Seasoning

I am growing older.  Last time I had my annual physical readiness review with medical, I told the Doc that I had been diagnosed with OAS and was told it was terminal. He looked up with a serious but puzzled look and said, "I'm not familiar with that".  I shared, "Old Age Syndrome".  His response, "ha, ha" and to go back scribbling notes as he now added an appointment to mental health.  (Just kidding on that last part). 

Old age.  Soon I turn 50.  But like the picture above, it matters in life how you "frame" the experience you are going through (or have or expect to go through).  Of course the picture makes a huge difference too.  How you see that depends on your personality type.  I am very focused on what is real and what is true. There are many types that are much more able to focus on the potential and creativity of the photo.  For example when I edit the photo I look to bring out what I saw.  Others may photoshop it and bring out the "what could have been".  But irregardless circumstances will have limiting factors.  Age is a limiting factor.  But there is a plethora of limiting factors we must deal with.

I was recently selected by the Air Force to apply for a full year of residency for Clinical Pastoral Education.  CPE is an intensive environment for critical examination of one's pastoral skills and interactions with those in need and with those who provide care.  In writing up my application package I began to realize that I have changed a great deal in these past 25 years of my adult life. 

Yep, I am growing older. My run times and recovery times are showing it as well as the wrinkles on my face, the few age spots on my hands, and my increasing population of gray rather than black hair.  But I am also seasoned. All that experience, all the people I have gotten to know, the many different situations I've engaged come together to make these final 20 years or so of my active working adult life to look very much like the picture above.  Full of potential, depth, richness, and possibility.  Yes, I draw nearer to the end with probably fewer days ahead than now lay behind, but they are days that may be richer.  Suddenly a minute, an hour, a day is an extraordinary valuable commodity as it will not come again. 

I'm not sure if I would want to be 20 again with most of my life ahead. 

So I think this time, as I go get my annual physical review I think I can say I'm feeling pretty good about where I am and what the future holds - even if I can't run a seven minute mile again.