This Thanksgiving, I have been blessed by age. What does that mean exactly? Age is a funny topic. Many people determine their “life circumstance” based on age. We might select certain ages for milestones, levels of experience, maturity, wealth and happiness. Is that really what the number of years on Earth signify? I’m not so sure.
Before heading home for the holiday weekend to be filled with food, family and football, I needed a haircut. I went to Charles Penzone, one of my favorite hair salons in the Columbus, Ohio area. I usually go to the Polaris location but from a logistical standpoint of getting to my bible study afterwards, I scheduled an appointment in Dublin. My hairdresser named Martha was a sweet little gal. Her spunky persona drew me right in to conversation, even though I was preoccupied with sending off some work emails. I wanted a cut and color and so she started the process while I finalized and sent off my email. We then could just talk.
Have you ever noticed how great of listeners most hair dressers are? They show genuine interest in you, find common conversation topics, and make you feel comfortable enough to share your deepest thoughts and feelings. That’s how I felt with Martha this past week.
We carried a conversation around ambitions, careers and pursuits of happiness. The topic of dating and relationships unfolded. Not only have I found the modern dating scene unappealing, but I shared it seems most men my age are immature and do not share the same ideals and values I have.
“You have an aged soul”, Martha said. This struck me. I had never heard that phrase used before but it makes sense.
That comment has resonated with me the entire holiday week. I took work off Wednesday through Friday so I could help prepare a holiday meal to deliver to my grandmother and spend Thanksgiving day at her apartment with my parents and sister. With my interest in improving health for myself and those around me, mom agreed we could modify the typical Thanksgiving dinner; this put me in charge of planning the menu and cooking.
We were able to settle on the following simple menu:
– Turkey (which was 26 pounds from a family friend, using a normal brine, oils and herbs for cooking)
– Baked sweet potatoes stuffed with crispy kale and feta cheese
– Store-bought rolls and butter
– Black olives (no Weihl holiday is complete without them!)
– Homemade apple pie (with lard crust)
It was a little stressful but more fun to lead in the preparations with mom and bring it to my grandma’s and presenting the meal. Neither mom nor I had brined and cooked a turkey on our own… let alone a 26-pound turkey! Many laughs were exchanged and we were satisfied with the outcome of a juicy, tender turkey. I’ve found a lot of joy in the process, especially because of the time mom and I spent cooking and baking. We brought fulfillment to others with delicious, healthier food prepare with love.
Family conversations can be tough at times. But even after a long day, I am reminded that God’s challenges can help strengthen me for more tasks He has prepared. To end the night, mom, dad and I settled that evening to watch a movie and eat some fresh popped popcorn.
Friday brought more focus to family and finances. In the Weihl household, my dad seems to be the big Black Friday fanatic. This year, he expanded past the usual ammunition, tool sets and equipment. He also purchased a new television. Mom and I were less than impressed, as our big purchases were from Vitamin Shoppe! I have become more interested in investing in “experiences” over things. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy buying new shoes like every other girl, but I make it a point to get rid of at least one pair before replacing it with new ones.
We spent the afternoon weathering the cold, watching Bowling Green State University football team and the Falcon Marching Band. We left after halftime of cheering on my sister marching in the band. Although we did not find her before the cold had gotten to mom and me, I hope she felt the support we showed by attending.
Today is the big game. The “state up north” against Ohio State! Mom is a *ichigan fan and the rest of the house are Buckeyes. It will be a fun day, with some healthy alternative recipes to game day staples like homemade pita chips, hummus, buffalo chicken dip, and guacamole. All this time with my family certainly adds complexity to life. I can’t just hammer away at work on my computer or start up a new blog post or watch SnapChat stories all day. It forces me to be present, act as an adult and cherish moments. All of these past few days, I keep thinking about this concept of an aged soul and what that is.
I do not think or act like common 24-year-old women. I strive for more. I like to be unique. I notice I push myself outside my comfort zone more now that in the past three years combined. I don’t do the normal activities that others my age do. I think differently. Why?
Maybe it’s because it has been pressed upon me that God has big things in my future.
Maybe part of it is that I spend majority of my time with people at least five years older than me.
Maybe I am learning more about myself each day.
Maybe I have an aged soul.
This aged soul of mine is understanding more and more what I want in my life and am not settling for average, mediocre or normal. I want to be a contributor to my family. I want to contribute to community, to society and to the world. The only way to do that is to continue pursuing where my heart and head align. This will be different than the past. This might create turnover from old and current friendships and relationship and introduce me to new people in the present and future. It won’t be easy.
Anything worth having does not come easily. Who I want to become will not be typical. But the aged soul is invaluable.
What is the age of your soul? How do you live it out?