Your biological clock is ticking, and what are you doing about it?


I have never really owned up to the fact that I am getting older. It’s like I am in some sort of denial. Every year the birthday celebration comes and goes, and you get the dorky cards from your older sister, people have a dig at you for gaining another year (as if you had any choice), and the only comfort is that a few of your mates are a few years older than you are.

My mother’s move into high care has challenged my own persistent denial. Here I was visiting my mother at Lovely Banks. When she stood up, she had to be assisted. When she walked, she was assisted. When she showered, when she brushed her teeth, when she got dressed, when she went to the toilet. She needs assistance with it all. And yet, just a few days before I had been looking at a photo of her dressed as a bride with her husband, Cor. I had seen the vibrant smile of a young mother sitting on the front step of their cottage in Commonwealth Rd, Portland. I has seen her as a graduate of Bathurst High School. And now, about the only thing she can do by herself is fall asleep, or change the channel on the TV. Young once. Now old.

And I realised, it’s the same with me. No, not as old. But at one time I too was a high school graduate, a young groom – not knowing whether to be more proud or excited. I, too, was a young father. Now all my children are adults, and my Mum is in a nursing home. So I need to face the facts: I am 52 years old, and I am not getting any younger.

So I am going to make a few commitments:

Exercise more. I have let my riding program go for much of this year. Yesterday, I went out for the first time since early August. It was good, but my average was way off. I want to work hard to get my level of fitness up again. I will never be Lance Armstrong, I know. But I have been told that he cannot preach his way out of a wet paper bag, either, so that’s OK.

Discipline my eating. I am going to trim what I eat through the middle of the day. I have a generally sedentary job, and I don’t need a man sized meal at lunch time. Coupled with riding, this should see me drop a few kilos. We’ll see.

On a more long term note: I really want to make the second half of my life more productive. I want to add value to my ministry. I want to be a better preacher, a better leader, a better coach, a better husband, a better man (if you’ll pardon the cliche). I want my second half to count and to have impact way more than my first half.

So, now, today, I want to make a difference.

God reminds us that we get about ‘three score years and ten’. The best estimates of life expectancy have only added about a decade to that, even in the 21st century. Even then, don’t make too many assumptions. For all of us, life hangs by a slender thread. Free radicals, and crazy people driving little red cars mess with the mix on a regular basis.

So, now, today, I want to make a difference. Today, I want to do things that matter. Today, I want to strive for the sort of world God delights in. I want to keep learning. I want whatever I do tomorrow to be better than whatever I did today.

Q: what have you changed to make more of a difference in the second half of your life? …and you’re not there already what does this idea get you thinking about?

Great reading: Bob Buford: Beyond Half Time: practical wisdom for your second half

Grace and peace: Dave

4 thoughts on “Your biological clock is ticking, and what are you doing about it?

  1. Maaaate! Your posts about your mum have brought me to thinking about my folks who officially met retirement in September. Should I be planning to include them in a shared living arrangement in the coming years?

    My kids are now 9&11, which means there’s about 10 years until they could be out of home, married, or living near Uni. But at this age, there is just so much you want to do with them, and you forget how old you are. I don’t think it’s denial, it’s just enjoying life.

    So since the kids took up springboard diving, I have done so too. It’s like reliving my youth of gymnastics. For you trying to take up the bike again, I’m sure that too brings back the feelings of youth. The enjoyment of tr wind in your hair, with the knowledge that as long as you were home before dark, dinner would be ready.

    I think that our first 20 years form how we relate to the rest of life, and when we feel like getting back to our happy place, we pull out methods of returning to those activities.

    With that in mind, perhaps we should be finding out how our parents spent their youth, and bring some of that excitement back into their lives. They may no longer be able to ride a bike, or go diving, but I’m sure they enjoyed time out with the family. That I think is how you can make the second half count.

    Cheers,
    -Mark.

    • Hey Mark,

      Thanks for that. I really love your idea of talking to parents about how they spent their youth. On previous visits down to Cobden, I would often ask Mum questions about old family photos and childhood events. She could spin a yarn, and I was madly trying to get it all down. That has all changed now, and Mum’s stories are coloured with her own brand of fiction. I feel sad that for Mum, the time for stories has passed.

      So I say go for it. Explore the you of your parents, and I reckon all of you will be richer for the experience

      Grace and peace, Dave

  2. Hi Dave.

    For myself, I think just taking time to slow down and enjoy the task at hand rather than running around the supermarket like a madwoman panicking about dinner being ready by seven rather than half six.

    Stepping back and not worrying too much about the tiny things that don’t really impact on the fate of anything.

    I am also finding that as I get older I’m getting grumpier. Exercising patience is something else I need to be more mindful of.

    Hope you are well.

    GL

  3. Youre 52?? how did that happen … funny youre that old and I’m still just 22 ;0)

    Maybe scrapbooking isnt such a bad idea to record the memories we make each day/month/year after all. Put our memories into words on paper now and start talking to our kids (when a suitable age) about the future = whatever that may be.

    I am excited yet concerned about visiting in just 2 weeks now but I know it will be good to spend some time with Dad, Jo oh and you too!

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