"When you are older you will know that life is a long lesson in humility."
"When you are older you will know that life is a long lesson in humility" James M. Barrie, The Little Minister Here I sit, the other side of thirty-five, and I'm flummoxed. When I decided to write this blog, I jokingly said to some friends it would be the blog that capitalized on "I'm now the age where I thought I'd have all my shit together, but I don't." Fortunately, the tables of that idea have turned. Turns out, I do. Not in the idea of perfection, but in the idea of I'm where I want to be working towards doing the things I want to do.
Seriously - cutest kid ever!
This all washed over me this morning while I sat outside on my very nice patio having breakfast with my son. He is eight years old and the light of my life. We shared light conversation about the aerodynamics of styrofoam airplanes, why birds insist on trying to nest in the grill, whether or not the pool will ever be clear this season, why he had to go to school tomorrow (I have this same question myself), do all bees sting, will my Tervis cup always leak out the top (only when you spill it...), does Mickie put everything in her mouth, maybe birds are smarter than people - maybe they fly up under the grill cover (hard to argue with - the smarter than people part, that is), and when does my new allowance start - do I have do my chores today (yes, of course). These questions were the innocent musings of a child and I drank them in, like some sort of kid-fix candy crack. I love him so much. And it was in that moment that I asked myself, "Why in the world did I care about turning 36 years old?" I am not old. I don't think I look old. I'm happily married, have a beautiful child, a family that loves me (in-house and extended), and great friends. There is no reason in the world to care about aging. While I feel like there are times that I'm not doing what I want to do - we've all read about my sagas with teaching this year - I'm working on it. I'm writing a novel for the first time in my life, really writing it and it is slow going. So slow! Molasses in winter from Canada drips faster than the writing process, but I don't want to stop. I'm 36 and I still have goals to accomplish, mountains to climb and I'm happy about this. I'd hate to think what life would be like if everything was done by my age; how boring. I am humble about these adventures, too. When younger I attacked everything with the certainty that I would be right, that I would win, that I was the best. With age comes humility, positive humility. The maturity to understand that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to do things worth doing and approaching with confidence is great, but not with arrogance. The older I get, the less arrogant I become. It seems like a backwards trend, as you age don't you get better? Not exactly. Humility is your friend, my friend. I did give a quick shout-out to people my age, though, for some sage wisdom or advice to our younger peeps. I was a bit disappointed in the response, very few replied. I'm not sure if it's a matter of time, a matter of not wanting to, or a matter of not really having any advice to give because they are possibly still trying to become the person they want to be, but for whatever reason, the response was low. However, a few gems did work their way to me and I'd like to share them with you (some of these people I've known so long I can't remember when I didn't know them):
Happiness comes from within - Shawn Galarza (class of '94)
The people in high school will not matter much in 10 years, so don't give a shit what they think. And - remember, you ARE beautiful! - Jolene (Rogers) Kokemoor (class of '94)
How shocking when we find out that our parents WERE right? Also, the best trait you could ever have is to be reliable: that trait covers so much; timeliness, work ethic, responsibility, etc... - Katie (Howell) Wallace
Drink it all in...when I started out of the gate at 18, I was on fire and thought I had so little time to accomplish all I wanted to do. [Not true...] There is time, enjoy it ALL. The good with the bad. Knowing dark times makes you truly appreciate the [other side]. - Lisa Casey
Be a good friend - someone people can depend on. Always remember to go out of your way to make someone's day - you never know whose life you might change and who is watching. And last but not least, some advice from country music: "Be a best friend, tell the truth and overuse "I love you". Go to work, do your best and don't outsmart your common sense. Don't let your praying knees get lazy and love like crazy..." - Emily (Boyd) Bustos (class of '94)
My biggest things are these: Don't talk about what you are going to do - go out there and do it, THEN talk about what you've DONE and remember, all you've got in this world in your word. Honesty trumps EVERYTHING. When you die, people will only remember you for your word. - Brandon Gray (class of '94)
Things I know to be true: 1) Always smile because your smile lights up the room. 2) Learning is life long - never stop and never deny it when its tough or it hurts. 3) How you do your job (good or bad) is your signature on someone else. You will make a lasting impression on everyone - for better or worse. 4) Never be afraid to speak up, love with all your heart, and be a friend at all times - even when they aren't for you. Deedee Ramon (class of '94)
Great advice - no questions asked! So, I'm done moping about being on the other side of 35, age is just a number and it will continue to increase - in all honesty, that is what we hope it does! Some funny thoughts to leave you with (because as I age my sense of humor becomes more and more outrageous):
Because I can...
Should be posted on the wall in every high school classroom