I think I used to be quite hip. I had long hair, wore bell bottoms and always a bandana somewhere. I went to lots of live concerts and had 8-track tapes and records. I slept on a waterbed (do they still have those?) and had a black-light and even a strobe light. Pretty cool for the day.
Today when I talk about even having hair, much less hair that flowed freely in long curly locks over my shoulders and down my back my kids find it hard to believe. There are few pictures to prove the legend of my hair but they exist. I think the kids have a fantasy vision –which is probably one with my current face and body just add long hair, now that is funny.
Now being involved in a youth ministry (Kids Outdoor Zone) I have a chance to be cool again. I wear a couple necklaces made by the hand of my wife. I wear a leather bracelet my son gave me. I don’t shave everyday and am thinking a longer hairstyle would be cool. I am not falling for the tattoo thing or the baggy clothes.
However my coolness is limited. I get cool credit with the 8 – 14 year old boys because I hunt and fish and have lots of cool gear. I get a few men who give me cool credit because I am an outdoor writer, hunt and fish for a living. That is about it at 49. I may have passed my real cool-ability years.
This is most obvious in my 14-year-old daughter’s world. She is a beautiful, self confident and one of the true joys of my life. She is fashionable and smart, like her mom, and knows music and style trends. She is a country girl at heart who will dawn a Carhart and boots as fast as Abercrombie or Hollister. She has critiqued me a few times in a loving way that has helped me understand my dilemma of being a cool hip guy with long hair living in the body of an old dad guy with kids that has thinning and receding hair. Her help in my fashion choices was not only to keep her from being embarrassed but to keep folks from thinking I an old guy stuck in a time long since passed. For these things I am grateful.
I was watching the movie Napoleon Bonaparte recently and in it his uncle purchased a time machine. He lives his life for the one day in his youth he was part of a winning football team. Now he is older and his life is going nowhere fast. He longs for something he will never have.
In some ways I long for certain things in my past, my great long, thick flowing locks, less aches and pains, endless energy and things that are only found in youth. However I love my life right now. I love that I am learning more about life, relationships and love. I am better able to focus on God and His place in my life. I am bolder in my testimony and faith. I feel emotions deeper, see colors brighter, rest in Him in ways I never even thought about or could have imagined when I was younger.
For me being a hip old guy is going to have to rest in wisdom, I strive for that. In the book of James you can read about it a lot - James: 1 – 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Wisdom is more than book learning and test taking; it comes from experience, patience and prayer.
For Christmas my kids bought me Abercrombie shirts and Hollister cologne so it seems I can be “updated.” I am happy with that. Besides the strobe lights make me wheezy, I can’t see with a white light much less a black one and I have an iPod I am having a hard time figuring out, nuff said.
TJ GreaneyCountry Line Magazine / Kids Outdoor Zone