On Being 35 Years Old

20 Oct

Today, I turn 35 years old. When I was a boy, that seemed very old. Someday, I’m sure it will seem very young. But for now, it feels just right.

Over the past three Sundays, my kids and I have been watching home videos from years past. They get a kick out of seeing themselves as babies and toddlers. We just watched a video from 2004, way back when I was 30 years old. I haven’t changed much in those five years besides gaining and losing weight (and then gaining and losing it again a couple of times). However, my children have changed a lot. Check out these pictures:

Fall 2004

East Canyon 032

Gardner Village 009

Fall 2009

San Francisco Trip 014

9-9-09 0259-9-09 024

Aren’t they cute? My, how they’ve grown!

As I ponder my life, I really do feel 35 years old! I feel like a real adult. I have a wonderful wife who has stood by my side through a dozen years of marriage. I have  two boys, two girls, two cats, a dog, two green cars — a minivan and a Toyota Camry who, between them, have more than 400,000 miles on their odometers. I have owned my first house in Riverton since 2000.

I am the sole breadwinner for five people who depend on me for financial support, as well as emotional support, love, teaching, discipline, etc. I have served as a counselor in the bishopric of my ward for nearly three and a half years, and have had several other callings in the church that have given me great leadership experience and opportunities for service. From 2005 to 2007, I earned an MBA from the University of Utah, and last year I changed careers from marketing / corporate communications to business development / commercial lending.

Yes, I do indeed feel 35 years old. I continue to struggle keeping the weight off since my body thinks it needs the extra storage around the middle in preparation for winter/famine. I can’t stay awake during movies any more, and frequently fall asleep on the sofa around 10:00. I have to wear contact lenses or my vision is blurred. I listen to talk radio and NPR while driving instead of FM music stations, and I know more about popular music from the 90’s than the music from… whatever we’re calling the decade that we’re currently in.

I have a subscription to the Readers’ Digest and to the Deseret News, although I did allow my subscription to the National Geographic to expire. Once or twice I have worn dark socks with shorts, and I confess that I sometimes wear pajama pants and sweatshirts to the grocery store as I pick up my diet soda. I am physically able to grow a decent looking beard, though I seldom have the excuse to do so.

The previous paragraph perhaps makes me sound like I’m older than my 35 years. But 35 is still young. Thankfully, I don’t have much joint or back pain and can run, hike, swim or play tennis and recover fairly quickly. I haven’t been to the doctor in years (though I probably should). I contribute to a 401(K) plan at work, but I don’t pay much attention to the numbers since retirement is at least another lifetime away for me. My hair is just as thick and full as it was when I was in high school and shows no signs receding. I do see an occasional white hair on my head, but it’s more of a curiosity than a cause for concern. My energy level and zest for life are better than ever.

So I’m older than I’ve ever been (I guess we can all say that), but I am content to be where I am. I think that’s the key to happy living. Enjoy the moment you’re in NOW. You can look back at the past with fondness and nostalgia and look forward to exciting things in the future, but if you don’t enjoy the present, you’re not fully living. So I embrace my 35 years and look forward to the next 35!


Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Family


11 responses to “On Being 35 Years Old

  1. Robin

    October 20, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Yeah, um, you haven’t seen all the gray hairs on the BACK of your head, apparently! (J/K) And I’ve been meaning to ask you about renewing that National Geographic subscription…

    I think 35 is a great age. As you say, not too young, not too old! Live it up, baby!


    October 20, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Happy birthday! Congratulations on 35 wonderful years. The next 35 will be exciting and momentous as well. Imagine those kids of yours in 35!

  3. Emily Cain McMillan

    October 20, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Happy Birthday Andrew! I am with you our age just feels right. Thanks for blogging!

  4. Holly

    October 20, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Well said. It’s fun to read your reflections on all the signs that you’re 35. It’s funny what you said about know songs from the 90s better than this decade!

  5. Dan Lambert

    October 22, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I really identify with much of what you are saying but I don’t feel like a true adult yet and I’m only two years behind you. I guess just having 1 toddler makes me feel younger than I am.

  6. matthewkl

    October 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Um, I seem to recall having given you the subscription to National Geographic as a gift. I’m offended that you have let it lapse. . . maybe it’s hard to remember such things at your ripe old age. 🙂

  7. Vicki Lambert

    October 31, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    You’ve lived a full and wonderful life and have accomplished so much!! I’m so grateful to have you and your family as a part of my life.

  8. Matt Lambert

    November 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Yes, children seem to age so much faster

  9. Zach

    May 2, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I came across what you wrote simply because I too am 35. However, I am not sure how to feel. I cannot relate to the 18 through twenty-something generation most of the time…. Yet every day I recall being 23 or 27 or even 18 and expect everything to be just as it was then. Yet no matter how much I miss being younger, obviously, I’m not.

    Most days, in most ways I feel 20. My body doesn’t feel much different. Although I do notice the differences in some ways. My mind is young, just older and significantly wiser (I hope) due to some bad decisions as a kid. Mainly I just feel trapped between not knowing what to feel and how to just LIVE.

    I’m not married, although I sure wish I were -to someone deserving. I have no children, wouldn’t mind them -with the right person. Not a thing in my life is concrete or firm. The thing I struggle with daily is how I have never been able to meet that “girl” and have a great relationship. Just never happened. Secondly, I struggle each day wishing I could right the wrongs of my past, to apologize to those I have hurt. That was the child in me, not me as I am now.

    Yet….. Here I am nearing 36 and perhaps need to face it: I’m just getting older…..

    Congratulations on a good life.

  10. Jeffrey

    February 27, 2011 at 9:02 am

    You have great kids and wife.

    And thanks for sharing the reality on being 35 years old.

    Age is a fine wine. The older the better.

  11. Jaime

    December 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Love that I read this on the morning of my 35th birthday!


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