, middle age.
If anything…I am probably past middle age if trends in length of life are any indication.
I have really never thought much about age or aging. I sometimes make the sounds of someone who is aging…grunting as I move into a Warrior 1 pose in yoga, groaning as I stand up from tying my shoes (I prefer slip-ons) or waking up in the middle of the night to pee…which is not atypical of a middle-aged man (the old bladder ain’t what it used to be).
I find myself reminiscing with people about TV shows from the 70’s or great rock bands from when I was a kid. Hell, I remember having a conversation with a former colleague of mine who at the time, was in his mid twenties. He had never heard the term “LP” before.
Sometimes on Saturday afternoons, if we don’t have any plans to go anywhere, I will often wind up on the couch reading the newspaper and taking a cat-nap.
Are these all “signs”? Don’t get me wrong…I still have lots of energy..I enjoy spinning, yoga…being outdoors and doing silly things with the kids and always love a great belly laugh!!
But if I look closely, there are certain things that are starting to happen with more frequency that would indicate that I have reached the summit and are perhaps slowly making my way down the other side.
I remind myself though, that it took 45 years and some pretty wonderful life experiences to get to this point. If I am fortunate enough, the next 45 years will be equally filled with some amazing events…but I also know that there will be some challenges too….that’s life!
All this solidifies my core belief that we must all live our lives in the moment…embrace each moment and savour its sweetness. As the great Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.