Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grateful for the passage of time

I'm 53 years old. Who would ever have thought I'd be this OLD! That's the thing about getting older and the passage of time, it just creeps up, and suddenly I'm definitely no longer young. I have certainly felt old during Lent this year...every week I've been working my rear end off, 15 hour days, trying to get done everything I set out for myself to do. I'm SO glad it's over. Next week I can look forward to getting back to my normal routine and not coming home exhausted. Seriously, tonight I came in and could barely walk to the bedroom, my feet were hurting so badly. (The good thing about that, though, is that David felt sorry for me and gave me a foot rub!)

Time just passes so quickly.

I remember my mother reflecting on this once--when she was in her late 50's or early 60s, probably. She said she still felt she was the same person she was in her twenties. I guess she meant that her sense of self had not changed.

I know I'm the same person, too, and yet I think back and realize how drastically different I am from the person I was in my twenties. So many situations ~ life itself ~ frightened me. I lived in an almost constant state of fear, but I didn't realize it until years later.

Fear and unhappiness. I'm pretty sure I was clinically depresssed as a teenager.

I had my little areas of competence, areas where I felt confident. That allowed me to get hired at a company that paid me extremely well when I was only 25. And I always did well at my work. But even there, I was so afraid. My performance reviews were always excellent, which meant after a while that I was asked to be on special task forces appointed by people way above my boss. There I was out of my element and always felt I wasn't up to par. So full of self-doubt, second guessing myself, beating myself up, unable to find my voice (any voice, oftentimes). When I think about the level of underlying stress...Yikes. How did I survive?

For some reason, I sought help. Not until my father died ~ that was the trigger-enough for me to see a counselor for the first time. I was 31 then. Around the same time I joined a church for the first time, too, and I began to really find glimpses of a truly meaningful life.

Through those twin portals, therapy and spirituality, I slowly found the courage within me (the courage we all have, I believe). Over time, with that courage, I began to face those ubiquitous fears. Years and years. Mountains and valleys. And even HUGE leaps of faith.

At 53 I can look back now and be so very grateful for the passage of time.

Wonder who I'll be at 73? :-)

10 comments:

steve said...

A lovely reflection, Katherine. I find it so easy to equate aging with decline, with death. I love your take on it -- aging as growth, as becoming. Peace, my friend.

Ava Nell said...

I too am grateful for the passage of time for I have grown and changed much from what I was when I was chronologically younger. Now at age 52 I am a much younger spirit than I was at 22. And I'm looking forward to "youngering" more. How young will my spirit be at age 72? Can't wait to see!

Mary Beth said...

I like this so much! I find that so far, every year is the best one yet. But the tired...I get you.

Purple said...

At 73 you will be

--even deeper
--more authentic
--and more "real"

I resonate with taking the step to do serious self-reflection. I wish I had started earlier than I did...but grateful for where I am today...knowing that each level of growth has its own twists and turns.

CR said...

Good to see you've come to a time of peace in your life. Peace to you.

Jan said...

I always like what you write, Katherine. I'm 58, turning 59 this year, and I am glad. Life keeps getting better, and God keeps growing me into myself.

RJ said...

well happy birthday and blessings in abundance! I know what you mean about not feeling old - but knowing you've changed - with a body that gets waaay too tired out, too. it was my sister's death that pushed me into my self - after lots of therapy and prayer - and now I have a new life that is much richer and more real than ever before... but man my 40s were a bitch! At 56... moving to 57 I get some of what you are saying and I am grateful you are saying it. Thanks.

Karen said...

Don't underestimate the person you were in your 20's. You were someone that I looked up to, respected, considered a mentor. I loved that person and called her my friend so she had to have been very special.

Katherine E. said...

Thank you all for your comments. I'm grateful.
Karen, your words brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing it is to have longterm friends who can bear witness to who we are/were. Thank you so very much.

viagra online said...

I'm only 33 years old, I still feel like I'm 20, at what age is that one can actually feel the years punching the body, because I still play a lot of soccer, tennis, basket ball with the same intensity of 14 years ago.