Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another day, another year

Wow, do I feel old. I can’t believe I’ve been on this earth for so many years. How can it be? I’m still immature, I still feel young (well, in my mind—not in my knees or back or feet.) I definitely do not feel my age…which, quite recently, slipped quietly into its next year.

We’re all growing older every day; why does the subtle alteration of that number drive home the point so ruthlessly? It’s not as if the aging process speeds up on a birthday; we’re aging at the same rate all the time. And yet. And yet. I never even thought I could get past 30. I’m not sure what I envisioned—did I imagine I’d just stop and stay still in the midst of whirling time? Now that I’m approaching 40, I can’t deny it any longer. It’s happening. I’m no spring chicken, and I’ve long left behind the “spring” of my life.

There are, however, some advantages to aging. I care less and less what people think as I hobble into middle age. The shy, awkward, “what-will-people-think?” girl is gone from my life, banished by healthy apathy and increased self-confidence. I’d never go back to being that girl. She was miserable, apologetic, and altogether too easily influenced by the opinions of the world, poor timid pup.

And I’m more certain about my priorities now. When I was a silly kid, I was all mixed up about what was important. Finally, I’m starting to get a clue. People, not things. The kid and my husband, not just me and my own selfish desires. Healthy eating and respect for life instead of taking tomorrow for granted. Safety paired with a grateful joie de vivre, instead of foolhardy risks and much moaning and groaning about my folly in life. Faith in God, not false hope in false gods.

The best part of aging? It happens to everyone. No one escapes unless they opt for the alternative (which isn’t nearly as attractive a choice as getting a little bit older). It’s even happening to the people who are younger than me; I try not to snicker as folks who once ribbed me mercilessly about my maturity are now traveling into their 30s. HA HA—how’s it feel, girls? We’re all lugging around the same decade now, aren’t we? (Hey, I never said I was nice—just trying to be. Besides, they deserve it, the snipes.)

Well, that’s about enough philosophizing for one day. I owe it to my old self to get a sufficient amount of rest, so I’ll sign off for now. Eat right, get some exercise, stretch your muscles, and don’t worry about the numbers—at least not THAT number.

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