Sunday, January 28, 2007

Age

This post would have probably been more appropriate closer to January 1, but since I am still in the same month, I think I can still go ahead and post about it.

Each New Year's eve, as the clock approaches midnight, I feel myself reflecting over the past year - highlights, frustrations, goals achieved, milestones, disappointments - and as those last few seconds tick away, I feel a momentary loss of control, almost a panicked feeling. The current year is slipping away, only to be replaced by a new year full of unknowns. What will 2007 bring? When I am counting down the clock on December 31, 2007, what will I be reflecting on?

This got me thinking about the different years of my life, and then I starting thinking, "If I could pick any age to be, and I had to stay in that year forever, what year would I pick?" First I thought about my childhood. I had (have) wonderful parents who took care of all my needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) Maybe life would be the easiest if I just chose 1978, the year I turned 3. My mom stayed home with me full time, I had no responsibilites, and at least in pictures I looked pretty happy.

Or maybe I would choose 4th grade (1984.) I did not want 4th grade to end. We were the oldest in the elementary school, so we ruled the school. I loved my teachers, had my little circle of elementary school friends, was just starting out playing tennis and basketball, school came easy, and in general I enjoyed every aspect of life.

Then there was eighth grade (1988.) Again, we were the oldest in the school, basketball and tennis were really taking off, and though I wasn't the prettiest or most popular in the school, I had my niche and circle of friends. School still came easy and my family was still wonderful.

I seem to not even consider the high school years and first two years of college (1989-1994.) This time period, though full of some great memories and experiences, had too many growing pains to want to suffer through forever. Trying to figure out who I was, dealing with boy relationships, finding my way through spiritual matters - I just wouldn't want to go back.

My junior year of college (1995) started what I would consider "the rest of my life." Jason and I began dating, I was really getting involved in social work, and I was starting to settle down as a person, really figuring out who I was and my convictions. Maybe my junior year would be a good place to stay forever.

Ah, but what about 1997 - the year I graduated, got married, bought my first house, and started my first "real" job. Wouldn't everyone want to stay in the "honeymoon" period forever?

Or there's 1999 - the year Elizabeth was born. Now we were settled in our second home, Jason and I were both doing well in our jobs, and now we had baby to make us a "perfect" family.

2003 would be hard to top, too. Anna was born, giving us two beautiful children. We had moved into the home we live in now, potentially our "last" house, Jason now owned the business and was doing well, and I was still in a job I loved. We were actively involved in a Sunday School class with great friends, and we were really starting to get into camping. Great memories, and a great year.

Or what about 2006, even. Nothing great happened this year, but nothing awful happened, either. We were just living the same comfortable, predictable life - which at this point I think is a good thing. We bought a camper, and that was fun. Maybe living forever in "comfortable" wouldn't be so bad.

I can think of a lot of years I WOULD NOT pick. The high school years come to mind first. Fifth and ninth grades were hard, being the youngest grade in the school and feeling intimidated. 1998 wasn't a lot of fun and is probably the last year I would pick.

I asked Jason what year he would pick, and he said when he is 43. That's the optimist he is - thinking the best is yet to come (I made sure it wasn't because he thought the last 33 years of his life were bad.)

So life rolls on, for the most part out of our control. We make decisions here and there that we think shape our experience, but bottom line is, only one person knows what the future will bring. It's a gamble - will the ensuing year bring more joy and laughter than the past, and is that the most important thing that defines a year, anyway?

Not really sure what my end point is, I guess just that we live each day and year at a time, rejoicing in the joyful times, learning from the mistakes, enduring the disappointments, and growing along the way. My grandpa is 91, and I look at him and think about how he has 91 years of memories to look back on, and from what I have observed from his life, how satisifed he must feel at 91. I feel pretty satisfied at 31. I hope I can say the same at 91, too.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deb,
New Years and Birthdays always get me thinking that way. I usually get a little sentimental, little sad, and a little anxious. Not good because my birthday is January 2nd- double- wammy. This year I turned 35 (wow). I think if I could pick any age I'd say - I'd like my "shoe" size : ) of age 24, but I like who I've become at age - 35.

January 28, 2007 9:23 PM  
Blogger Anon said...

???

20 was nice. I was dating a really nice guy at the time and his family liked me at that point.

hahahaha

???

when I'm dead

eternity's a good age

January 29, 2007 7:51 AM  
Blogger Toevs Family said...

There were a lot of fun years and some not so fun years... no year was perfect. I can't say I would want to pick a year to be stuck with forever. As I watch my children grow, I enjoy each new stage. I tease Emma about never growing up. But really, I like having her get older. She is fun to be around. She promises to always stay sweet since she can't stop growing. :-) The same goes for Anna... if we could just make it through the potty training year(s)... I agree with Anon though, eternity is a good age to be if you have to be it forever. :-)

January 29, 2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger Keetha said...

I would choose RIGHT NOW 'cause "We're goin' to the SUPER BOWL BABY!!!"

Yes - - - I'm a bit one-track minded.

January 30, 2007 6:31 AM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Okay...I haven't commented yet because I've been trying to figure out my "perfect" year. I can't do it. Everytime I think I have one, I remember something I wouldn't want to relive about that year. So, I guess that means that life is supposed to be about the ups AND the downs.

January 31, 2007 12:48 PM  
Blogger Toevs Family said...

Thanks, Deb. The nabisco site is fun. The exploding balls actually explode the balls of that color... at least the ones in that chain. Addicting stuff...

February 04, 2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Deb - - - WHAT ABOUT THAT SUPER BOWL???!!!??? COLTS ROCK!!!

February 05, 2007 6:50 AM  
Blogger Toevs Family said...

Time to stop playing pengapop and blog some more. :-)

BTW - the nabiscoworld.com does have a fun game of pengapop... thanks for the tip. When you get -I mean, when Anna gets- all 200 levels, I want to try it. :-)

February 05, 2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

What - - - not even ONE word about the Colts and the Super Bowl???? You're killing me here!!!

February 05, 2007 8:11 PM  
Blogger Anon said...

Okay, you're all driving me up a wall here.

What in the world is pengapop?

February 05, 2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Enough pengywengy, Deb - - - time to POST and COMMENT - - - Blogworld misses you more than Pengapoop will!!!

February 10, 2007 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where is wuertley?

February 11, 2007 8:54 PM  

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