Age is but a Number
(or how I draw from my Fountain of Youth)
When I was a little kid, I always found older children to play with. I dunno, they were more interesting maybe? It’s not that I did not have friends of my own age, but they were mostly boys because girls and I, we always seem to get in a fight after which the friendship pretty much cooled down – I guess it was me…nowadays, it’s kind of the other way around.
If we’re lucky, we will all grow older. They say with age comes wisdom and knowledge 🤐 Something we can use to hopefully help the younger generations. If you have children, like us, of course these are the first to which you can share your experience. If you don’t, there are most likely enough younger people around you, who would look up to you for some advice or words of wisdom or guidance. I believe having knowledge is one thing, knowing how to use that knowledge is wisdom to me.
I do not particularly consider myself to be wise, but life’s experiences do help a lot with recognizing the struggles people around me are going through. And I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than to be able to help someone out. Either by words or better yet, by my actions. Although sometimes, there is nothing I can really DO and my words – and prayers – would have to be enough.
Offering help is a relative thing though. Most often people will only accept help if what is offered is what they want, not necessarily what they need, or what would make sense. Believe me, working in a shoe store opened my eyes: they all want the cool shoes to look good, they never realize, they don’t look so cool with a pained face, because the shoes don’t actually fit. Just leave me my Docs and sneakers, thank you very nice.
Just this week we have been reminded of someone who we were able to help out for a short time, taking her into our home. This was at a time, we did not had very much but ourselves to offer. We found each other again and she was mentioning how grateful she still was for our help back then and how it helped her to become the person she is now: happy and healthy and having her own family to care for. Hearing that from herself is a reward on its own.
It’s not because we are such awesome people you know. ( I mean we ARE, but I cannot write that out loud) We are flawed, imperfect. But I have since long found out, it is just that in spite of the imperfection, the willingness to do good is what people attract. It is what attract me in other people at least. We don’t have to be flawless, we do have to be honest about it though. Hiding behind a mask and not allowing it to crack means living in a cramp… It puts so much pressure upon you.
Having children meant for us, we were kind of ‘growing up’ with them. I mean, one learns by doing and if ever that was applicable, I think it’s when you are raising kids, that is, if you’re open to it 😇 Through the years we felt more and more involved with the younger people.
Maybe it’s because Steve is basically one of the youngest in his family, where the oldest ‘child’ is about the age my Mom was. Always felt like something bit of a generation gap and this lead him to be especially involved with his nieces and nephews when he was younger. Of course it wasn’t the same for me and I couldn’t really tell where this involvement is coming from other than we both know it’s something God put in our hearts. And it has been/is so much fun to see how our young ones go about life. Even now, when they’re all grown up.
We are very grateful our children never got themselves in real trouble, neither did they cause any. They’re certainly no angels, but when at one time the police was at our door, asking where our son was during a specific time because of a fire that started in the neighborhood, I practically laughed at their faces. Okay that was pretty bold…
Now I was the first to tell them: ‘Listen, I am not going to stand here and say, my son would never do that, but I do have a hard time believing he did’. They were kind of impressed I did not immediately started to defend him, because apparently all other parents before me did. But no, our son was NOT involved in that fire. We were actually watching a football game that evening, easy check right?
Watching them grow up has had it’s struggles for sure, but we always chose to stay as close as possible. Not only physically, but also in communication. Watching them interacting with their friends and with the world around them, taught us a lot. And somehow our love for the younger people grew. Some of their friends, became our friends, which felt weird at times, but a good kind of weird.
It wasn’t until I arrived in Ireland, that I heard the saying: ‘Age is but a number’, now let me tell you, they’re talking about something totally different here 😂, but the principal works the same.
Next to our lovely daughter and son in law, we have a couple of other ‘extra kids’. You’ve probably already read about this in ‘Thousand layer Therapy‘, where I introduce Remy. We believe that number will only be growing. Again, I cannot explain this any other way, than that we believe, God will put (young) people on our path for a reason. Some of them just for a short amount of time, but some of them have become so special to us, we consider them ‘ours’ – part of our family.
Do they all believe in God like we do? No. Does that matter to us? Again, No. I am not going to lie and say we wouldn’t be happy if they would find the same joy from faith we are having, but hey… It’s their life, their choice and as I said in ‘The Enemy that’s Me‘, I cannot – and if I could, would not – convince anybody. We all have a free will. And we love them no matter what.
Sometimes these relationships fill me with wonder, because in this it’s so true: age does not matter at all. And I feel blessed to be able to see the world through their eyes and not become rigid in my ways of thinking and looking at the world. Things are changing so fast and it’s good to stay a bit up-to-date with what’s going on, it’s pretty easy for us older folks to loose the connection… and some young people have ‘old souls’ too.
Never too old to learn, that’s one thing I for sure am owning. And if I can keep learning I would say anyone else can do the same or even better. Age should not be an excuse to get stuck in our ways and I know that can be hard at times. Learning most definitely takes more time for me – and as I tell people, I am not known for my speed 🙄 – but the feeling I get when I achieve something new, is unlike anything else.
There are so many quotes going around about fear that is keeping you from achieving anything in life: whether it’s business / work related or in your personal life. Fear is what is mostly keeping people from acting and living by their feelings, intuition or as we would say, our faith.
So in ‘The enemy that’s Me’ I’ve been talking about fear for the unknown and how this is a real struggle at times. I’ve only been writing for 2,5 months now and the effects are amazing. I can definitely recommend following your dream, even if your not 18 anymore…I haven’t been for some time… And I know it sounds easy when saying this to you, but it took me some time to get here too you know.
A funny thing I learned while growing in my faith is that fear is actually not the opposite of courage. It is the opposite of Love. It took me quite some time to get to that conclusion really, but you see, if I love myself enough, I will not be afraid to go for whatever I wish to do with my life.
And no, I am not talking about wasting it away, but going after those dreams nobody else might know about. Those dreams you think are way beyond your limits. Within that love is also self acceptance… They hardly go without each-other…
I’m aiming to net let anything keep me from reaching new goals in my life. To be honest, I think it’s pretty cool to start something new at this point in my life. Go big or go home they say. Well, I’m already at home, so I can only go BIG now 😂 -and not talking about any weight gain during lock-down either.
People have a hard time guessing my age most of the time – I guess my Asian heritage helps – and I even have a friend, who would make people guess just for the fun of it. When I turned 50, there were actually some who demanded to see my passport, because they did not believe me – hilarious really.
It’s all our kids who are keeping me young – and yes music plays a large part in it – to the point I sometimes ask myself if this is what a midlife crises feels like haha. It’s not easy to not be able to see them whenever we want, with most of us living in different countries, but the possibilities to reach out to each other are multiple, so there’s that at least. My personal Fountain of Youth, brought to me by the Eternal Fountain of Life. It’s free, but it doesn’t come cheap 😉