By Sheila Arkee
Remember when you were a child and eagerly anticipated your upcoming birthday?
That was me, and then some. Yes, I was one of those kids who started a countdown four months leading up to my big day, making sure every single person around me knew that I was getting another year older, which most likely contributed to many grey hairs on my mother’s head.
It’s funny how life works, because I have just turned another year older and my only thoughts? Hmm, my birthday sure got here soon – how did that happen? And, how old am I anyways?
Last week I signed up for a social media service and was a little surprised when my profile displayed my new age – 34. All I can say is … really? How did that happen? There was a time when 16 seemed light years away, 18 a dream, and 21? Impossible.
Here I am. I am in my mid-30’s and the truth about this is simple. I have never been more content in my life.
Those pangs of anxiety that chased me through my 20’s, the running desire to gain life experience, to be able to fast forward through time, it’s transformed into a deeply satisfying feeling that I am right here, right now, and boy, does that sure feel good.
My five year old son is starting to understand the concept of aging, that we grow and change through time. He loves to look through some of his childhood photos, which I’ve haphazardly stuffed into the plastic sleeves of photo albums.
We often look back on our treasures together, our snapshots of how life was like in the past. There he is as a newborn baby, then a toddler, and now a big boy. Many of our photos are in the same locations, and it’s so incredible to see how we’ve both grown over the years.
See, there’s Mommy when she was a lot younger. I see a photo of my self as an eager 21 year old who was freshly graduated from college, ready to take on the world in my first big job. It would be easy to look at my other self with critical eyes – where did that metabolism go? That unlined forehead? But I look back with a smile, knowing in my heart that I wouldn’t trade age 34’s level of confidence for anything. Knowing that I am here, right now, and it is the best time.
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