“In her mind, how old do you think she is?” I asked.
Sometimes my thoughts come out of my mouth rather than staying inside my head. I hardly even know it happens sometimes.
Scott Martin said “Forty.”
I surveyed her petite frame, read her lips as she took a long swig of coffee and said “Oh that’s good.”
I wondered how old she felt, how old she views herself to be. The age I feel and my chronological age are not always congruent. I wondered if she felt the same.
She had to have been at least 80.
Despite having three children, having conscious memories of a time when everyone didn’t have a cellphone, knowing that I’ve been married over 20 years this year and been a nurse for a tad longer, in my mind I am seventeen.
I recognize the mathematical probability as null if in fact I were actually seventeen. I have a seventeen year old, two actually. I remember vividly my life then. The summer before my senior year at the PVHS, my days were filled with pool time and late night phone calls, trips to the Galleria and snack runs to the Winn-Dixie. Novels of superficial subjects and magazines filled with how to’s of boyfriends, makeup and “true” stories.
My skin was darker and tighter, my ears filled with songs about long lost country loves, Love shacks, Ragdolls, and elevator loving. I didn’t worry too much about finances or politics. I wasn’t all that wrapped up in Who I was becoming, mostly I just lived in the moment. My future planning wasn’t too far beyond my upcoming senior portraits scheduled to be taken in the school library by Olan Mills. I didn’t wonder too much about where I’d be in twenty years, yet here I am, more than twenty years later, clearly not 17, a mother and wife and as quickly as the last twenty passed I find myself wondering how quickly the next will pass.
As I surveyed the woman diagonal from me, wearing a red cotton button up shirt, Capri pants, and sensible shoes, I felt sure that if I had asked her she might have to give pause before she answered me, the same way that I do when asked about age. Somebody says “You’re as young as you feel.” Some days I would agree, other days I might not.
I desire to be intentional about the next twenty, maybe by then I’ll feel forty.
Maybe Scott Martin’s assessment wasn’t so far off after all.
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.