I Turned 34 Yesterday (August 26, 2015)

Updated: August 26, 2015

I turned 34 yesterday.  It really doesn’t have the same ring to it as other birthdays.  When you’re a kid it’s cute to say, “I just turned 4!” When you’re old, it’s milestones like Birthday Number 90.  And it wasn’t a milestone birthday like 16, or 21 or 40.  I didn’t have a massive party, and I remember everything that happened on my birthday.  I just turned 34.

For reference that’s more than 12,000 days, close to 300,000 hours and shy of 18 million minutes.  When I looked at those numbers I felt old.  So I’ll stick with 34.  Because I don’t really feel all that old.

It’s truthfully hard for me to believe I’m well into my adult years.  Outside of my body hurting for no reason, my mind and spirit feel like I’m still one of these college-aged younglings that have recently showed up on the Northeastern campus.

I feel young but when I look around me I know I’m not.  Young people don’t often have three little people running around them.  Young people don’t own a large house.  Young people don’t have a job that really never shuts down.  I don’t feel “old” in the sense of my life is over.  And I’m certainly far from a mid-life crisis (although the calendar says that will come soon!). But my surrounding says it’s time to adult.

I don’t resent anything in my life.  I never really have.  I know the path that’s been laid out in front of me and trust that it’s the path I’m supposed to be on.  So none of this is meant to be in a negative regard.  In fact it’s positive.  And part of the lesson at church on Sunday spoke directly to this.

What I too from the lesson was maintaining a calm in the storm.  It used the example of milking a cow as the demonstration.  When you milk a cow you can’t tell the cream from the milk at first.  As you let the product settle the milk and the cream separate, thus easing the distinction.

That’s where the phrase “The cream always rises to the top” comes from. But the cliché isn’t the message I take from this.  Yes the cream rises, but in order for the cream to rise, there must be settling.  Settling isn’t easy, especially for our area athletes.

Sports is geared toward being agitated.  Whether it’s head-knocking in football, blocking in volleyball, or a myriad of other sports examples, agitation is what sports is about.  But those who are great find their calm in this agitation.  They settle.

One of the highest praises a linebacker can get in football is that they “stayed home” on a misdirection play.  Even though everything about the play said to go one direction, the linebacker understood that his assignment was to be in this position.  And the play came back to him with the misdirection.

In volleyball one of the goals of a hitter is to capitalize on a blocker’s overplay.  As a rally gets longer and longer, the block often gets sloppier and sloppier in closing out on their designated spot.  So the hitter is able to take advantage of what was once shut off to him if they stay settled.

There are more sports examples of remaining settled and all of them point to the positive outcome by remaining there.  And I think remaining settled is what I, like many others, can feel younger of mind and younger of spirit in spite of the every advancing calendar.

Broadcasting is a crazy thing.  There is so much in each game that increases the likelihood of being unsettled. I’ve said before that anybody can broadcast.  It’s just talking after all.  But actually doing it in a manner where the audience understands what is going on takes settling.

Fathering three daughters is a crazy thing.  There is so much in each day that increases the likelihood of being unsettled. If you let the tantrums, the whining, the hyper excitement get to you, you’re not able to provide the best to your child.  But if you’re settled, you can be the best dad your girls deserve.

Life is a crazy thing.  And if we remain settled, our “cream” will rise to the top.  You never truly know what you capable of when you’re unsettled.  But if you remain settled, you’ll discover that “cream.” I don’t know about you, but I’m craving a bagel with cream cheese now.