My wife recently celebrated a big milestone birthday. Leading up to the big day, I noticed that she was feeling a bit self-aware about the milestone. The usual stuff, everyone complains about getting older:
- She woke up one day worrying that the pain in her knee had gotten worse because she was a year older.
- Another day she joked that over night her hair had gotten grayer.
To help celebrate the big day, I set up a small surprise party with a few friends and family members. I also tried to cheer her up on the day itself with a card and a few presents.
To me she looks as beautiful today as she did the day we met so many years ago. (Scratch that, she looks prettier.) The funny thing is that I celebrate the same birthday later this year and have had the same crazy thoughts about getting older.
I get up on the wrong side of the bed and instantly blame the gathering years. It doesn’t matter that I spent an extra 30 minutes at the gym the previous day and having slowly been increasing my mileage on the roads. In my mind, I’m falling behind to the “younger me.”
Why, why, why
While I’ve been cheerful about her birthday, I’ve been mildly upset about my own. I haven’t gone out and blown our savings on a flashy new sportcar, but I can’t say that the idea hasn’t crossed my mind. I would look pretty good sitting behind the wheel of a vintage Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Corvette or even a Porsche 911.
In the end, though, I question: Why do we do these crazy things to ourselves? The answer comes quickly: We lack perspective.
Missing the easy answer
We lose perspective when we focus close-up on our own lives. We see everything we’re missing out on or have lost, instead of focusing on everything we’ve been blessed with and have gained over the years.
The challenge now for me (and my wife) is to tell Father Time to back-off and be happy with who we are and where we are in life. In other words, we need act our age, as in act the age we really feel and not the one others tell us we should be.
In short, Hello Birthday! It’s time to party.