Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. You know how it is. The holidays get hectic. Buying, wrapping, decorating, baking and generally trying to make things magical for the progeny takes time out of my already too busy schedule. But another year is passing and I am medicating (Oops! I truly meant to write meditating but medicating somehow also works) on the inevitability of aging. Here are my thoughts. Maybe you can relate.
I am trying my hardest not to get old, to remain young in body and spirit. Yet, there is incontrovertible proof that, despite my best efforts, nature is still in control. I have begun to do things that only old people do, or at least what my younger self would have thought that only old people do.
I find that I am staring at myself in the mirror more and more often, examining the changing face of the person in front of me. Fight as I may, there are crow’s feet (It’s so much more pleasant to call them laugh lines) forming at the corners of my eyes. These wild and wiry red hairs are emerging amongst my blonde eyebrows, all of whom seem to be growing at a much more rapid pace. I have somehow developed a fine blonde mustache, which my 11 year old likes to point out to me. I am trying to decide if I am the only one who really notices (other than my irritatingly observant son) or if others are just being kind and I need to embark upon a regimen of electrolysis or waxing.
There are things drooping. These are unmentionable things. I will not speak of them… but you can use your imagination.
I have begun to complain more about my bodily concerns. When did I start groaning every time I get up from a seated position? And when did I start saying things like “Oh, my back.”? I have also taken to having a heating pad attached to some place on my body, 24/7. I find that my friends and I discuss the state of our intestinal tracts more often than is probably socially acceptable. We talk of sweats and mood swings and changing hormones. This doesn’t bode well for the continuation of my youthfulness.
I’d like to think I’m not too stuck in my ways but I do find myself opting for the familiar more and more. Why go to a new restaurant, try a new food, or listen to a new song when you have found what you like?
Also, I take off my work clothes as soon as I get home. I remember my parents doing this and thinking, “Why dirty up more clothes? This must be an old person thing.” Non-work clothes are more comfy, that’s why. And when you are a grown up, at the end of a long work day, you want nothing more than to shake off the mantle of the day and the fastest way to do that is to change clothes.
Another thing I said I’d never do when I was a kid, an action I attributed to being older and out of touch with the needs of the younger generation, was to give “Because I said so” as a reason when asked by my child why something has to be done. “I will never do that. I will always explain my reasoning to my children”, I thought to myself. “After all, they will deserve to get a full explanation.” But you know what? It’s exhausting having to explain every little thing. I try to stick to my childhood promise as much as I can but a simple explanation never seems to suffice. There is always an argument (my eldest son has turned arguing into an art form). Eventually, I give up arguing and invoke the old parental standby. Now, as a parent, I see the brilliance in its simplicity.
I suppose it is inevitable, aging. I suppose I should embrace it as it brings with it wisdom and confidence and sense of self. But does anyone really go willingly into that good night? I’m quite certain I’ll be trying to look 60 when I’m 70 and 70 when I’m 80. Time will still have the upper hand, though. I may fight and complain and ask of her in mournful tones, “Why do I have to get older?”, and she will speak to me in a voice that sounds eerily similar to my mother’s and say “Because I said so.”