If all you knew about me was my name, how old would you expect me to be?
If I were an Ethel or Betty you’d probably be thinking ‘over eighty’. A ‘Kylie’ is probably under 20? So how old is a ‘Sheila’? Well, it’s dawned on me that I am the youngest ‘Sheila’ I know. I’ve known a few ‘Sheilas’ over the years butI have only just realised that I have never in my whole life met one younger than me! It’s as if the name Sheila became deeply unfashionable the day my parents bestowed it on me. Cheers Pops, it was your idea, possibly you were a little behind the times? Thankfully I’ve never thought Sheila sounded old, I’ve always thought it sounded cheerful and chipper, (it helps if you say it in an Australian accent!) so it really surprised me when someone told me they thought that Sheila was an old-fashioned sounding name. I would love to hear from anyone out there who shares my name but thinks they might be younger than me. Who know I might be the last of the Sheilas?
So how old am I? Well ‘only as old as I feel’ which is not great news on days when I feel distinctly creaky. In human terms Bobby, our 5 month puppy, is a 3 year old and on our early morning walks he bounces along joyfully just like a gleeful toddler while I trudge dutifully. I take comfort from the slogan on my coffee cup coaster: The older you are the better you are, unless you are a banana.
The book of Proverbs tells me that ‘The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day’ (Proverbs 4:18). I love that idea. I am not dwindling into the shadows of old age, life is a pilgrimage onwards and upwards out of the shadows and uncertainties towards a bright sunny day.Yipee!
So how far have I got on my journey? You can have the answer in dog years: I am 329.
(Go figure, as they say in the States!)