We have lived in the same ward practically our whole married life (38 years), and although I have to acknowledge it chronologically, it’s still hard for me to accept the fact that we are one of the “older couples” now. I just don’t feel that much different! But there are definitely signs throughout my current church experience that remind me things have changed and I am aging. Here are a few ways to tell if you’re in the same boat:
1. You realize with dawning horror that the young newlywed couples moving into your ward are closer to your kids’ age than to yours.
2. The subtle changes in the 1985 hymnbook still throw you.
You always have to remind yourself to sing “Who unto the Savior” instead of “You who unto Jesus” in “How Firm a Foundation.” To say nothing of “To God each good work will be known” instead of the more judgmental lyrics of former years: “The world has no use for the drone.”
3. One of the requirements for your Primary graduation was to name all the temples in the Church.
4. You used to wish people would lighten up about kids making noise in sacrament meeting; now you wish parents would take their noisy kids out of sacrament meeting.
5. The 1:00 to 4:00 meeting schedule really cuts into your nap time.
6. You practically need a roller-bag to tote your large-print scriptures to Gospel Doctrine class.
7. A call to serve in the nursery sounds like a lot more fun than it did when you were a young mother, but now you don’t have the knees for it.
8. You remember attending dime-a-dip dinners and Relief Society bazaars staged to raise money for the ward budget or the building fund.
9. You find yourself wondering when they started sending 12-year-olds on missions.
10. You will pay tithing with a paper check in a gray envelope until the day you die.
Emily Watts is the author of Once There Was a Mom, I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer, Confessions of an Unbalanced Woman, and The Slow Ripening: Fruits of Mothering. Now available at Deseret Book and deseretbook.com.