Act Your Age!


  When I turned 25 years old, I had a minor meltdown.  I sat on my friend Rick’s couch and just wailed about how I was “getting ready to be thirty!”  I just thought that my life was over!  Rick, bless his heart, had the patience of Job and though I’m sure he rolled his eyes, he listened and tried to sympathize.  

  When I turned 29 years old, I really started to panic.  I saw 30 rolling in like a freight train and all I could focus on was what I felt I had missed in life.  For a few months, I caught myself really whining at God about it.  But my 30th birthday came and went and soon I noticed that 30 wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was.

  Now, I’ve passed 31.  But I am finding it harder to whine to God about getting older because of my Mom.

  My mom has always been rather childlike.  Oh, she’s responsible.  She the bestest middle school teacher in the whole wide world.  Believe me, I know. When I was in the 8th grade, she was the only 8th grade history teacher in the school.  I was forced to take her class.  And she was harder on me than every other student so that she could prove that she wasn’t playing favorites.  She rode me hard all year long, but watching her do something that she is so gifted at totally changed how I viewed her.  But as responsible and gifted as my mom is, she is above all, childlike.

  We’ve always teased my mother that she’s easily entertained.  But the truth is that she’s totally in wonder of the world around her.  She loves to learn new things.  She doesn’t hide from challenges.  And she can’t sit still!  When we were small, she would sit on the front porch during a rain storm and play guitar and sing with us.  She would get my brother and I (and all 5 of our cousins) up early, early, early on a summer morning, pack peanut butter and banana sandwiches and warm Pepsi, and take us to the beach or museums or aquariums.  She’s the one that taught me how to play tennis and taught my brother how to play guitar.  And she’s the one that embarrassed us when we’d bring friends or dates home because she would interrogate them!  Not in an accusatory way, but out of childlike curiosity.  (I thought I’d die of embarrassment the time I had a date with a football player and she asked if she could feel his bicep.  Oh, MOM!  He was flattered.  I was mortified!)

Now that I’ve been living on my own for over a decade, I watch in amazement as my mom just keeps getting more and more active and curious and FUN!  She still plays guitar, but now she has started taking flute lessons.  She’s been on two trips to India.  She changed her diet and started exercising and has lost over a hundred pounds.  She walks, swims, bikes.  And bless her heart, it’s only taken us about 15 years to teach her how to check her email.  In short, not that she was bad before, but she’s getting better with age.

Last time that I was home, I shared my favorite poem with my mom because to me, it describes her.  She smiled and nodded, but I’m not sure that she really understood what I was trying to say.  So, let me try again… 

“Come, my friends, ’tis not too late to seek a newer world…  We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”  — from Tennyson’s “Ulysses” 

So, thanks Mama, for never letting me sit still…  For never letting me be bored…  For showing me how to be curious…  Your love of music made me a singer.  Your love of books made me a reader and a writer.  Your love of silliness taught me to laugh.  And your love of life taught me how to live!

About Sarah Salter


  1. Eliza Garrison says:

    “WOW” Sarah, I loved this article on, ‘act your age’ what an awesome, and worthy tribute to your mother. I Just love it and your mother. Hip, hip who ray’ Love ya Eliza

  2. That was really great, Sarah. I’m staring at forty and trying not to, but I’m slowly realizing that age is really just a number. Who you are and what you are is more up to you than up to time.

    Well done!

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