Aging Gratefully

102A few years ago when my cousin visited from New Jersey, he remarked at how much smaller our stomping grounds seemed now, compared to when he was younger. Similarly, I am reminded that when I was a kid I thought that 40 was a really old age. But with 40 being the new 30 and with me using the following techniques, hopefully my kids won’t feel the same way.

As a general rule, I always smile broadly when taking pictures to disguise the fact that one of my eyes is smaller than the other. But a few months ago, on reviewing some photos, I realized that I have crow’s feet. I have no idea where they came from. My solution has been to lose the smile, narrow my other eye and try to look like a model.

Since my metabolism has started to slow down now, I have to find creative ways to combine my eating habits with exercise to stave off the extra pounds. Is it more work outs and less bread, no sugary drinks and more repetitions? Just fruits this week so I can do one day less of exercise, or forgo work and just exercise all day? I never had to do this delicate dance about ten years ago. It’s exhausting! I solve this dilemma by deciding to just suck it in underneath my Spanx and waiting till I get home to exhale.

My doctor visits, especially to the gynecologist, engender some trepidation now, what with all the scans, tests and probes that become necessary. Gone are the carefree days of going through the motions. At this age, they might actually find something wrong! So as I watch my life flash before my eyes (because that helps me take my mind off the discomfort), I resolve to be more generous with my time if I’m allowed to have more of it.

Can we talk about the colour gray? Not the shades. The gray in the hair. Why is it that when one shows up, the others think they have a license to come as well? There is nothing else that belies your age like a set of gray hairs in strategic areas. They appear when you least expect them and in places you least expect them. But I won’t go there…. My salvation comes in a bottle. And since change is good, my hair has been brown sable, rich chestnut, dark auburn and even honey blonde.

But as I laugh at all the contortions I put myself through to solve the age-old problem of growing, well, old, nothing makes me realize that the years are indeed passing, more than watching my children grow up. They’re at the age now when they are curious to know how old I am, and since I don’t want to see their eyes widen in shock (or have the information provide fodder for playground discussion), I only promise to tell them when I think they’re responsible enough to handle the information.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful to have made it to 40, and since wisdom comes with age I’m expecting that to kick in any minute now. Besides, I still feel young, even though certain things may say otherwise.

But at least I’m not 60.  Now that would be really old.

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Am I talking to myself here?

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