This time of year is a busy one at our house. For years it was, of course, back to school. Just like millions of families, it is time to get back on the bus to school and regular schedule. But as it happens, time marches on. We no longer have kids running out to get school supplies. No fall boots to buy, no lunch bags to grab, backpacks are just for fun now, so that means we get to focus on other things.
It’s funny how things change.
Some days I really miss the chaos of getting three kids out the door to school. There was comfort in knowing the routine. The kids knew what was expected of them and they knew what to expect from us. The morning routines were crazy but expected. We all knew our jobs and we all knew what the day was going to start like. The end of the school day was always different. With multiple activities from everyone in the house, I had one of those crazy big calendars on the fridge and the saying was “if it wasn’t in the calendar, it didn’t exist”.
Yup, times have changed so much.
When we started out with our little family, we thought we knew what it would look like. Boy, did we have no idea. There is no way on earth that I would or could have expected my world to look like it does. But that is life. If all of life was predicted and expected, it would be so amazingly boring.
Now, two of our three kids live in their own homes. Now, if we want chaos, we just invite them all home. And that is when I remember that sound and kind of miss it.
Life is supposed to change. We are supposed to learn to adapt to the new. We are not supposed to get so comfortable in our own world that we start to become part of the furniture. Change is actually the only constant you can depend on.
Like the fact that it was just Doug’s birthday. Cake, candles, presents, special dinner, you know, birthday stuff. But now the birthdays are so different. For one thing, we have a grandson and within the month we will have another grandbaby. I am so amazingly excited. Talk about change. The noise is no longer the adult kids as much as it is all of us playing with the toddler in the room.
The other thing that is funny this year is that Doug is actually excited about this birthday. He is 55 years young. Some birthdays are lots of fun. Some are supposed to be a party, like every birthday that ends in a 0…30,40, 50. Some birthdays are a little harder to handle like …30,40,50. We, tend to put a whole lot of importance on that all-important number. How old you are has less to do with the number and more to do with how old you feel. But, Doug has had fun with 55. In some places, he now receives a seniors discount. Oh man!
The funny thing about the discount is that I doubt he will ever ask for it. Just because he is old enough to get it, he still has to ask for it. Like most things that we are entitled to, you still may have to ask for it.
The best part of this 55 age thing is that we are both so much healthier than we were most of the rest of our lives. Since finding the gym and losing the bulk of our extra weight, we are in much better shape than we have been in most of our adult lives. Had we been this healthy while our kids were young and doing that back to school routine, our world would have looked so different.
So, we look back at all the things we could have, would have, should have and realize that we still can. Sure things have changed and we are not kids in our 20’s anymore, but we are now in the place where we will embrace that change and run with it. We are celebrating the fact that Doug may be the oldest guy in our gym. Without asking, it is a little hard to know for sure. We may not be the fastest, strongest, most agile, compared to the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s that train alongside us. But we are there doing it instead of living with the regret of giving up.
Embrace change. Learn to love it. Or at least learn to accept it. Change is a good thing. Do all you can to never stop changing.
Happy Birthday, Doug!
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. – Carol Burnett