I have just celebrated my recent birthday. By now, it is getting to be old business for me. Just another day of the year to celebrate something, which just happens to be my birthday.
I believe that if it is my birthday, I should be able to celebrate whatever birthday I want to celebrate. You are only as old as you celebrate.
I am not embarrassed at how old I am, I just sometimes cannot remember the exact figure. Some of my friends are rather legalistic along this line and are demanding the exact number of my birthday. Is it really that important? Does it really matter how old you are?
Well, if you spoke to some of my friends it matters to them. For those of us, however, who have experienced a succession of birthdays it does not really matter.
Thinking of my birthday this past week I was trying to figure out what was my best birthday. All of them had certain significance to them. For example, my 16th birthday allowed me to drive the car. However, I could only drive the car when my father said I could drive the car.
My 21st birthday was very important because I then could get married. Back then, you could not get married unless you were 21 years of age. Before that, you had to have your parent’s permission. I have asked my parents for many things throughout the years, but I think asking to get married is just crossing the line somewhere.
Every birthday starts a new year of adventure and excitement. When you get older, adventure and excitement sort of goes away a little bit. It can be exciting to celebrate another birthday and wonder where you going to be at when your next birthday comes around.
Some people feel it’s a little negative to get older. If you do not get older, it means that you have… Well, you know the rest of that sentence. I find nothing negative about getting older. I find certain amenities are associated with getting older that I could not cash in when I was younger.
When I was younger, I could not get away with much of anything. Now that I am older, I can get away with things because I have a few niches I can use. “I’m sorry,” I often say to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, “I forgot all about that. You know I’m getting older now.”
She smiles and shakes an understanding head. It is wonderful to have an excuse for things of that nature.
For my birthday this year, I discovered something rather interesting. This year I discovered the amazing wonder of A.G.E. If you look at age from the proper perspective, you do get some very interesting enjoyments.
I suppose I should explain to you what I mean by A.G.E. It never occurred to me until this birthday celebration. A.G.E is simply Aggressive Grumpy Elegance. I never saw this before, but then of course I was not old enough to appreciate it.
When I was young, I noticed my grandfather had some rather grumpy sessions and I did not quite understand. Now that I am approaching my grandfather’s age, I appreciate that grumpy attitude. Oh, the wonder of Aggressive Grumpy Elegance.
If I ever thought youth was exciting, it is nothing compared to this A.G.E. that I am experiencing right now. It is so wonderful to be grumpy whenever you choose.
I know some people are grumpy because they are just grumpy. That has nothing to do with this wonderful Aggressive Grumpy Elegance that I have discovered.
It takes quite a few decades to master this kind of attitude. I am delighted to say I have reached that stage in my life and I am mastering this part of Aggressive Grumpy Elegance. I just cannot say it often enough.
For example, when I want a quiet afternoon and maybe take a little bit of a nap, the result of this would be somebody saying, “Stay away from grandpa, he’s acting a little grumpy today.” The key to that is “acting.”
Some people are grumpy because they are grumpy, but those of us who have reached a certain level in life are grumpy because we are acting grumpy and to act grumpy takes a great deal of thespian skill.
If someone, and I will not mention the real name here, wants me to go shopping with her, all I need to do is put on the grumpy act. “Well,” she will say, “I guess you’re too grumpy to go shopping with me today!”
The person who has reached this level of A.G.E can turn it on when needed and turn it off when not needed. That is the “elegance” part of this whole business.
When the grandchildren are around making noise and excitement, I do not have to act grumpy. When their parents, however, come around that is the time when grumpy kicks in.
You have to know when to act grumpy and when not to act grumpy. That is the wonderful aspect of getting to the age I am at right now.
I believe Solomon understood this when he wrote, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 20:29).
One of the great privileges in life is to earn that “grey head.” More important, to use that grey head in a positive, affirmative fashion.
Dr. James L. Snyder, is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. James is an award winning author whose books are available at https://amzn.to/2SMOjwO.