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Sunday, June 25, 2017

On Age

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're thirty-four.”

That quote is from the late and great Nora Ephron. Unless you're Jennifer Aniston, most women over the age of 40 will relate. Yesterday I celebrated numero 48. It was a fun, celebratory day with lots of good wishes from lots of special people in my life. But it's impossible for me not think FORTY-EIGHT! OH MY GOD. WHEN DID I GET THAT OLD? My own father can't believe he's the dad of an old person. My kids, on the other hand, have always thought I was old. Nevertheless, I will continue to coach myself by saying things like, "Well, I'm not 50 yet." And when that milestone hits in two years, I'll move on and say things like "Well, I'm not 51 yet."

me concerned about age at 47
I used to work with a guy who would tell people he was 50 when he was actually in his thirties. Everyone would be like, "Really? You look so young!" I thought this to be an ingenious strategy. If someone is bound to lie about their age (unless they're under the age of 21), they tend to say they're actually younger than they are, which is kind of dumb really. If I were to tell someone right now I was thirty, they'd look at me and spout out some sort of lie like, "You look so good."  But they'd actually be thinking,"Whoa. That woman hasn't aged well." Best to stick with the truth probably. And why not?

There's much to be said about aging. I could go on about the wisdom you gain as you grow older and yadayadayada. Or, how it's nice to reach an age when you don't have to worry about how to pay your bills. But the truth is that each year brings its own challenges and rewards. Good stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. You figure out how to cope and you try to laugh along the way. Laughing is key as your body starts to take on some strange qualities. (When did my husband and I obtain such bad breath? How does that happen all of the sudden?)

I often find myself reminiscing about the days when our kids were cute toddlers and long to go back to snuggling and reading with them on the couch. Undoubtedly, I loved those moments. But there were the other moments too. The little spats with my husband on dividing up the work. Picking up the zillions of legos on the floor. (I still find them once in a while.) Drying the many tears that come with children. And the continual insecurity that time was going too fast and I wasn't doing everything I needed to be doing.

Then I reached 48. And I'm not so worried anymore. I can go to the grocery store without makeup and not care. My husband and I are as happy as we've ever been. The kids are fine–quite good actually. They can do their own laundry and make grilled cheeses.

Okay sure, my hair needs color every four weeks. There's this squish around my stomach that won't shrink no matter how much I diet. There are things like colonoscopies that lurk in my short future. It's all really okay. I know this because I can put on a bikini (in the privacy of my own home of course) and instead of cry, I laugh–a sure sign of maturity.
me with posse not concerned about age at 48

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