Last night when I was throwing off the covers because, once again, I was too warm and couldn't sleep, or running down the hall every hour or so because I drank too much tea, I was thinking of what I had already written and what I would write on this subject. For me, menopause has lasted a lot longer than I think it should!
In this skin - this skin that is getting wrinkled, age-spotted, rather saggy, vericose-veined, jowled, lives a person who cannot believe she could possibly be as old as she is! Me! I know age is relative, and I am not old in the grand scheme of life, but to me, it is hard to comprehend that I am here already. It has come so quickly! The big 6-0 is approaching rapidly. I do not dread that number in particular. I just don't like some of the things that have been happening to this vessel in which I reside!
Since I have been thinking about this topic, I have wondered why it is that the idea of "aging" is only about getting old. We begin aging the moment we enter this world, or even before - we actually begin aging the moment we are conceived. If you're not aging, you are not alive. Why does the word have such a negative connotation?
My SIL, Morning Glory, asked me yesterday if I had written my post yet, and I said I hadn't, because I couldn't think of anything good to say! How sad! But since then, I've been doing a lot of thinking.
I've always heard older people (older than myself) say that they don't feel any older than they did when they were younger - they look in the mirror and can't believe that person looking out at them is that old. I am now at that point myself.
The strangest phenomenon for me is seeing an article in the paper about a celebrity, or a criminal, or just an average every-day person whose picture is shown. When they tell the age, and it's near mine, I almost always think, "I don't look that old, do I?" (Think Farrah Fawcett, even before cancer! But don't think Jacquelyn Smith - she looks WAY too good for our age).
My mom was only 18 when I was born. All of my adult life, I have compared where I am in life to where she was at the same age. Since my first child was born at 27, the age she had her 5th, it has been a very different scenario. Now the 18 years that separate us seem much less than they used to.
I remember one time when Kristen was a young girl she asked me why I didn't use Oil of Olay. The commercial was something like, "I'm not going to grow old gracefully, I'm going to fight it every step of the way!" I told her then that I was going to grow old gracefully.
I hope I am. Growing old gracefully. I don't want to be a crotchety Grandma. One of the reasons I changed my work schedule to be with the kiddoes every afternoon instead of two full days and one half day is that by 3:00 in the afternoon, I was finding myself extremely exhausted and not much fun. I don't want that to be what my grandkids think of when they think of me.
I am desperately fighting the weight thing that seems to come with changing metabolism. I seem to be losing (the battle, that is, NOT the weight). I can't seem to get a grip on it like I used to be able to. The gym membership is being taken from my credit card every month, but getting there is harder and harder. The change in my work schedule has had one unexpected down side - I don't have a lunch hour, so I am not as disciplined in preparing my lunch as I was when I was carrying it to work. I want so much to be slim again - but maybe the kiddoes wouldn't like my lap so much if it were boney - hmmm. Good thought!
Right now we seem to be in the sandwich generation - smack between the problems of our parents and our grown children. I used to say I felt like a piece of bologna, but I really don't like bologna, so I think I'll say I feel like a slice of turkey in between good wheat bread! No mustard, please. I know I'm not supposed to be so involved in the younger generation, and that's something I have to work on.
When I was teaching school years ago, I met a really neat lady in our church named Thelma. She was 72, and she actually became my best friend in that church. It was a very lonely time in my life, and she filled a void. I realized then that she was a very young 72, and I decided I wanted to be like that. 72 gets younger and younger every year!
One good thing that I really enjoy about being this age - discounts at Wendy's and Kohl's! The only thing better than getting an old people's discount would be if they'd card me for proof! They have not done so. Oh, well!
I don't have too much gray hair yet. What I do have is on top mostly, and I'm too tall for most people to see it - only my hairdresser knows for sure. When I looked at the pile of my hair on the floor after a recent trim, I realized it is definitely getting grayer! But I am far too lazy and far too cheap to color my hair, so it will gray gracefully! I wish it would be a beautiful white like Mom, but I doubt it will.
I want the lines on my face to be from laughing and smiling, not frowning and griping. That is my prayer today.
I love this scripture and hope it's true of me as I get more gray:
Proverbs 20:29 Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age. (The Message)
Check out more on this topic at http://seedsfrommygarden.blogspot.com/.