A blog post about aging has been swirling in my head for awhile.
I’ve resisted writing about it — and really thinking about it –because, well, it makes me feel old. And, feeling old is not very fun.
I’m telling you, if you don’t feel old yet, it’s coming.
One day, you’ll look at a picture of yourself that say, your daughter posts on Facebook, and you’ll pull away from the screen in shock.
You’ll hear yourself say, “Is that me? Is that really what I look like?”
Then, you’ll stare at it closely, examining the eyes and you’ll wonder what happened. Did an eyelid suddenly droop? Did you develop a lazy eye? Did you not get enough sleep?
Something clearly is wrong.
Your brother will remind you to get a flu shot. You’ll forget. He’ll remind you again. You’ll forget again. He’ll say something about how “at our age” we need to get flu shots.
Then, one day, you’ll miraculously remember. You’ll get the darn shot and you’ll take a picture of yourself with a band-aid on your arm to text to your brother to prove that you did it.
He’ll text back and say, “Is that really YOUR arm? Or is that mom’s arm?”
You’ll examine your arm and realize that it looks like your mom’s and she’s in her eighties.
You’ll go to a new church and members will say how happy they are to have people “your age” in their congregation.
And this is the worst thing yet… the absolute worst…
You’ll see someone you knew in high school and you will think she is her mother.
You will not know how to dig yourself out of that deep, humiliating hole.
Your daughter will say, “Mom, she obviously is your age. She looks your age. How did you think she was her mother?”
And you will blush a million shades of red and you will not have an answer to that question, but you will know it lies somewhere in a false belief that you both should look like you did 40 years ago.
You will be a new kind of embarrassed because you will realize that you got old — and other people your age got old too — and you didn’t even know it was happening.
You’ll go to the gym and see that you are standing on the doorstep of senior citizenry.
You will learn that you qualify for Silver Sneakers classes and that the senior citizen rate is an eye blink away.
While you should be happy that you will soon get good deals because of your stinking age, your sense of self will feel injured. Your feelings of vibrancy and relevance will shrink just a little.
You will go over all the obvious signs that prove you are old — the sagging eye in the Facebook photo, the growing number of comments about your age, arms like your mother’s, the comment about a high school acquaintance being her mom for Pete’s sake, and the Silver Sneakers eligibility.
It’s all there. It’s all irrefutable.
And on top of all that, you’ll use a phrase like “for Pete’s sake” in a 2016 blog.
Oh, for the love…
I’m open to all ideas on how to cope with this new phase of life.
For now, I’m telling myself to just live my life and forget my age.
Easier said than done.
Sheryl Crow said, “I hate aging, but I wouldn’t trade where I am to be in my 30s again.”
I loved my 30s, but like Sheryl Crow, I don’t want to revisit them or all the years from then to now.
She said, “I hate that with technology, every time we take a picture, we have the capability of erasing our wrinkles and our life signs. It creates a lot of pressure. I just don’t look in the mirror much. I look in the mirror for that three minutes in the morning when I brush my teeth and then I go about my business.”
Okay, so the secret to aging gracefully is limiting your mirror gazing time to three minutes while you brush your teeth.
At least that’s a start.