As some of you know, Jan 26th was my birthday. 59 and staring down the barrel at the big Six Zero! That sounds so crazy to me! Never have I ever imagined saying those words! I remember so well, being 13 and thinking my parents were so old, old fashioned and out of touch. Heck, they could die at any time! Haha They were turning 30! Boy, has my perspective changed.
Birthdays have a way of making you take your life into account, measuring the distance, the fluidity of time and change, all the forms we’ve taken along the way and consider what forms might lie ahead. How will I become this new thing?
With hope, gracefully although graceful is not my strong suit. My body is ever changing and I can’t say I’m overjoyed about that, especially since internally, I remain the girl I was and don’t really know how to be anything else. While I might hope to glide into 60, the odds are pretty high that it’ll be much more like trying to drag a cat into a bathtub.
Here’s to all the versions I have been and learning to inhabit this new skin.
I was a cute kid, you know? Of course I had my awkward teenage phases but came into my own as a young adult. I didn’t do pregnancy pretty. I wasn’t a glower by any means. Hammered, over stuffed sack of potatoes! Our son says of our (due next week) pregnant daughter-in-love, that coming home from work is like walking into the house to a loaded gun. “She’s pregnant as Shite and mad AF!” LOL I remember those days well but darn it, she glows!
I’ve varied in weight, a little cushy to model thin and ranged from couch potato to body builder fit.
Age 5…mom had a rat tail comb and knew how to use it and 16, platform shoes and disco.
Most days, I’m 17, ponytail and cutoff jeans, apt to break out into an awful (yet really loud) rendition of “My Sharona”. Lord forbid we’re out shopping and The Bee Gee’s “Night Fever” happens to start playing on their radio. I not only WILL but HAVE, gone full Travolta, right in the middle of a shopping center.
Sometimes I’m 25, in wayfarers and converse sneakers, long hair loose in the wind and I’m Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”. Other days I’m about 6 and don’t mind calling you a poopoo head, right to your face.
I rise each morning as any one of these characters and happily so, right up to the point that I pass a mirror. I’m stopped in my tracks. I recognize this face but it isn’t mine. It’s my mothers. My mother say she experiences the same thing!
Age 21, muscle beach and that 80’s punk hair & 26Some cosmic joke, isn’t it, that we grow old physically but not internally? I feel the same, I feel like….me. But, this flesh is ever changing and suddenly the two are out of sync. This new skin looks much older than I feel and I’m uncertain how to wear it.
Have you ever pulled your phone out to take a picture and the lens flipped to selfie mode? It’ll scare the crap out of you! My next thought was,”what the heck is this face I’m making?” If you’re not prepared for a selfie, it’s a wrecking ball to your self esteem.
How about hanging a mirror? You pick your spot, set the nail then bend over to pick up the mirror, “Sweet Jesus!!!!” Let me tell you, if you haven’t seen yourself from that angle, well that’s a real treat. You just go ahead and do that. I guarantee you, you’ll start picking stuff up with your feet before bending over a reflective surface again and you’ll stop leaning over people too!
Age 37 … #Animal-Lover
My husband isn’t always a big help. Don’t get me wrong, he’s blind as crap so first thing in the morning, he says things like “I love your sleepy face”, “I’ve out kicked my coverage with you, babe”, “your so pretty”. I’m convinced this is code for ” You’re a little chunky and old, but I’m commited, so…”.
I know exactly what I look like in the morning. First of all, I don’t even understand English until coffee #2. I zombie walk to the kitchen, long hair looking like there may have been a tornado in the night and dark circled eyes warning that it might be a good idea to NOT make eye contact and just walk away. Yep, pretty.
Age 44, dating Clay & 47, sons wedding
BUT, his mother (who I might add was much closer to my grandmothers age) managed to convince young Clay, that she was the epitome of style and taste. Now that might be true … for 1967!!!! So, when we’re strolling through the outlet mall and he points to an outfit in a window and says “Ooooh, you’d look so pretty in that!”, and it looks like it was made out of my grandmothers couch, I give him “THE Look” (basically it’s stink face) but when he says “Well, my mom…..” (again, 1967) it’s all I can do to pull back a pimp slap!
Far right – age 55 with mom & siblings
I have long hair and the “experts” say a woman my age should cut her hair because long hair makes you look older. That might be true but I’m not ready to chop my hair off. Heck, at this age, I’m afraid to cut it at all! It’s just one step closer to that old lady man doo. The next thing you know, I’ll be dying it blue and letting Clay dress me in couch fabric!
I’m not ready for granny clothes and mom jeans, wrinkles and man cuts. I’m not ready for my age. I’m finding it hard to embrace this new skin I’m in or gracefully move into the skin I’ll be in tomorrow. For now, I’ll just keep dancing and sing a happy tune (really loud) in cutoff Jean’s, ponytail and sneakers, leaving the fret of years for another day and cartwheel to the finishline.
Age 56, retirement and lake life.
November 2020 Age 58