Our Story Begins:
Older and Wiser

Yep . . . there’s more snow on the roof.  The front porch is a liiiiitle wider than it should be.  The windows are a little thicker.

I have to face it, for sure, I’m getting older.

But where we all tend to fight and ignore the aging process there are things I accept and am actually quite happy about.

Sure . . . I should be exercising more, I fell off the wagon here and there and have gained a few pounds back.  I fight that part of the aging process because, frankly, I am tire of being tired.  I am tired of not looking as good as I once did.

But the things about being a bit older and weathering everything I have weathered even in the past five years have given me perspective, maturity, and wisdom that I don’t know I could say were there when I was in what everyone seems to call those “formative years.”

I’m a single dad.  That’s just a statement of fact.  Yet taking care of four kids by myself when I was 24 versus 40?  That would have been a totally unnerving possibility.  I certainly could have fallen apart and taken the low road and just let my life slide into oblivion; that’s certainly something I wanted to do on more than one occasion.

Yet now, more than five years beyond the loss of my wife . . . nearly four years after watching my oldest child go to college . . . and seeing my middle ready to head to college herself, I realize that there are a lot of things that I would never have come to appreciate when I was my younger self.

First off, there’s the parenting.  With that first kid you’re over-protective.  It’s not because you think they’re God’s gift to the world (okay, maybe some parents d0).  It’s because you’re scared to death that you’re going to do something wrong.  I will say, though, that if I was going to suffer a life change like I did, being older may very well have been the best time to face it.

Read more: Live, Love, Blend: Cinderella Does Not Live Here

I took to caring for my kids without hesitation.  I bake, I cook, I clean, I do laundry, I fix the cars, I play football at the park . . . I do both jobs.  I never thought once about the fact I had to do it.  Had I been younger and less mature I might very well have spent a lot of time complaining that this all fell on my shoulders.  At this point in my life?  It fell on my shoulders.  It isn’t a terrible thing and it isn’t always a wonderful thing.  But I do accept that they’re my kids . . . I chose to have these children so do what needs to be done.

Personally?  I am in a far better place.  I came to realize the things I didn’t appreciate when I was married.  The touch of someone next to me; kissing someone you care about; the feeling you get when you do something nice for no reason . . . they’re all things I do now and appreciate every moment of them.  Little things that might have gotten under my skin at 26 are blips on the radar at 46.  I could care less about things.  Life isn’t a roller coaster anymore . . . there are highs and there are steady moments.  The up/down/up/down is not what I strive for.  I want amazing and beautiful and have the tools to deal with the terrible if it happens.

The upside is the fact that I also have the wisdom to know how to avoid those terrible lows.

So yes . . . I’m okay with being older.  I ache, I am heavier and I feel tired a lot but I also love what that time has given me.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.