Tag Archives: aging
On Sunday I turned 50.
There wasn’t too much fanfare, especially since my wife was still in the hospital that morning. However, I did get a nice card from my church and a wonderful church-lady-prepared dinner afterwards. Later that night I also got a free meal at a local restaurant, along with a unique gift sure to set me apart from the locals this winter – a set of Nordic woolen underwear (literally from Norway, not the restaurant).
Today I turned 50+2, but that’s the end of looking at it that way. Today I’m letting the whole world know I am not 50 years old – I’m 25, and less.
Seriously, I am a 25-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old’s body.
Forget what the numbers add up to when you look at my government-issued driver’s license (for which I’ve just gone through a roll-full of red tape to renew)- I’m 25, so just affirm it.
You see, even though this body of mine looks like a handsome, graying, bald man, I’m really a young man with healthy joints trapped inside. Unfortunately, no age-reversing creams or surgeries can help me look like what I really am, so you are going to have to accept me for who I choose to be – young and millennial.
But there’s more!
Even though I am only 25, there’s another me that’s trapped inside the 25-year-old me… it’s the fluid-aged me.
(Yes, I know it’s complicated, but there has to be boundaries, you understand. I can’t keep my job as a school bus driver in Tennessee if my true self fluctuates below the legal bus-driving age of 25.)
This other me (and what’s wrong with more than one?) can get down on the floor and play with blocks, color with crayons, play with Silly Putty, and throw food at people when they aren’t looking. It’s the same me inside of me that tends to make strange noises with my body and blame it on spiders; or make other kids laugh and get in trouble with their teachers, but never own up to causing it.
The me inside of the 25-year-old me varies from age to age, but that’s typically based on which toy aisle I’m visiting.
So, again, I’m no longer going to simply identify as a 50-year-old man, but a bi-personage with both fixed and fluid younger ages. Those of you who rate life and health insurance should take note and lower said rates accordingly.
However, should the military draft ever be re-instated, and should the 25-year-old me receive a letter, just understand that you might be putting an AR-15 in the hands of an 8-year-old, also.
Being 50 on the outside does have some advantages, I suppose.
Today is my wife’s 50th birthday! Yes, she is 50, and I don’t care to tell people about it.
Does she care? I don’t think so. Why? Because she is the type that constantly quotes the words of Paul to the Thessalonians…she even concludes her emails with these verses:
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
So, Happy Birthday to Valerie (because she was born so close to Valentine’s Day), the greatest Valentine a man could have ever received!
“Happy birthday, you’re so nifty, even if you’re hitting fifty! / Valerie, my Valentine, I’m so very glad you’re mine!”
Cheesy poetry is better than no poetry, right?
Last year for my birthday our foreign exchange student from South Korea took it upon herself to make me a present. Because of the resemblance between my bald head and a potato, she hand-crafted a Mr. Potato Head from a REAL potato.
Because I am a sentimental kind of guy, I hate getting rid of gifts, especially the hand-made kind. Therefore, even though the birthday gift was made from a potato, I just couldn’t toss it; I let it lie on my computer desk on top of some CD cases.
A few months later I took the following picture.
People never thought a potato would simply age without rotting, but mine did. And not only did it age without stinking, it did something I have not been able to accomplish with age…
Spud Mirroring Life
Is it “life mirrors fiction,” or “fiction mirrors life”? I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that potatoes evidently mirror my life.
As potatoes age they grow hair, but the hair seems to come out of places other than just the scalp. That’s a lot like real life…like my life. Between my nose and ears I could replace what disappeared from up top.
Another way the aging potato mirrors real life is in the way it shrinks. Even though the mid-section around us guys may increase, over time we all shrivel up into the wrinkled raisin-like reflection of what we used to be.
Aging is not always a pretty thing to watch, but it is something that is happening all the time. We start off young, but we get old. We start off with a whole life ahead of us, then we find ourselves contemplating the look of our tombstones. For some it only takes a short time, like with Mr. Potato; for others it takes multiple decades.
The results are always the same…we wither and fade away.
For all flesh is as grass [or potatoes], and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: – 1Peter 1:24
But there is hope!
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. – 1 Peter 1:25
Now, do I bury the poor tater? Or hold on to him another year? You tell me.
I don’t know what it is about Monday mornings and the questions kids want to ask while I am driving. Something must happen over the weekends which cause children to seek wise counsel from the school bus driver.
