35 going on 20 (or 70)

My birthday is today. I’m not embarrassed to say I’m in my mid-fifties. I’ve lived a good life, and have a lot to show for it. Three wonderful adult children, a home that is paid for, and two published books with a contract for a third.

When I was 35, I had a lot of thoughts about my age and what it meant. Today, I’m sharing an article that I wrote at that time, in the year 2000. I hope you will enjoy it in the tongue-in-cheek manner in which it was written.

35 Going on 20 (or is that 70?)

Written by the author in 2000.

Even when I look into the mirror, I have a hard time believing that I’m turning 35 this year. No matter that I am currently 34, I still feel like I’m too young to be in my mid-thirties. The mirror doesn’t lie. I have a few gray hairs, a few wrinkles. Still, I don’t think I look old.

Maybe 35 isn’t old?

It isn’t old when I look at it on the time line of an average life span. Thirty-five falls somewhere towards the middle of life. That’s not too bad a place to be in. In a few years I’ll be looking at 35 from the other half of the time line, and wishing I was only 35 again.

Not that I really wish I was in my twenties. In my early twenties, I faced loneliness. While I had a host of friends, I was always looking for Mr. Right. I didn’t meet him until I was 24, and we were married nine months later. We’ve have a very good marriage, and I feel like he’s my best friend. When the children came along, my life was full.

In my early twenties, I was always so unsettled. I had so many dreams and goals for my life that I didn’t stay in one place for very long at a time. I found enjoyment in living a Christian life, but I followed every whim, even when it meant changing jobs or locations. Marrying someone settled in his career helped me settle down, also.

Even though I’m no longer in my twenties, I am feeling unsettled again. Now that my children are in school, I don’t know what to do with my time. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? What dreams are still unfulfilled that would be possible to dream again? Will I be able to see those dreams fulfilled?

What do I want to be when I grow up?I’ve often asked myself in a joking manner.

I’ve already done so many things I’ve wanted to do. Travel to a foreign country? Been there. Become a missionary? Done that. A mother? Been one. Still am. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it isn’t. But it’s always rewarding.

Become someone’s wife? Been there, done that, when we said “I do.” And as we approach our ten year anniversary, I’m ready to repeat our wedding vows to the world again. When I said them on my wedding day, I meant them, but I did not fully understand them. Now, we have seen the richer times, the poorer times, the sickness and the health. And I would still vow to love and to cherish my husband for as long as we shall live, which I hope is an extremely long time.

I still have dreams. I guess that’s why it’s so hard to believe that I’m approaching midlife. There are still things I’d like to do – write a book, travel to Hawaii.

I started on this walk with God when I was a teenager, and He’s been faithfully leading me by the hand. Except for those times when I ran on ahead. I had to wait for Him to pick me up and brush off the dirt and tears.

God has a plan for my life, even though I am 35. I’m certain of this fact. While all of my dreams may not be fulfilled, I can trust Him with my dreams. Life at 35 has its difficulties, but so did life at 20, and life at 70 will, also. Yet God is unchanging. As I walk the time line of life with Him, I will rejoice in each step of the way.

Twenty years later, this article still touches a place inside me. God is unchanging in spite of the changes I’ve gone through. I rejoice in each day that I am alive, healthy and content with my life.

Published by Carol Underhill

Author of Christian romance. Mom to 3 adult children and a spoiled Lab. Household includes several rescued cats. Loves flavored coffees and quiet mornings. Likes finding new authors on Kindle and binge reading all their books.

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