Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sneaking up on me...

A few weeks after telling an unsuspecting new friend that I was 29 (never dreaming she'd actually believe me), I told her that I'd been married for 14 years.  She had the most confused look on her face, "Wait. How old are you?"  


I know I'm not old, but I'm starting to see the physical signs of age and it seems that I'm being reminded from every angle of the mirror as well as family and friends (because coincidentally most of my immediate circle of friends are at least 5 years younger than I).  After I finally lost the baby weight, I noticed lines that weren't there before I had kids.  They weren't even there when I had an extra 10 pounds to lose.  I took a trip to the dermatologist and grilled her for a good skin care regimen to stop the aging process in its tracks.  I've started wearing daily SPF, using this cream and that cream and shockingly the signs of aging are still there.  I wish there was a cream to boost my declining energy level.

I'm not one of those women that feels comfortable in a bikini even in front of perfect strangers in another country.  (See my swimsuit shopping post for more on that)  I look in the mirror and see everything heading south, not just the parts one would expect.  The skin around my knees, the flab on my inner thighs, the tummy pucker, the neck skin: it's all heading toward the floor.  Even my elbows and fingers have loose skin.  Who knew?

If you've had children, you intimately those few months when your hair starts to fall out in masses.  You clean clumps out of the drain catch after every shower, but even after a couple months, you still end up pulling what seems like a small cat out of your drain because so much of it still made it past the catch.  Well, mine never stopped falling out.  Thankfully, I have my mother's genes, so I don't have to worry about gray yet.  Bald, maybe, but not gray.  I think I'd rather go gray.  Is it already time to start using Rogaine or Propecia? 

Then there's my eyelids.  I started noticing within the last couple of years or so that it was becoming increasingly difficult to use a regular eyeliner pencil without my eyelid stretching along with the pencil...across my face all the way to my hairline.  When did my skin have so much give? 

I remember hearing a speaker once say that a good test of age is pinching the skin on the back of your hand and seeing how quickly it bounces back.  I was 18 when I heard this man and my skin snapped back like a rubber band.  It's slowed down quite a bit during the last few years, but it's not as slow as it could be, I suppose, if I were a smoker and sunbather.  I don't remember what the point to the speaker's message was, but I remember occasionally to test my aging skin when I want to feel depressed.

Children are supposed to keep you young, right?  Mine just keep reminding me that my mind is going.  Literally.  I was trying to teach my 4 year old how to make a pocket by rolling up the bottom of her shirt to hold the rocks she was collecting.  She declined that idea and decided to put the rocks in her tiny shirt pocket instead.  I said something to the effect of, "Honey, I'm a lot older and wiser than you, so I know more than you.  You can hold a lot more rocks if you do it my way."

She replied by saying, "I know, Mom.  I'm younger than you and I remember everything."

Yep, everyone and everything is reminding me.  And I'm OK with it, for the most part.  I am much more comfortable with who I am the older I get.  I'm generally a wiser and happier person with each life lesson I learn.   And my relationships and friendships, though not untested, are healthier and more stable.  I do realize I'm not old.  I know I can't really complain for at least another 10 years.

So until then, I shall be 29.

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."
Lucille Ball

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