Someday, I look forward to rocking polyester pants with plaid shirts and suspenders. The belly will hang over my belt line, and I won’t wear shoes. My days will be filled with sitting out on the stoop and yelling at kids to stay off the *#$%@ grass. To keep this hobby from becoming monotonous, I’ll break the time up with naps. I’ll be old and retired, and it’ll be glorious. That’s not for a while though, since I’m only 24 right now, but one can dream about it, right? I’m curious to know what it will be like when I’m old enough to be old, because people are getting younger every day now, which makes no sense!
I’m hearing that thirty is the new twenty; that not only are people marrying later than they used to, they’re (obviously) having kids later, and doing things like getting a career going before they tie the knot, buy a house, all that lovely stuff that we associate with the American dream. In essence, people are also playing longer than they used to. I have to admit that this trend is a bit of a quandary to me. I guess I see it in other people, but not necessarily myself. I’m already old-not that I’ve accomplished any of that, I just act old.
Please don’t confuse premature aging with anything like maturity or wisdom, some of the most inane people I know are old, in spite of the years’ attempts to bring them to some level of respectability. Understand then, that I’m not calling myself mature, simply old. I’ve felt this for a while, and recently had it confirmed. The man who offered to pray for me to get a wife insisted that I get an older lady because I’m an “old soul.” I think that reference originated from some person who believed in reincarnation…sucks to be them, but I didn’t argue with the point.
Some people have to become responsible faster than others, circumstances demand it. I think that such was the case with me.
My mom worked graveyard for about six or seven years of my life. At first, I hated it because I’d be left home with my sister and we’d make dinner, do our homework, and wait for my dad to get home. Sometimes it was a long wait. Sometimes he’d come stumbling in and just pass out in the first place that he landed. Other times, he’d come home and get us, and we’d go over to different friends’ houses while any number of things happened. If we didn’t go out, he had people over. My dad is a social butterfly and a big kid, too. His partying got to the point where my sister and I consistently had to babysit him to make sure that he either didn’t drive drunk or hurt himself. Normally, this had been my mom’s job. Later on, this became my time to party, as soon as he was out with friends or asleep somewhere… but that’s not important now.
I think it was during that time that I became old. I laughed when I wrote that, so no sympathy, please. It’s just been becoming increasingly clear that sometimes, I’m not a lot of fun and I act like I’m in my fifties. Camp was a great example. I was the only cabin leader to have my boys inside and in bed by lights out every night. I genuinely wanted to sleep! Other cabins were doing “initiations”, parties, and the like, but not mine! I felt so bad for my joy-starved guys that the last night, I let them run amuck while I crashed early. They needed it!
This whole not being any fun has been an indicator that I’m old. Hanging out to me, is really just that… hanging out. I’m totally down to go do something fun, but don’t count on me to think of it. I just don’t have creative ideas for anything incredibly memorable to do! How unfortunate.
First Timothy 4:12 tells us not to allow anyone to despise our youth, which I take to mean that we should be fun, but not idiots. Especially if we lead people, not allowing folly to make a mess of things that carry even the slightest weight with others. Then they won’t think that we’re not ready to lead or work toward certain objectives and goals because we’re stupid, and associate that with our lack of age. We can accomplish so much in our youth because we don’t have certain ties or obligations, and really, young people are simply amazing. If you’re old, you should be jealous of us because we rock, even if we are too old for our age and have a slight complex about it right now.