When I was in my mid-30s I played soccer for an adult recreational team. Like a few other sports, I am a little better than average but what I lack in skill, I make up for by being a pest on defense. In one particular game, I was being aggressive on defense which turned out to really tick off an opposing player. In his frustration, he asked loudly, “Aren’t you, like, 50??”
This made me laugh. He was probably mid to late 20s, so I took it as a compliment that I was able to hang with him.
Fast forward about 6 years and it happened again, but this time on the softball field. A player on the other team, who is known for talking trash (even his team admits he’s not very likable), was yapping his mouth and I wasn’t able to have enough self-control to keep my mouth shut. So as we’re going back and forth, he says something to the affect of, “How does it feel to be 55 and the oldest player on your team?”
I’m sensing a trend here, and honestly I’ve known it was an issue for awhile– I get too competitive and this drive to be the best and/or win makes me do things and say things I probably shouldn’t. This guy’s words didn’t hurt in the moment.
But as I drove home after the game, I began to have a pity party for myself. His comments sent me down a road of doubt, low self-esteem, and embarrassment. I thought about things I haven’t accomplished, failures of things I’ve tried, and all sorts of negative thoughts. That lasted for about an hour.
Then it dawned on me. An epiphany, if you will.
I LOVE how old I am (I’m 42, by the way)! Would I go back to my 30s if I had the chance? Very, very doubtful. How about 20s? Hecccckkkk no. I was born at the perfect time for my life to exist, and I’m so happy with what I’ve experienced in my 42 years of living. A friend recently posted a quote on social media, and it really struck a chord. It said…
Never regret growing older, it’s a privilege denied to many.
I love that. So even though I let that one person’s comments get me down for a short time, I’m glad to be reminded that life is good. Life is a gift. Through experience, mistakes, successes, ups, downs, joys, sorrows, through all of what life has brought my way over the years, I can appreciate where I am now. Think about a roller coaster. The first couple of decades as an adult are like the coaster being dragged up that first steep incline. You know good things are all around but it can be a struggle. Then you get to the top and, well, just hold on tight! Fun times ahead. But you don’t get the thrill without climbing the hill.
Undoubtedly the ups and downs of life will continue. I guess it will be that way until I go meet the great Spirit in the Sky, but I hope that young whipper snapper from the softball field gets to be 42… and 55. What a privilege!
Thanks for stopping by!
-Out of the Wilderness