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:
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!