I’m getting old.
Perhaps it’s this countdown to my mid-century mark this year that has me suddenly aware of every creak and ping of my body, but the fact remains the same. I am getting old.
After 15 minutes on the elliptical, my knees pop and scream. When I stretch out in bed at night, there’s some strange cracking in my back and hips I’d never noticed before. I seem to be “touching up the roots” way more often than I used to. And Lord, when I look at myself in the mirror, there’s some saggy, soft version of myself staring back at me. It’s not quite my mom (she’s in way better shape than me), but damn, she looks close.
People around me seem to be younger as well, which in turn makes me older. In a couple of months my eldest daughter will be the age I was when I gave birth to her. At my youngest daughter’s age, I had been married for almost a year. I could swear the cop that gave me a friendly warning and called me m’am can’t be a day over 17. And watching parents chasing after their preschoolers at the mall exhausts me. Just watching and I’m wiped.
I’m getting old, that’s true. But I think I may be getting a bit wiser as well.
I don’t seem to care much what people think of me and my life choices. And when I don’t feel like doing something, I just say, “I don’t feel like doing that” and don’t.
I spend time doing the things that really mean something to me, and surround myself with people I really care about.
I love more deeply and perhaps more passionately and unconditionally because I’ve realized I’m probably half-way through my allotted time to love on earth.
I learn for the sake of knowing and have no compulsion to prove myself or my knowledge to anyone. Love me or leave me. It’s all good.
I peer into the mirror and indeed, time is marching on.
Creases and lines make their way across my face and suddenly I see a wayward, misplaced pimple. A reminder that youth with all its frailties and temporariness hasn’t quite waved the white flag. Not yet anyway.