Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wrong Side of Thirty

So yesterday was my 36th birthday. I'm normally not one who gets real worked up about birthdays. Growing up, we didn't do a whole lot of celebration for birthdays. I mean, we didn't ignore them, but we never really made a big fuss about them. I'm pretty much the same way now. We certainly try to make the day a little bit special for whoever, but for the most part, it's not a huge deal.

Additionally, I don't get too worked up about my age as a general principle. Aging happens. It's all good. I didn't love my 25th birthday because the whole "quarter of a century" thing got me. But since then, things have been pretty quiet. Until this year.

For whatever reason, hitting the back half of my thirties just struck me as a little frightening. I know, it's not old (Though in the morning, Deborah was quick to remind me that I am now three times older than her. Thanks.). But it's getting on toward older. When I think about Psalm 90:10 and the "threescore and ten," I realize that I've moved to the back half of that number. Yikes.

So I had my mini-freak out. Nothing major. I try not to be too big a drama queen (we've got a tween and an 8 year old who THINKS she's a tween, so we've got plenty of drama around here as it is), but I probably got a little dramatic about this one. A bit of heavy sighing. Some strategic welling-up. Some laments. Subtle stuff.

Then the weekend came and I got to play the piano in church and enjoy some really beautiful worship time. And then I got to spend some time with my husband and my kids seeing a really lovely movie (Toy Story 3 about growing up, but still -- beautiful!). And then yesterday I got to spend time with two of my closest friends (and the world didn't end -- which really made the day so much better). And my Facebook page was flooded with well wishes. And I got calls and texts through the day from friends and family who love me.

I got to thinking about Philippians 4:8:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (NLT)
Somewhere along the line, I got it in my brain that the verse was a negative one. Don't go to that movie. Don't read that book. Don't watch that television show. Don't listen to that music. Look at the list, but use it as a guide for what not to do.

Yesterday reminded me that it's a positive list. There are some don'ts in the previous verses. Don't worry. Don't fight.  I'm not so much trying to defend stuff like fart jokes and curse words, but the things that really seem to have a negative impact on the core of me tend to be those pity-party things. I let fear or loneliness or anger fester away. But as I found out over the last few days, thinking on (and even better, actively participating in!) things like worship and friendship and love and laughter can be a huge blessing to me.

You know, maybe I don't mind being older so much.

(And I can't think of the three-score and ten verse without thinking of MST3K's short, "The Days of Our Years." Click the teal words and enjoy some of that laughter!)
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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