A few years ago, I reached the ripe old age of 25. I was thoroughly depressed on my 25th birthday because now I was "a quarter century old". I don't know what made that birthday more dramatic than my 20th, 30th, or any other birthday, but I remember vividly that it was big to deal to be "old".
Coleen and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary recently. I confess that I feel younger after 25 years of marriage than I felt at age 25. I am definitely not younger, but some things have become better with age.
A comparison of 25 years old vs. 25 years of marriage...
At 25 years old our family was just getting started. The few children we had were very young, and it was a challenge to feed and shelter them, to change and care for them, and generally to keep them out of trouble.
After 25 years of marriage, I have a daughter who has completed bachelor's degrees in both computer science and electrical engineering, a beautiful granddaughter, two fine young men married to two of my daughters, a son leaving to serve a full time mission, and we still have 4 teenagers at home to keep things busy. I rate that an improvement from 25 years old to 25 years of marriage.
At 25 years old, I had only learned to swim a few years previously, and was not in great physical condition.
After 25 years of marriage, I swim three days a week, bike to work 5 days a week, and feel like I'm in reasonable shape. That's an improvement.
At 25 years old I thought I knew how to parent.
After 25 years of marriage, I now see clearly that I do not know how to parent. I'll keep trying to be a decent dad, and keep trying to be a better dad. Acknowledged ignorance is better than blissful ignorance. That's an improvement.
Plenty of things have gone "down hill" in those 25 years. I stopped running years ago. Not long before my 25th birthday I ran my longest stretch ever, a 10km run in Tucson, AZ. I've since learned that there is no reason to hurt myself when exercising, and running hurts. I don't do that anymore. I stopped playing basketball years ago for the same reason. I can stay in shape without hurting myself.
Thanks Coleen, for 25 wonderful years of marriage! I am looking forward to another 25, and glad we're looking forward in the same general direction.