You’re Only As Old As You Feel

With my birthday right around the corner, I’ve been thinking some about age and aging. This blog post may not be of much interest to my younger friends. These things probably aren’t happening to you yet, but they will. Right now you can get a good chuckle at my expense. That’s okay. Just know your time will come. I didn’t believe any of that “over 40” crap…until it started happening to me. For those of you have reached this milestone and beyond, I know you can relate.

Honestly, I don’t feel my age…whatever that’s supposed to feel like. I’ll be 44 this week, but most days I wake up shocked as hell I’m not still 25. Not that I want to be 25 again (no offense those of you in your 20s), I just don’t feel old. Or I guess as old as I thought my mom was when she was my age. Didn’t your mom seem old in her 40s? Funny how my perspective of what “old” is has changed.

I’m not obsessed with staying young; I definitely see the benefits of getting older. I’m wiser, more relaxed, more comfortable in my own skin–most of the time. I feel a little more sure of myself, a little more confident in who I am. But I am definitely seeing the affects of the passing of time. I am noticing more gray in my hair, my eyebrows and other place I care not to mention. In the last six months or so I’ve realized I have to hold things a little further away to read the small print. My body certainly doesn’t look the way it used to; gravity is not my friend.

But I have to admit the most surprising thing is my memory…or lack thereof. I often set things down in places and forget them. I have conversations with my kids I can’t recall. Sometimes I just feel like my brain is so full, there isn’t room for anything else. I mean, why is it I can remember things I don’t need to like state capitals I learned in the fifth grade? Or the Preamble to the Constitution? But I can’t remember I told my son he could go to a friend’s house on Saturday. I don’t even remember him asking me. Believe me, no one has the ability to make you feel more stupid about forgetting things than a 13 year old. So when I tell you this story, I want you to promise me you won’t tell my son. I would never hear the end of that! Do we have a deal? Good!

The other day…perfect, I don’t even remember what day it was. I’m pretty sure it was one day last week. Seems like a long time ago, but might’ve been Friday. Or was it? Anyway, I was busy with work AND thinking about the errands I was going to run on my break. Take a package to the post office, drop some books off at the library, take some things to the school and maybe, if I had time, treat myself to Starbucks. I got everything ready and loaded up my car. It was a little chilly out so I started the car and turned up the heat. I wanted it to be nice and toasty when I got in it to go. I ran back in the house to check my work email one last time and make sure no one needed anything. I figured I’d do one little task while I was waiting for my car to warm up. After getting a number of things done and feeling really accomplished and pretty good about myself, I thought I’d better run those errands or I wouldn’t get to them. I went to grab my purse and keys and they weren’t where I thought I had left them. And that’s when it hit me! I started my car already. How long ago was that? An hour? Two? I really didn’t know. I ran to the window to make sure my car was actually still on the driveway. It was. Thank god I live in a small town where someone would sooner knock on my door to let me know I’d left my car running, than steal it. But still…who forgets they started their car? Apparently I do.

I can deal the gray in my hair…that’s what hair color is for, right? And if I was really so concerned about the forces of gravity, I suppose I could consult a plastic surgeon. But there’s really nothing I can do about my memory. I already make lists upon lists just to remember the stuff I’m supposed to do every day. Do I really need to write myself a stickie note to be reminded I started my car? I think that’s taking things a bit far, don’t you?

Maybe this is just one of those things I’ll have to accept. Or maybe that experience was a friendly reminder from my psyche to slow down a little; to not try to do so much all the time. Could it be this is my mind’s way of telling me to take it easy on myself? Possibly. As I’m approaching another birthday I’m going to look at this as a gift from the Universe. A gentle reminder that in a world that often moves too fast, maybe it’s time for me to cut myself some slack. I am doing the best I can afterall. And maybe, just maybe, that’s enough.

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