I’ve been young all my life. When I got married at the young age of 20, I looked all of maybe 18.
When I turned 30, most people thought I was 25-ish.
When I told someone I was “over 50” not long ago, they exclaimed, “No way!”
I’m told I look younger than my actual age. (And if you don’t agree, then you may kindly keep your mouth shut, please and thank you!)
But I feel lately like I have graduated from “looking younger than my age” to “Uh, oh…what happened?” Even though I feel like I’m relatively “hip” (now there’s a “young” word, eh?) when it comes to most things of the younger generation, lately I’m really feeling my true-actual-typed-on-my-birth certificate age.
For those of you reading this that haven’t crossed over into this category, just take this as a “prepare yourself” moment. For those that are right here with me, just say amen!
When you get here, your brain stops working. It’ll start playing practical jokes on you. For instance, it’ll tell you, “Hey, run into the bedroom and get that book.” So you go in there and…nothing! Your brain has punked you and snatched the idea straight out from under you.
You’ll be talking to someone ON your cellphone, wondering where in the world you left your cellphone. (True story…actually happened to my sweet mother-in-love one time while she was talking to me.)
“I think I left my phone in the car!”
“You mean the phone that you’re talking to me on?”
**Hysterical laughing! After all, you gotta laugh!
Same goes with your glasses. Looking and looking for them all over creation…and they’re on your fool head.
Let’s talk about our bodies. I can no longer quit eating carbs for a day and lose 5 pounds like I could in my 20’s. As you age, your body is fat and happy to be fat and happy. And to prove it to you, you can eat 500 calories a day for 6 weeks and lose 3 pounds. The next day, you eat croutons on your salad and you gain 10. It doesn’t care. Stretch jeans and oversized sweatshirts? Your body will love it!
And energy? Forget it! I read about a woman younger than me who went dancing one night with her husband – and it took her 3 days to recover. Naps are close friends. And hey, “regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving.” (author unknown)
Nora Ephron, rest in peace, wrote a book entitled, “I Feel Bad About My Neck”. It was funny when I first read it…now not so much. It’s hilarious, actually.
In it, she talks about how self-conscious she is about her neck. She refers to how, when she and her women friends would go out for lunch, they were all either wearing turtlenecks or, like Katherine Hepburn in the movie “On Golden Pond,” they’d all be wearing scarves.
I feel her pain.
You tend to avoid mirrors, or selfies, or photos altogether. As you pass by any reflective surface, you avert your eyes…or at the least, you squint so that you don’t see yourself clearly.
I’m not saying any of this to scare you. And neither am I insinuating that you just stop taking care of yourself because resistance is futile. Joan Rivers once said, “Looking 50 is great if you’re 60.” Do all you can to look at LEAST your age. Don’t treat your body in a way that will make you look older than you really are. Good healthy life choices will make all the difference.
Getting older isn’t all bad. There’s a lot of things you did when you were younger that you don’t ever have to do again…like algebra. There are some very positive things about this thing.
You finally are kinda figuring out what you’re really good at, what you love, what you value. You tend to be more sure of your life…and you just go for it! You’re not as scared as you used to be.
Maya Angelou said, “Life loves the liver of it!” So live it fully!
You tend to stop looking sideways…much less high-centered by what everyone else thinks (although I doubt that tendency ever completely disappears.) You find your own song and your own dance. And you’re able, with all of your heart, to cheer like a wild woman for those in your life who are accomplishing great things and receiving great recognition and blessings.
And by now, you’ve found contentment. Whatever you’ve built up around you…your spouse, kids, friends…you breathe deeply when you think of them. This is your place, as one author wrote. Make the decision to fill your days with those people and things that bring you joy; fill every day with great laughter and greater grace.
Because if you’re not “this age” yet, you will be. And you’ll find that you wouldn’t trade one wrinkle, one dark spot or one chin to go back and have to live it all again. Learn to accept this beautiful version of yourself. And when you do that, nothing else matters.
PS: One more word of advice: Whatever you do, don’t look at your face in a 10X magnifying mirror, with your reading glasses on. (Be near, Lord Jesus!)