Now let’s be perfectly clear here: I’m not old. I’m thirty. That is nowhere near old. But I’ve noticed a few things lately that are starting to make me feel like I’m old.
One of them is that my kids are growing older. Myron turned one on the first, and Katherine turns five next month. We hit our sixth anniversary a few months after that, and then I move firmly into the 30s only a few days later when I turn 31. But I still feel and look like I’m in my mid 20s. It’s the baby face.
Another thing is that I’m noticing that my mind is calmer. Not slower, but calmer. I don’t feel like I respond to things with the instantaneous passion I once did. In years past, I would have leaped on ideas and either held them as standards or trod them under as falsehoods. Now I ponder. Now I think. Now the world isn’t quite the black and white as I once thought it was. But I still don’t see myself as anything more than a youngster compared to many of the great minds I work with.
It might be that I’ve now been in my community just shy of ten years. Home from the mission just shy of ten years. Graduated from college just shy of four. Maybe it is because the mortgage turns four in a little bit. Maybe it’s because I sometimes worry about my tomato plants more than I worry about what I wear or because I spend more time mowing my lawn and watering my flowers than I do caring for my hair (yet another advantage of short hair!).
Or maybe it’s none of that. Maybe the reason I feel that I’m showing my age is because it has finally happened. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a subtle shift at church. For the longest time, my fellow quorum members called me “Dave,” a symbol of solidarity and similarity with them. I was their peer. But now it is almost universally “Brother Loveless,” a symbol of respect and, in some ways, separation.
Brother Loveless. That’s my dad, isn’t it?
Oh well, there are certainly much worse appelations I could have, and I’m honored to share the name with the man who carried it before me. He did a good job with it, and I hope I can at least match him.
But man, being called “Brother Loveless” sure makes me feel old.