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Cash life experiences into maturity
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Apparently, there is not much of a correlation between a person’s age and level of maturity.

That’s what I learned not too long ago, after receiving a bit of unsolicited advice from a woman who was more than twice my age.

By simply looking at her, she seemed to have all of the characteristics of a “mature woman.”

But then she opened her mouth, and proceeded to give me “advice” -- and I use that term loosely -- about marriage, relationships and life in general.

Fifteen minutes later, as I willed my cell phone to ring so that I could escape the conversation, I found myself wondering how any person could live so long and yet still be so immature.

Sometimes it just baffles me how someone can watch each year, or even each decade, fly by and not have learned a single lesson from their life experiences.

This is something that I think about each year as New Year’s Eve rolls around.

Sure, resolutions are great to make.

A semi-serious vow to hit the gym shows that you are, at the very least, trying to better yourself for the future.

But sometimes, I feel that you can prepare for the new year even more by just reflecting on the past year, three years or 10 years.

It’s true each year that passes gives you a new experience. Maybe it was a new challenge or a new victory. Perhaps it was through having a good day or a bad day that changed your life forever.

But what you do with those experiences, whether you’ve ever stopped to reflect on any lessons learned, is what determines your level of maturity.

During the past 10 years, I have been on somewhat of a roller coaster ride. I’ve made good decisions and bad decisions. I’ve created some good memories, as well as some I would like to forget.

But I’m happy to say that I have grown wiser. And I’d like to think that I don’t behave as the same 15-year-old kid that I was 10 years ago.

I’m happy to say that I don’t have the same mindset that I did five, seven or even 10 years ago.

Am I completely where I want to be?

Of course not.

But as each year passes, I hope that I’ve learned something from each challenge, stumbling block, bad day, and even every good day -- and that I’ve come one step closer to attaining wisdom.

I hope that by the time I’m 35, I can say the same thing.

What about you?

As we prepare to enter a new year, just take a minute to stop, think and reflect.

Are you growing up or have you just gotten older?