One question I got the other day was just too big for me. I mean, seriously, I laughed, shook my head, and ignored the kindergartner. He asked, “Mr. Baker, why is the world so big?” If I had answered truthfully and said, “Because that’s the way God made it,” then I would have been fired. So, since I couldn’t think of anything overly stupid with which to respond, I stayed silent.
However, this morning, there was a question I had to answer. This morning a young girl got on the bus and asked, “Mr. Baker, do you know the secret to living a long life?” “Well, there are several secrets, but what’t the one you know?”
“Play the harmonica,” she replied.
“Play the harmonica?”
“Yes,” she said matter-of-factly. “Because playing the harmonica will help your lungs, and strong lungs will help you live longer.”
“Is that so?” I asked. “Yep,” answered the little girl.
“Well,” I replied, “my daddy played the harmonica, and he’s dead.”
OK, so I’ve never been convicted for the over use of tact. Sometimes I am too brutally honest for my own good (so my wife says). Other times, however, I can be sweet and compassionate – just not this morning, evidently.
Anyway, this morning’s question got me to thinking. Could I come up with some secrets for living a long life?
10 Secrets to Living a Long Life (by someone who hasn’t yet died):
- Never pull the trigger when it’s pointed at you.
- Never smoke more than 3 cigars in an hour.
- Never jump from a moving vehicle if it’s moving through the air.
- Never corner a rock badger.
- Drink at least 3 glasses of something a week.
- Eat food.
- Don’t drive drunk, or with a teenage girl with directional issues.
- Breath regularly, except in the tourist’s bathroom at the Bush’s Baked Bean factory.
- Hide all sharp objects, scissors, and ammunition before going to bed with an angry wife.
- Drink excessive amounts of coffee.
Now that you have my secrets for living a long, not necessarily healthy, life, what does the Bible say about long life? What kind of “secrets” can we find hidden in that wonderful book of Wisdom?
5 Biblical Secrets to Long Life
- Obey and honor your parents (Deut. 5:16; Eph. 6:1-3).
- Don’t mess around with another person’s spouse (Prov. 6:29-35).
- “Keep my commandments, and live…” (Prov. 7:2).
- “Forsake the foolish, and live…” (Prov. 9:6).
- Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – that’s the secret to ETERNAL life (John 3:15-16; 10:28; Rom. 6:23).
So, what are your secrets to living a long life? Do you have any more to share with us? Leave them in the comment section so we can all learn to live a little longer 😉
Only 6 Months
It’s June. He’s only six years old. He’s just seen a commercial for the coolest, most awesome toy ever created by man. The problem is that Christmas is still 6 months away.
Little Billy (it’s always Billy, isn’t it?) asked, no pleaded with his mom and dad to immediately go to the toy store. He HAD to have it. But mom and dad, with words that bring tears to any kid’s eyes, calmly, cruelly said, “You’ll have to wait till Christmas.”
“What? NOOOO!” cried Billy. And so, in response to his anguish, what words did his dad choose to comfort poor Billy? “Now son, Christmas is only 6 months away.” Again, Billy cries out “NOOOO!”
What is Billy’s problem? To a child looking forward to the best day of the year, the day when his dreams will come true, six months seems like an eternity! Every day will pass by like snails on Valium.
Only 6 Months?
He’s only 60 years old. There are so many things he’d like to have done, but time just slipped away. Now it seems like ever moment is picking up the pace. Time is flying by and he is scared.
Not long ago Bill went in for some tests, only to get a call from the doctor the next day. There were some results which needed to be talked about in person, so William was asked to come back into the office. With a sullen look, the oncologist said, “William, you’ve only got about 6 months to live.” Only 6 months?
Want to Slow Down Time?
For Billy, 6 months is an eternity. Nothing he can do will make time go by any quicker. It will seem like forever until Christmas.
For William, 6 months will seem like a blink of an eye. There will be nothing he can do to slow down the clock. Eternity will come knocking at his door.
How could William, then, become more like Billy? What would make William’s time seem like an eternity here on earth? The answer could be found in the truth of Colossians 3:2…”Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Oh, that our hearts could long for heaven the way we long for earthly pleasures! As a child longs for Christmas, why can’t we long for that celestial homecoming? The day that we set our affections on things above will be the day time down here slows down.
Need More Time?
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Watch the sands in your hour-glass multiply as you “look forward to a city whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
Wouldn’t it be great if we could look toward the end of our lives with the same expectation of a child longing for Christmas?