May 10, 2007

Old & Wise: The Wise Part

They say that 40 is the new 30. How do I get in on that deal?

Why is it that since I turned 40, I feel 40?

This isn’t supposed to happen to me.

It would be very easy to blab on and on about the unfortunate down side of middle-age, but no worries. I’m not going there.

I’ve been thinking lately about the latter part of the phrase “Old and Wise”. I think part of gaining wisdom in age is simply the process of learning and coming to terms with who I am, exactly how God made me, what I’m particularly good at, and what I’m not-so-good at. And then (here’s the hard part) allowing myself to be absolutely fine with all of these things.

There is no doubt in my mind that many people never get to “feeling fine” about these things.

At 41, I’m really beginning to enjoy the peace that comes with “feeling fine” about some of the things I’m not-so-good at. For example:

  1. For whatever reason, I can’t spell the word “exercise”. And when I try to spell the word “specialty”, every single time I add an “i” near the end making it “speciality“. I think this latter defect has something to do with a fetish for Wallace and Grommit (“Windows are our speciality!” — did anyone get that?)
  2. For the life of me, I cannot easily open anything with a wrapper. Seriously. If it has a wrapper on it, don’t ask me to open it.
  3. If someone gives me a sticker, I either stick it on something immediately or hold on to it for years until I eventually do stick it somewhere. I have stickers people gave me 6 years ago and I can’t throw them away.
  4. Everything about my manhood does not want to tap my toe to The Dixie Chicks, but I must tap my toe and like pretty much anything The Dixie Chicks have ever recorded. (Note: Just like adding Hanson to my Top Musical Finds post, I realize I may lose friends over admitting to this …. and I’m ok with that too … you losers!)
  5. It’s becoming more and more possible every day that when I walk into a room to get something, once there I’ll have no idea what I’m there for. It’s getting so bad that sometimes when I finally remember and return to the room, I’ll do it again!
  6. I have to be careful not to shun people who put anything into a cup of black coffee. The good and evil battle in my head….”It’s ok if they like it that way”……”No! It’s just not right!”……”At least they are drinking coffee”……..”Blasphemy!”……Etc.
  7. For as good as I’ve become at Manic Multitasking Mode, which I do every day, I don’t know when to stop. No wonder I’m constantly “mind tired” and haven’t had a quality night of sleep in the last 15 years. I truly believe that the female brain is hard wired to support Manic Multitasking Mode. See what’s wrong with this picture?
  8. I’ve never been good at conforming to anyone or anything. This has been a major hurdle in my social and spiritual life.

A few of these things are quirky, simple things that few people would stress or be uptight about. But, I’ve still enjoyed getting old enough to be ok with them. And I’ll never sit in therapy over my unexplained affection for stickers.

Of course there are other, more substantive things like #8 above that I realize I certainly should not laugh off. These are the tougher things to come to terms with and I hope to make some strides this year on figuring out if I really want to make the effort to change them.

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May 10, 2007



Comments (8)

  • dorsey May 11, 2007 

    Y’know, Doug, for me, 30 was a minor crisis (I really mourned the passing of my 20s), but when I turned 40, I really felt like I was starting to hit my stride. Of course, a couple years later, my whole freaking life fell apart, but that’s another story.

    You seem to have hit on some pretty universal truths with your list:

    1. My trouble word is nessecary, neccesary, necessary (dammit!).

    2. Ditto on the wrappers, especialy DVDs and CDs. When I do get them off, I can’t get them off myself because of the static cling.

    3. The thing with a sticker is that you only have one shot at picking a spot for it, and you don’t want to waste it. So you set it aside, waiting for the perfect spot to present itself.

    4. I feel a little unpatriotic, but I’m with you.

    5. I blame my wife for this. The queen of efficiency, she cannot let me walk down the hall or to the basement empty-handed. “Don’t waste a step” is her motto. So I put away the item, then try to remember why I’m there. My buddy says I should beat her, but I can’t run fast.

    6. You don’t have to be nice to people who doctor their coffee. They’re going to hell, and you won’t have to see them.

    7. You’re on your own on this one. I do one thing at a time, unless you count thinking about a beer while I’m doing one thing at a time. I guess that’s multitasking.

    8. Refusing to conform is the reason my diploma does not say Evangel.

    Just like it says on the inside cover of your high school yearbook, “Don’t ever change, man!”

  • Ruby May 11, 2007 

    Hey Doug… Just WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE IN YOUR SEVENTIES!! but… now THEY ARE SAYING THAT “70” IS THE “NEW” 40 !!! NO WAY…. I beg to differ with them… but for one comment… you may feel 40 in your mind… BUT in your BODY is another issue!!

    Oh yes.. my word is evidently…. I always want to spell it evidentally….why? Don’t know.. just a quirk I guess!

    Love your pictures at the top… especially that handsome boy who owns that beautiful eye!

    Love your blog.. also enjoy reading the comments!

  • Ausbury May 11, 2007 

    How cool is it that my 70-something Mom knows how to leave a blog comment?

  • señor jefe May 15, 2007 

    I turn 40 in 2 months and I still feel every day of 37!

    The weird thing for me is that I’m still trying to figure out what I’m gonna be when I grow up.

    (Maybe a superhero… or radioactive!!)

  • Matt May 15, 2007 

    My Mom turned 70 last Friday and I’ll be 41 next month.

    When I called her to wish her Happy Birthday (and Mother’s Day), we ended up talking about becoming more wise with age. She said two interesting things: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (WOW – a mind bender). And, she said that as we grow older and closer to the Lord, we begin to think and talk like him.

    Have you ever heard yourself reason with your child? Have you ever marveled at the words coming from your own mouth?

    You’ll hear the Lord’s wisdom come out of your OWN mouth when your children ask for something they’re not ready to have. Think about that sentence.

    In ALL things, we give thanks . . . even a “NO”.

  • Dennis May 17, 2007 

    After reading Mom’s entry, I said, “Thank God, she is finally coming to accept and admire my handicap”. Then I looked at the picture she was referring to.

  • Ausbury May 19, 2007 

    Next time you come over Neno, I’ll get a picture of YOU behind some Pringles cans.

  • Jen Grant September 29, 2009 

    Its ‘definitly’ official. I want in the family.

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