Today is my 49th birthday. I can’t help but feel just a bit nostalgic for the days when I didn’t need glasses, had pretty good short-term memory and could sleep until noon without waking up with a sore neck and a tension headache. I notice the lines on my face, spend a fortune covering gray hair, and have come to accept that, no matter how little I eat or how much I exercise, I am never really going to look good in a swimsuit. I remember what it felt like to throw myself through the air, yet I know that even if it were still possible, no one really wants to see a 49-year-old woman throw a backflip.
Growing older takes many things from us that we’ll never get back. But we exchange the temporary, the superficial for a much deeper joy. For my 49 years of lessons learned, trials and regrets, I have gained a depth of wisdom that comes only from having lived. Physical beauty can be bought by those willing to pay the price of clothes, cosmetics, hairstylists, the time to pursue an exercise regimen. Wisdom is far more costly but brings more fulfillment than I ever knew on my best-hair day — even in the size 10 Calvin Klein jeans.
So I’ll think of my birthday as a celebration of what I have bought with these years. As my youth slips away, I discover the peace that comes from knowing God, walking with him through the valleys and finding Him faithful for 17,520 days.Would I go back?
No way — I’m looking forward to the Wisdom of 59.