The Gifts of Age.

We all know the gift of age is wisdom, right? Experience. Hard-taught and -learned lessons that have challenged us, shaped us, maybe even removed a few of the stars from our eyes. (But to have one’s current wisdom with the body of a 20-year-old… The energy! No aches! Ah, the mind boggles…)

This weekend, 40 finally found me. She’d been looking for me for a while, and I’d been semi-dreading it since turning 25, when the existential crisis hit me hard. What, I wondered then, will 40 be like if I have this many questions at 25?

What I found to be good news is that 40 can be easier than 25 if your head’s in the right place:

Are you grateful for the loves in your life, your professional blessings, your creature comforts?

Isn’t hitting a new decade better than never seeing another birthday?

Honestly, I wouldn’t trade my slightly-wrinkled, tired-but-wiser 40 for a shiny, fresh-faced, innocent 18. Not for anything. I wouldn’t want to have to grow up again; to go through the challenges of young adulthood. (Yes, I’d have made a few different decisions, but life is a journey, right? I don’t know the destination just yet but I have a feeling it will make more sense at the end.)

We can grow wiser without growing painfully old. If we pay attention to things like our stress levels, our sleeping patterns, what we’re putting into our mouths, our daily activity levels, our joints don’t have to ache. We don’t have to look as old as, or older than, our true physical years.

Some things remain eternal, though: Let me be the first to admit that there are days I still want to holler at those damned kids to get off my lawn.

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