Monday, August 22, 2011

35 for 35

I turn 35 years old on September 15. It's kind of a strange milestone because it's not one of the big birthdays (13, 16, 18, 21, 30, 40, etc.) but it does signify the start of my road to one of those big ones. On September 15 I'll officially be closer to 40 than I am to 30, which is a bit difficult to grasp. It's not that I'm scared of getting older - I actually enjoy it quite a bit - it's just hard to get my mind around the fact that I've been alive as long as I have.

So, in honor of this milestone-ish birthday I've got coming up, here's a list of my 35 favorite things about getting older:

1. Perspective - I get more of it with each passing year.
2. Relationships - As time goes on you find out which ones are for real and which aren't.
3. Being Married - So many reasons. One is comfort.
4. Being a Dad - Again, too many reasons to list.
5. Responsibility - It's only been in the last few years that I've started enjoying this part of getting older.
6. Memories - The older I get the more I cherish the events/places/people from the past.
7. Work - I've never been a workaholic, and am still not, but I do appreciate the value of working hard for something you really want.
8. Potential - Today's world doesn't expect too much out of older people, but there is so much potential in each person, no matter what age.
9. Dreams - I've accomplished a few and have plenty left to keep pushing for.
10. Confidence - I still have times of insecurity, but overall I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin.
11. Money & Toys - They're not nearly as important as they used to be.
12. Time - Even though it seems to speed up every year, I appreciate time with people more than ever.
13. Priorities - I think I'm beginning to understand what's really important in life.
14. Young People - I hope I never become a grumpy old man because young people have so much to offer and I always want to spend time with them.
15. Old People - One of the best quotes I ever read was something like, "Spend time every day with someone half your age and someone twice your age." Older people have so much wisdom.
16. Vacations - I've learned that we don't have to fly to a tropical resort to have a great family vacation. Simple times away can be as much fun as those big, expensive vacations!
17. Home - I cherish time at home. It refreshes me.
18. Quiet - I'm no expert at this, but I'm learning to enjoy silence and solitude.
19. Sports - As my physical abilities start to diminish, I appreciate all the more the ability to play sports.
20. Health - I'll never take for granted the gift of good health.
21. New Things - The older I get the more exciting it is to try new things.
22. Food - I like things I used to hate. I'm so thankful every time I eat a good burger.
23. My Wife - This is kind of like #3, but sharing life with my best friend is more enjoyable than I ever imagined it could be.
24. Jesus - He becomes more real every day. I see Him in my kids. I see Him in strangers. I feel Him in me.
25. Skills - The experiences I've had have left me with skills I didn't know I could have. That's kind of fun.
26. The Seasons - Every year brings them around and every year I like all 4 of them more and more (yes, even winter).
27. A Mission - I never really felt like I had a mission in life, but now I know for sure what my mission is!
28. Technology - Although I don't always adapt to it, I am constantly blown away by the advances in the world of technology. Again, I don't want to ever be the grumpy old guy who dismisses things because I don't understand them.
29. Art - It seems like every few weeks I discover art and creativity in something new. I believe we were all created to create.
30. Books - With age has come a hunger for the wisdom that only comes from reading books by people who are smarter than me!
31. Serving - In the last few years God has given me a desire to help others that I've never had before.
32. Naps - I don't get these very often, but when I do I am SOOOOOO thankful!
33. Love - Real, true love is maybe the most valuable thing in this world.
34. Laughter - Things are never bad enough that you can't make time to laugh. It makes all the bad stuff go away, even if just for a few moments.
35. Breathing - Every day that goes by, I am more and more thankful just to be alive and able to experience all the things on this list!

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