You blink … and before you realize it … 30 years have passed. It seems as though just yesterday my husband and I said our vows, pledging our undying affection and devotion for one another, but yet here we are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary!
I can remember so many details of our wedding day in perfect clarity as if it just happened, yet I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday. (Did I even eat lunch yesterday? Who knows.)
“The days are long but the years are short.” ~ Gretchen Rubin
In my head, I don’t feel 30 years older. I feel much the same now as I did in 1987. I have many of the same insecurities, doubts, fears, hopes and dreams — but I know in reality both my husband and I have changed – a lot.
One look in the mirror and there is no denying that a considerable amount of time has passed since we said our “I do’s.” There are the obvious changes in our bodies and hair color, of course. (What’s left of my hubby’s hair has silvered. My hair, while somewhat thinner, has retained its “natural” color since I learned I can achieve the perfect blend of honey blond and soft brown by squeezing it out of a bottle every 4-6 weeks.)
We think differently now about so many things than we did 30 years ago. And how could we not? We are completely different people now at 60 than we were at 30. Thirty years – that’s a lifetime!
There are times that it would be nice to fire up a time machine and go back to the beginning of our marriage and do things a little differently. I would have savored the simple things and not made mountains out of mole hill problems that in the end, always seemed to work themselves out. I would have exercised more and eaten less junk food. I wouldn’t have bought many of the things that plunged us into debt that ended up not being worth the money spent. I would have dropped the vacuum cleaner more often in order to play Legos with my son, or Barbies’ with my daughters whenever they asked. I would have spent more time with my parents before they passed away. I would have worried less and trusted God more.
They say that with age comes wisdom and I certainly don’t disagree. But, the relentless “if only” dialogue playing on an endless loop in my head serves no purpose other than wanting to kick myself for the string of bad decisions made long ago. And at this age, with my bad back and bum knees, I’d likely break the one hip that doesn’t hurt all the time and end up in traction.
Now that we are 60, we are embarking on a new adventure into a whole new decade. (I still haven’t gotten past the overwhelming urge I feel to throw up in my mouth every time I think about how old I actually am. In my defense, I’ve only been 60 for 12 days. I’m not fully acclimated yet.)
There are of course, senior discounts to look forward to. My bank no longer charges us a fee to run spare change through the coin machine. Our date night movies now cost us 50 cents less – per ticket. There are first Wednesday senior days at the grocery store, free coffee at McDonald’s, a senior menu at Denny’s and … the countdown has begun for Silver Sneakers free membership at the gym, filing for social security and applying for Medicare – so there’s that, at least.
With age comes the ability to recognize that material things no longer hold the appeal they once did. Rather, it’s the little non-material things in life that should be cherished. Suddenly there’s a race to soak up as much time with our kids and grandkids as possible. Realizing that you are beginning the last third of your life makes you want to try that much harder to be the best version of yourself you can be; and to right as many wrongs as you can. It’s the people and relationships that matter most now. (*For the record, all of these things have always been important, but when you’re 30, you think you’ve got lots of time to work it out. Statistically, at 60 you’ve already lived more years than you’ve got left.)
The best gift we can give one another at this age — is TIME. TIME to turn the TV off and actually talk about our day. TIME to offer encouragement to one another and to others who are struggling with life challenges. TIME to visit someone who is lonely. TIME to hang out with our kids for a game night or movie night. TIME to invite friends and family over to share a meal. TIME to watch the grandkids at their swim meet, baseball game or dance recital. TIME to visit an aging parent and glean all that you can from them before they are gone. TIME to say “I’m sorry” and move past old hurts. TIME to thank the Lord for life’s blessings. TIME to say “I love you” to loved ones as much as you possibly can.
There are a million other things we could and should be doing with our TIME – besides just wasting TIME or killing TIME. We cannot borrow TIME. Once you spend it – it’s gone and you can never get it back. If the last 30 years is any indication of how quickly TIME passes, it’s likely only going to speed up from here on out.
Each day is a gift. No one knows how much TIME they have left. Are you living on borrowed TIME? TIME is of the essence, so make TIME for loved ones in a TIMELY fashion before your TIME runs out.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time for war and a time for peace.
a time to love and a time to hate,
Blessings in Christ … and as always … happy reading!