A time to rejoice



This story starts back in the mid-1970s. I was working in downtown Evansville, and I was heading to meet my then-boyfriend, Steve, for lunch.

I caught a glimpse of him about three or four blocks away. He spotted me too, and then he started jumping up in the air like an Irish leprechaun.

I was puzzled at first, but then it dawned on me: He had just learned that he had passed the bar!

I was right. He had worked so hard in law school, sometimes holding down four part-time jobs. His childhood dream was to become a lawyer; and that day, his dream had come true. I was so happy to share in his happiness.

Nearly 50 years later, he received the James Bethel Gresham award from the local bar association. It was a bookends moment for me, and I was so happy to share in his happiness once again.

During the last two years, as I have aged and as my life has narrowed, I’ve learned about simple pleasures:

  • Having a pen full of ink for my crossword puzzles.
  • Enjoying flowers blooming on my shamrock plant.
  • Spotting a cardinal on my patio.
  • Pausing my life to savor brilliant sunrises and soft sunsets.

It’s quite a departure from the life I led in my 30s, when I was the busy mother of two. It’s also different from my life in the workforce, a life that was filled with strict deadlines and often-heavy demands.

Probably like most retirees, I have wonderful memories; but I don’t want to go back.

I think the secret to aging well is accepting exactly where you are in life.

I have always cherished the words from Ecclesiastes that remind us that “to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

The writer tells us about:

  • The time to plant and the time to harvest.
  • The time to tear down and the time to build.
  • The time to mourn and the time to dance.
  • The time to be silent and the time to speak.

The older I am, the more these words make sense as I accept the rhythm of aging, which has its own music and tempo.

But the writer of Ecclesiastes 3 also notes, “There is nothing better than to rejoice.”

That’s what I did when my husband of 47 years received his award. I rejoiced.