Those Aging Years

Colt and Logan“Stop it,” I keep saying to myself as the years pile on and retirement slowly becomes a real word for me.

“I want to be 18 again with all the silly questions and worries that preoccupied me then.  All my hesitations and doubts at that age as best I can recall now instead of the confidence and assurance that experience has taught me, sometimes in spite of myself and other times through thoroughly practice.”

“Stop it.”  Another aging spot appeared today when yesterday my skin was smooth and taut.  My 20’s was a time wondering how I would succeed and the tests in school, endless tests that tested only what I remembered the teacher said in class instead of the comfort age has given me of knowing what happened years ago and not repeating the same mistake.

“Stop it.”  I think I need a larger belt but I refuse to buy one.  In my case it was being endlessly asked “When will you get your own parish” as though I’m wasting my time in this parish doing all I need to do as an associate pastor.  For you it may have been the failed marriage because you thought you knew it all and discovered, sadly, the opposite.  For me, there was often in my head that Saturday night confusion about tomorrow’s sermon, “You don’t want to say that,” “This is weak stuff,” instead of the assurance I know enjoy that I have something to say and Saturday night has returned to being a fun night.

“Stop it.”  Alas, my thighs seem to be disproportional to the rest of my body.  My 30’s brought out childhood questions like “Will they like me?” “Will they accept me?” (I think of “A Knights Tale” movie where it’s said, “You’ve been weighted, measured and found unworthy”) instead of the hard earned peace that surprises me often now when I experience it.

“Stop it.” “What’s with this grey stuff that sticks over my natural head of hair?”  Do I really miss my early humor that was often at the expense of someone else instead of the self-effacing humor that I easily throw out today?

Was all that turmoil and young confusion that attractive to me that I now yearn for a repeat performance?  I smile to myself when thinking about it because I then say, “You’ve got to be kidding.”  (pun intended.)

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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