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Friday, March 02, 2012
Age Discrepancy - Eleanor Shepherd
This month I will
receive my first pension cheque from the government.I am having a difficult time accepting that.It is not that I don’t want the money.Who does not welcome money coming
in?What I am struggling with is
what this says about my age.How
can I be old enough to qualify for a pension?I always thought pensions were for old people and that is
where the rub is for me.
I have discovered
a significant discrepancy exists between what all of the official records
indicate my age is and what my self-image perceives as my age.Even when I look in the mirror and know
that staring back at me the face of someone who must at least be in her late
fifties, I see a thirty-five year old.Reality attests how ridiculous that is when cold facts affirm that my
daughter is that age and my son five years older.
I suspect it is
fear of what being old means that holds me captive to this irreconcilable
cognitive gap.If I am as old as
all of these documents attest, that means that most of my years are behind me,
and I am not sure that I have accomplished all that I had hoped and dreamed of
doing.My fear is that life has
passed me by when I was not looking.Is it too late?Will I
never become all that I was going to be when I grew up?
So many years were
spent in waiting:
·Waiting to be old enough to do the stuff that
the older kids did,
·Waiting to be old enough to drive a car, or vote,
or have a boyfriend,
·Waiting to meet that special young man of my
dreams to come into my life,
·Waiting for him to ask me if I would marry him,
·Waiting for our wedding day to finally arrive,
·Waiting to find out that the child I longed for
so much was on the way,
·Waiting for the children to reach the next stage
in their growth and development,
·Waiting until my daughter would grow up so we
could experience that unique feminine companion of mother and daughter
·Waiting for the moments to write so my first
book could be completed, in the midst of all of the activities of life
·Waiting for a publisher to accept my manuscript
when it was finally completed
·Waiting for the medical breakthrough that will
heal my son’s quadriplegia
·Waiting to become a grandmother and know that my
line would continue after I am gone
In all of the
years of waiting, did I lose sight of the way life was slipping away from me?
have come to realize I am now all grown up.I no longer have to wait for events to happen.Perhaps the years bring the wisdom to
know that in the course of time, those things that I most desire may come or if
they never do, the world will not end.I can choose how I respond to the events of life.If what I desired does not materialize,
life can be good anyway.
this choice to accept the inevitable make me passive and keep me from striving
to become all I want to be?I know
that I must work through the conflict I feel about my age and my longings.I am the age that my birth certificate
tells me I am.However, I still
have a future.What I really need
to decide is not whether I will become all those things I wanted to be – rich
and famous and beloved by all, or whether I will choose to become someone who
leaves a legacy after I have gone, by my imprint on the lives of others.
I have achieved my goals.I am
rich, not necessarily in money, although compared to how most of the world
lives I have more than my share of material prosperity.I also have the riches of relationships
with so many wonderful people all over the world.All l need to do is open my Facebook page and see how
blessed I am.
may not be famous in the way that I dreamed of, having my name become a
household word to millions.Nevertheless, my name is valued in my household.My husband has proven his love and
loyalty as together we have walked through good days and bad for forty-two
years. My children consider me
their friend and choose to be with me when they have other options.They believe in me and encourage me.If in their eyes I am famous, that is
enough.Even the cat,
follows me around and settles down beside me as I work.To her I am a Very Important
may not be beloved by all and that is not surprising, in that at times my words
and actions are less than loving and could not elicit a loving response.In some circumstances, the difficult
and unpopular decisions I have to make create tensions with others.
However, I know God always loves me
unconditionally.He is the One who
has determines my value whether I am six or sixty-five.When I begin to understand His
perspective I think I might be on my way to resolving that discrepancy between
my age and my image.
Winner of 2009 Word Guild Award of Merit Human Interest Story
Winner of 2011 Word Guild Award Christian Leadership