I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I guess I had always hoped for “later” rather than “sooner”.
But time has caught up with me. It’s official: I’m getting old.
Last night, I picked up my first pair of glasses, and they are really going to take some getting used to.
For starters, I can no longer wear shorts.
I’ve walked into the corner of the desk no less than four times today, and by this time tomorrow my leg will look like it’s covered in a leopard print leotard because of the bruising.
That’s not all--we won’t discuss the sore shoulder from walking into the wall. Let’s just say I might need to hire a contractor to relocate a few wall joists if this keeps up.
My peripheral vision and depth perception have really changed now that I’m wearing these glasses. Talk about major change!
It occurred to me that other things in my life are changing as well.
Why is it that I can no longer stay out past 10 p.m. on a work night without feeling just a tad bit anxious? It wasn’t that long ago that I could stay out until 2 a.m. and still make it to work on time the next morning without nodding off in the middle of that mid-morning conference call.
Now, even after a good night’s rest, I can’t seem to function without my morning coffee. So much for going to see my favorite band on a weeknight anymore. I just can’t “hang” like I used to. What’s happening to me?
Speaking of coffee, I was never really allowed to drink it growing up. I was always told that coffee was an “old person’s drink.” My mom never drank it and my dad boiled his coffee in a percolator on the stove.
Quite frankly, I don’t blame my mom for never drinking it. I never acquired the taste for boiled, burnt coffee with 3 teaspoons of grounds in the bottom of the cup, either.
But I have grown up and so has my palate. I guess you could say I am now a coffee snob. I keep a French press in a filing cabinet drawer at work just in case we have a morning caffeine shortage and I need an extra boost.
Since when did it take at least two cups in the morning to even think about functioning like a human? Oh, yes, that’s right, about a year ago now.
As I sit here thinking about the changes I’ve experienced as I’ve grown older, I have to admit, not all of them have been negative.
For instance, the flecks of gray in my beard and sideburns no longer require me to prove I am of legal age.
With age is supposed to come wisdom, correct? I have noticed recently that I have been feeling a lot smarter. In fact, my designs seem much better, too. I wonder if my boss will notice come end-of-year bonus time?
Another advantage I’ve found to getting older is that people look up to you. Whether it’s friends, co-workers, bosses or kids, there’s something uplifting about being the person people come to with questions or to seek advice. It’s nice to know that people care about your opinions and your experience.
Having that certain gravitas to validate your thoughts and opinions is important when you are a leader of a small group. It wasn’t so long ago that I was the one constantly seeking the advice of others, and now it feels good to be sitting on the other side of the desk, so to speak.
While growing older has it pluses and minuses, I am grateful for the life experience I have gained along the way. I’ve been fortunate to work for some truly talented landscape architects and learn from some of the brightest minds in our community.
I’ve also had the chance to mentor some of the emerging professionals within our firm, and watching them learn and grow has been very rewarding as well.
While it may take me awhile to adjust to the depth perception with these glasses, I know that life is full of change and I, too, will adapt.
Like the days growing shorter with the change of the seasons, I am learning to embrace this change and focus on the positive things that lie ahead.
At least with these new glasses I can now see the forest for the trees. Honestly, I have to say I’m really enjoying the view from here.
I hope my thoughts today have made you smile. If you can relate and would like to share a similar experience, feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a great weekend!
Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on Twitter at @CDGLA or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.