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Tuesday
Oct172017

Feeling my age

My Greek class has a wide variety of ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. And for that reason -- among many --  I love it. Greek is offered to both seminary students and college students, and I have a college student sitting right behind me. He's old enough to be my son. He's a nice kid who reminds me a lot of my younger son. 

The woman who sits beside me is closer in age; probably at least ten years younger. We shared a chuckle the other when we took up the homework. One of the translation sentences contained a word that the workbook promised we would know if we said it out loud: Ἀνἀθεμα. It's the word "anathema." The younger students in the class maintained that even after saying it out loud, they did not recognize that word. It was only the older students (and probably some of the more widely read younger ones) who recognized it. There is one benefit of age.

Never more do I feel my age than in the last little while. Physically, I feel it a little, but most of my awareness comes as I interact with people. I listened to a podcast over the weekend that left me bewildered as to the appeal, but I wonder if that was simply a matter of me showing my age.

I don't think I'd want to be younger again. I'm content with where I am now. There are things I have learned and sanctification I've experienced that I would not want to give up. There are things I know now that I would not know apart from getting older.

One of the downsides, though, is that current culture is not always friendly to aging. In my Church History class we have seen repeatedly that back in the ancient church, anything new was immediately suspect. Christianity was seen as a "new" religion, and therefore regarded with hesitancy, not open arms. It is the opposite today. Whoever is the newest must surely be the best. And in some cases, the new is good, and the old is not so good, but that is not always the case. There are times, though, when I do fee doubly disadvantaged: I'm a woman and I'm over 50.

A few years ago, I had some of my writing being edited by a younger person. The editor took note and reminded me on more than one occasion that she was younger than I. It was not something I thought about, but she did. Perhaps she found it odd to be in a position of authority over an older woman. The relationship didn't last long, but in that brief time, I was struck by how much this editor focused on my age. 

My Greek professor is younger than many of us in the class. I don't think he dwells much on that fact. And as students, we are all in the same place: newbies trying to learn Greek. For myself, I am always happy to see someone else succeed. When we get together to share our translation homework answers, I'm silently cheering on whoever is offering the answer.  If the young kid behind me gets the answer right, I'm happy for him. I have personally found on a few occasions these past two years that it is often the young guys who are the most welcoming to the students who are old enough to be their moms. 

I'm never going to be one of those women who tries to look (or sound) younger than I am. I don't intend on wearing clothes my 28 year old daughter would or adopting the popular ways of speaking in order to distract myself or others. I'm thankful for what age has given me.

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