I'm getting older. I'll spare you the list of the ways I am aging. It's just a reality. When I go places with my adult-size children, no one thinks we're siblings. I’m not even mistaken for a cool young aunt.
Nobody ever told me that I would still feel the same at 42 as I did at 18. Or perhaps they did and I wasn’t listening. Or maybe it’s just me. The physical changes greet me each time I look in the mirror, but I don’t feel different on the inside. I’m still shy. I’m horrible at small talk. I will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid a simple phone call. Shouldn’t I be different? Full of wisdom or something?
It’s easy to get bogged down in the bad ways I’m the same—the same faults and the same bad habits. Have I learned anything at all?
I’ve learned that time goes quickly. It frustrated me to hear this when my kids are little. Some days—like the days when all three were sick—seemed to drag. I’m now astonished, though, at how old my kids are. This makes me slightly better at treasuring the time with them.
I’ve learned that most of my worries were fruitless. I’ve done more than my fair share of worrying, and most of what I worried about never came to pass. And anything that did come to pass was not made easier due to prior worrying.
I’ve learned that everything looks better after a full nights sleep. Or a full stomach. In other words, my physical state often influences my emotions. I’ve always known this about toddlers, but it’s ridiculous how long it took me to realize it also applied to me. That problem that seems hopeless at midnight is not quite so daunting in the light of day.
I used to think that people woke up one day full of all the knowledge they needed to be adults. Now I know that it’s a gradual process. Time goes fast, but people change slowly.