This has been rolling around in my head for about a week. Normally, I wait for the Holy Spirit to give me a nudge to write something related to my faith walk. This isn’t one of those times. It’s more of an anecdotal observation.
My beloved Dad used to always tell me that “people” consider other people “old or older”, if they are fifteen years older than themselves. So, sure…when I was 35, I totally thought that someone who was (gulp) “fifty” was “old”. As my parents grew older I kept pushing that mark out further and further. When my Dad was in his eighties (but he felt forty-five on the inside…I know, because I asked him after I screamed at him to “get down off that ladder!”), I wasn’t really thinking that 80-something was old as I watched him competently drive around doing errands, snow-blowing a driveway that could conceivably hold seven+ cars, mowing the lawn, balancing a check-book, etc. I finally had to accept he was “old” when he passed away at ninety.
I remember several years ago when I had just entered my fifth decade, I was in a store, seemingly minding my own business, when a young boy, maybe seven or eight, came careening around the corner into the aisle I was in and nearly knocked me over! I heard his Mom calling after him and as he ran back to her, breathless, I heard him say, “I just ran into an old lady”. Wait!! WHAT!?! “Old lady? OLD LADY? C’mere kid so I can wash your mouth out with soap!” – at least that’s what I was thinking, but the kid wasn’t wrong…he was eight-ish and I was fifty-something so yeah, for all intents and purposes and certainly by his account, I WAS an old lady! :::insert bawling face emoji here:::
This “getting older thing” has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. Considerably less than a decade ago, I was slamming around on my Harley, riding fast, no hands, taking chances. Now? Fahgedaboudit! If I COULD manage to swing my leg over it and hoist it upright, that’d be about as much as I could manage. Oh, and that Harley’s for sale…hit me up and I’ll give you a good deal!
When I woke up one morning last year and looked in the mirror I was shocked! So shocked that I nearly banged my head on it as I zoomed in for a closer look. Neck wrinkles? Where did THESE come from! I didn’t have them the day before, but I’ve had them every day since. I really DO understand what my Dad was saying when I asked him how old he felt on the inside and he promptly replied, “Forty-five”. What I didn’t share was the rest of his statement which was, “I dunno, Tess…one day I woke up and looked in the mirror and there was an old man staring back at me and I have no idea when it happened.” :::Grabbing the tissue because this always made me cry!:::
How “old” do I feel? Well, on the inside, I’d say early 40-something. I dug my forties… probably one of the best decades of my life. I hadn’t hit menopause yet (perhaps that will be a forthcoming blog post), I got my motorcycle license at forty-two, I was pretty-much full of energy, I was killing it at work… working 10-12 hours a day in the office and probably another couple of hours at night when I got home. Raising two amazing kids along with my husband, and running a household. I was legit, killing it. And now, it’s all killing me.
I don’t have the stamina and physical strength that I used to have. My sharp-as-a-tack thought processes are more like a dull butter knife, sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes, and I just wasn’t expecting that. Honestly, I used to “pride” myself in telling everyone that I was gonna be “that 60 year old biker chick and that they’d have to pry those handlebars outta my cold, dead hands”. Well, the cold, dead hands part is right, anyway! (Thanks, carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve neuropathy!)
Age really IS “just a number”. Kinda like what’s displayed on my bathroom scale, which I’ve shoved in a corner until it apologizes to me! But in all seriousness, I know that each day is truly a blessing. Aging is a blessing. Not everyone is afforded the opportunity to grow old, and I don’t take that, or life, for granted.
My very best friend from high school (for over forty years) is my ride-or-die friend. We’ve been through so much together that I’m looking forward to growing older with her (and just for the record, she’ll turn 60 fourteen months before I do…just sayin’…).
Photo Cred: Pinterest
Ga’head, Father Time…add those wrinkles and age spots all you want! I’ll always be forty-something on the inside!
~Let Love Lead The Way~ TP