I am on a trip to see my family, visit in-laws and show the kids all my old haunts. In doing so, I am realizing all the things that make me realize I am getting older and moving into a new phase of life. Aging is pretty much unavoidable, so they say. But does it have to be so sneaky? Your parents talk about it, you hear it in the media. Aging is a perverse little ghost, snaking through every day life in some ways which are not readily apparent. It’s also a blessing, and can be freeing and forgiving. It allows you the perspective of time. Anyway, here is my incomplete list. Feel free to add or comment.
Ways I know I am getting older:
My hands. They remind me of how my mother’s hands looked when I was growing up. This is not necessarily a bad thing, my mother’s hands are comforting and fixed many a skinned knee and wiped many tears.
My knees. As I leaned into a standing forward bend in yoga the other day, I noticed my knees in horror. They are fucking wrinkly!
I am still willing to pay lots of money for hair color. I am not ready to be gray. Yet.
When I am on the machines at the gym and they prompt me for my age, I actually have to stop and think. Answering how old I am has ceased being reflexive.
Monkey brain keeps telling me I need to get peels and botox. When I wake up in the morning, I have papery bags under my eyes and I save tea bags in my refrigerator to place on my them.
There is a whole industry dedicated to my eyes and making me look younger, it’s called “cosme-ceuticals.” They are failing.
I have begun telling people that they don’t understand things because they are young or that they will understand when they are older. When do I get to the point of all-knowing? When will I be finished learning?
My husband and I are scheming about things we will do when the kids are out of the house.
I am shocked at the cost of things. I make comments like, “A loaf of bread cost 99 cents when I was growing up.” Who gives a shit?
Fatigue is my daily enemy. My bedtime seems to be getting earlier and earlier. Pretty soon I’ll be going to bed yesterday. What the hell!
Friends from college that I haven’t seen in a while-they look older. I find myself wondering if I look old to them. (Uh, yes.)
I am starting to gauge the time I have left in my life instead of not thinking about it at all. For me, those things include places I haven’t been. Books I haven’t read. People I haven’t apologized to.
My body hurts in places it never used to hurt. That really really sucks.
When I think back of what it was going to be like being (pause) 43, it is not what I expected. As it turns out, I want more for myself than I thought I would. I am feeling a little selfish these days. That feels pretty fucking good.
Wait, am I 42 or 43? I am pretty sure I am 43.
Sometimes when I am with my husband’s mom, who has cancer, I think about legacy. I think about how we are all remembered and what we do in our lives to contribute. That time I ran into traffic in the city at a green light to impress some friends? Not a legacy moment. Yesterday at Ellis Island when we looked up relatives in their database and saw their names? Legacy.
I cried yesterday when we saw Mary Poppins on Broadway. The mingling of a classic film and songs, today’s production and the sweet memories of my children and my own childhood: joyous.
Okay, I look really fucking young in my wedding photos. It wasn’t THAT long ago!
My body is redistributing in some strange ways. It is not currently aligned the way it used to be.
I cringe at some of the things I have done. Then, miraculously, I let myself off the hook.
Sometimes I daydream what it will be like when it’s just my husband and me and when we will retire. What will retirement look like? Will it be in twenty years? We plan on being very active and healthy. We also know, from experience, that the ball can drop at anytime. We try to practice gratitude for what we have right now.
I am so so happy, when I look back on it, that I married the guy I did. I was pretty fucking stupid in my 20’s, so you know, WHEW.
So I am going to get back to the good stuff. Family, sunshine and Spring. Wish me luck in my new phase!