Perspective that comes with age

Middle age refers more
to landscape than to time:
it’s as if you’d reached

the top of a hill
and could see all the way
to the end of your life . . .

(from Foreseeing by Sharon Bryan)

On Thursday I turn 32. Young, I know, compared to many of you, but feeling older. If genetics are any indicator, I’ve only lived a third of my life thus far.

Especially since I turned 30 have I felt older and begun to ponder my own mortality. I generally pay little attention to my age — indeed, I usually have to think twice, or thrice, to actually remember how old I am when asked.

I miss the health of my youth, as all of us probably do, or will, although I don’t think I’d be willing to give up the knowledge I’ve gained thanks to time to have it back. With age comes perspective, perspectives of all kind. I’m grateful for this perspective and hope I can put the knowledge that comes with years to good use in the future.

I’ll be celebrating with some of the guys — the wife is flying to Chicago tomorrow for her brother’s graduation — with a red velvet cake and a board game. If you feel like virtually celebrating with me, please consider donating $32 to ArtsLink.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

3 Responses to Perspective that comes with age

  1. Heather says:

    Happy birthday!

  2. Arnold says:

    I celebrated my 46th last Friday. Being middle-aged is a curious thing for a man (perhaps for women too). It’s a time for re-evaluating, looking back & forward as well. Many men have a difficult time at this age. I pray we get through it gracefully.

    Happy birthday!

  3. Sally says:

    I’m glad to see a snippet from Sharon Bryan, who was a writing mentor of mine years ago. It’s always good to know that people are reading her.

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