Forty One Years To Life ... Jay

AGE - A three letter word with so much meaning.To start things off, let me take a page of out Mr. TramueL’s book and share a few definitions of the word with you.

As a noun, AGE is defined as a period of human life, measured by years from birth, usually marked by a certain stage or degree of mental or physical development and involving legal responsibility and capacity.

As a verb, AGE means to bring to maturity.

Lastly, there is the idiom of AGE which refers to being old enough for full legal rights and responsibilities.

As you can see there are a number of different definitions for the word AGE. Personally, I believe the word revolves around the evolution and maturation of our being. It has everything to do with the steps we take and the moves we make. At the end of our lives it is the sum of all of our movements, decisions and choices; with each one stemming from the very moment that we were conceived. Now when I say conceived, I’m not referring to our natural conception. I’m referring to our conception in the mind and heart of GOD. It is my belief that in that moment the aging process began for each of us. In that moment, we were formed, created, given unique personalities and characteristics and filled with a LOVE like none other, by HIM. It is for that reason that I define age as GOD’S masterpiece of our life. It contains every element that HE used to create us and the minor additions that HE gave us the free will to include. That is why I think age is such a beautiful thing.

There are many people who go through life and they dread the aging process. All they can see is the negative and the limitations. Well, I want to tell everyone who reads this that aging is not a bad thing. Just the opposite, it is a marvelous thing. Yes, we may begin to look different and even lose the ability to do things that we once did with ease, but I believe it’s for a reason. GOD has a season and a purpose for everything, including our lives. There is a reason why our looks change and we can no longer do certain things. It’s because those things have already been added to our masterpieces. Think of it like a painting. A painter may begin using the color black and that color may be used to form and shape the image that is desired for that work of art, but at some point the painter is going to stop using the color black and begin using different colors. Do you know why? It’s because if the painter doesn’t stop using the color black, or even picks it back up after adding other colors, and continues painting the canvas black then eventually that will be the only color on that work of art. Nothing but black. No variety. No color. No clear image, picture or design. Just black. How appealing do you think that would be?

The same applies to GOD’S masterpiece of our lives. HE wants variety. HE wants color. HE wants beauty. HE also knows that HE is the creator and is in control of the way our masterpiece will look, but HE does allow us to add our own uniqueness to it every once in awhile. We can’t take the paintbrush from HIM. We can’t paint our masterpiece of our lives for HIM. This is what I think a lot of people have lost sight of. They believe they are in control of their lives. They believe they are the one holding the paintbrush and dictating what appears on the canvas. Well, they are sadly mistaken. It is GOD alone who is the creator. Think about it. I believe if it were left up to us, many of us would have black canvases. Also, I think many of us would have identical canvases. No variety. No uniqueness. We would likely do it our way or copy the way that someone else was doing it. GOD doesn’t want that for our lives. HE wants all of us to age differently, because HE wants each of us to have a unique and one of a kind piece of art.

So now it is time that you start looking at your aging as a wonderful thing. Enjoy the things that you can still do and be happy that you can no longer do the things you once did. Know that there is truly a reason for that. It’s time for you to love who you are and love GOD for creating you. Make the most out of each step you take, every word you say and all of the precious decisions and choices you make. They all have meaning behind them. They all define you. Most importantly, they all are being added to the masterpiece of your life that GOD is crafting.

Stay Blessed,

*J

J-Up4Dsn

J-Up4Dsn

Forty One Years To Life ... Lisa

Does life begin at 40? Abso-friggin-lutely! 

I’m a planner by nature, but it’s totally by coincidence that my daughter would leave for college around the same time that I’m turning 40. I look at it as a time of rebirth for both of us. While she gets to create a new identity among people she’s never met, I have the chance to reintroduce myself to the me that slowly faded over time. Growing up, I was always Mary’s daughter or Jason’s sister. I had my daughter right after college and became Jordan’s mother. For 18 years, I’ve answered to that title proudly and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But for the first time since I left my college campus, I’m just Lisa again.

I made a conscious decision to move to a more diverse and active neighborhood back in May, one that fits who I really am when I’m not chauffeuring a kid around or making midnight runs to Wal-Mart for last minute supplies for a project. I’m free to go out for drinks after work on the spur of the moment or try the new recipe I saw in a magazine without worrying if someone else will like it. If I want to spend hours in the little bookstore down the street, I can. Wandering the halls of the history museum to check out the 1904 World’s Fair exhibit one more time or sitting in front of Monet’s Water Lilies for hours is no longer met with impatient glances. I’m not going to get all Jennifer Hudson on you and start singing about feeling good. I will say that whether it’s late nights or early mornings, my time is my own, and I’m cherishing every minute of it.

Lisa
Lisa

Forty One Years To Life ... S. Salter

Sunny’s Thoughts On Aging …

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”

~Author Unknown

I’m 28 years of age and I’m glad to have made it this far. So many friends I have lost early on, I’m privileged to see 28. I look forward to getting older… living past my 40’s is my goal as of right now.

My favorite birthday was last year; I spent it with close friends and family. Played cards and enjoyed the night. The age I felt most alive was 19, I had a baby girl who gave me a reason to keep things moving along. After facing death in the eye and making it this far I’m truly blessed.

My advice: Don’t trip over age; just remember those who you’ve lost that never got a chance to live to see that day in their lives.

S. Sarith

S. Sarith

Forty One Years To Life ... Citizen Ojo

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I truly miss my undergraduate college years. Looking back on my life I believe those were my greatest years of potential. I know people will say "What about your life now? You have a lovely wife and a beautiful son. Shouldn't your life be great now"? I truly love my family and I am grateful for the life I have. But my college years were really great years. The problem was that I didn't know they were at the time. Those years were filled with so much promise and the future was wide open. Please don't get me wrong!! Everything was not picture perfect. I made a lot of missteps and missed a lot of opportunities. The college years were the beginning of adulthood. It was a time of reinvention and self exploration. I was coming into my own and was figuring out who I really was. My only regret was some of the decisions that I made. Because in my old age, I learned an important lesson. What you do in your past can effect your future.

Forty One Years To Life ... J. Francis

Coming of Age

To get older, to mature, to gain wisdom, to survive….With the passing of time many of these things and more can take place. I know for me they have. Some specific ages came with goals automatically attached to them. At 15 start working. My first job was a ride operator at Playland. At 16 legally drive. My first car was a Hyundai Excel 89’. At 18 I hit the stores to cop Philly blunts for the crew and at 21 I had legally purchased my $21 bottle of Bacardi Limon. It’s fun to think back on but in that jumble of young antics; by the grace of god I avoided other age associations. Incarcerated youth, High School Drop Out, “Baby Daddy”…..all those pitfalls of the American black man I avoided during my 20’s. And believe me I was hella close to a couple of those situations.

Now with age I see purpose, legacy, meaning in movement. What do I stand for? The truest values of life now run through my head as I navigate the current storm of change that is this nation. As time flies by we put more candles on the birthday cake. Perception changes every year, so what are you wishing for before you blow out your candles?

J. Francis

J. Francis