I’ll be 44 in a couple of weeks, and I wonder how I got to middle age so quickly. Last night at my son’s orchestra recital, my sister and I ran into an older couple we had known in California when we were kids. They must have been in their early forties when we met them, but here they were white-haired and looking rather frail last night. Brother Smith, who was the Young Men’s president, used to have one of those two-cylinder Honda cars they used to make in the 70s, and as a joke, the young men of our ward used to pick it up and hide it in places like the gym. I don’t think he appreciated that much. Back then he was dark haired and full of energy. Last night he looked a bit worn-out.
My sister and I introduced ourselves, as they clearly hadn’t recognized us. At my parents’ house last week, my sister showed me a picture of her in a BYU engineering brochure (she’s on the faculty), and she looks really great. She’s two years older than I am, and she’s in terrific shape, being an avid jogger. Likewise, my wife never seems to get any older. She has no gray hair whatsoever.
My hair is steadily growing grayer, and my uncle recently took one look at me and said, “Who would have thought I’d live to see John with gray hair?”
But I feel pretty good for someone with two kids in college. Other than my continuing battle with depression, I don’t have any noticeable health problems (of course, now that I’ve said that, something is bound to appear). And with the medication I take for the depression, I feel more energetic and even-keeled than I ever have. Come to think of it, the Seroquel is a little yellow pill, so maybe Mick was onto something.
This should be a time when I’m facing my own mortality. Paul wrote that “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” I’m not miserable, even if it turns out that this life is all there is. I would like to believe that there is a God out there who has a plan for us, and maybe someday I’ll figure out how to approach Him, but for now, I’m enjoying this life. I haven’t lost myself in “riotous living” or found myself in despair at the lack of hope in an afterlife. I’m good for now.
My wife’s sister told her the other day that the best time of life is in your mid-fifties because you’re just kind of comfortable with where you are. Maybe I’m mentally and emotionally in the fifties because that’s how I feel.
It’s not bad getting old.