NORMAN — This week’s little tidbit about me is that I turned another year older last week.
It wasn’t that hard to face the reality that another year of my life is over, but still birthdays always make me reflect back on the last year. I might not have received everything I wanted last year, but I survived. And, as I always say, turning another year older is better than the alternative.
I remember when I was a pre-teen sitting in my Kansas bedroom with a calculator doing the math on what year I’d be what age. Back then, the year 2000 seemed like the Jetson era. Not that I figured we’d all be riding around in flying cars or having robot maids named Rosie, although I did secretly wish for all of that.
As an 11-year-old, I also couldn’t imagine being close to 40. But, here I am and even now, it doesn’t seem like it’s possible. The years have a way of slipping by you. Even though some of them were rough, it still seems like life is short. Of course, some of these cold mornings I feel older than I really am. Bones pop. Muscles ache. My vision isn’t what it used to be either. My hair turns gray a lot quicker. And losing a pound or two is a lot harder than it was 20 years ago.
But most days I live by the little piece of advice I received from my Great-aunt Thelma, who lived well into her 90s. She said, “Age is a mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I think she told me that when she was in her 80s and I was just lamenting the thought of turning the ripe old age of 25. I remember thinking then that her words of encouragement were funny and sweet. She never acted a day over 50 herself, even near the end of her life.
It might take me a little longer to climb the stairs at work and I can’t stay out late any more either. A few weeks ago I was bragging to all of my friends and family that I stayed out until 10. That’s p.m. And here I thought the week before that staying out until 7 p.m. was a big deal.
I’m hoping to see another birthday and I’m hoping to live until I’m old enough to accomplish jumping out of an airplane. That’s how my Aunt Dorothy celebrated her 80th birthday. And, yes she did it willingly. Because age truly is a mind over matter.