Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thoughts on My 43rd Birthday

On my 40th birthday, my stepmother asked me if I was dreading the entrance into a new decade. I answered, Not at all! I felt courageous and capable! These feelings only multiplied when I took up running at 41.

Today, I am 43. I am beginning to feel old.*

It's been nibbling at me a while now and in the weirdest ways:
  • Was that a hot flash? I believe it was!
  • Those weird hairs that show up in the most inconvenient places are now turning white!
  • Just in time for me to need bifocals.
  • Both my parenting and running friends are in their 30s. This should not matter. Until you realize that they have never heard of the cartoons you used to watch. 
  • I am not the first stop when people at work are having trouble with their computer. Not only that, I have moments when I blank out on technobabble and have to secretly look up what a coworker is saying.
  • I am one of the few who retains a shred of institutional knowledge at work. (Yes, kids, I even remember using vacuum tubes. For reals.) 
43 does look pretty good, though.
I'm trying to approach the aging thing like I do the weight thing--I can do marvelous things right now; if I wait until I am perfect, nothing will ever happen. But while I can lose weight, I can't shed years. Feel younger and stronger, yes; but those other things--they are part of the landscape now, baby.

So while I have the courage to dye my hair purple or wear animal hats or use "awesomesauce" in casual conversation, my mom saying, "There's no fool like an old fool" rings in my head. It's probably for people like me that goofy purple poem was written.

I'm still holding to the ultimate goal of running long enough so that I finally qualify for an age group award. But until then, yes, tell me I look healthier; tell me I look thinner; but, above all, tell me how young I look!

* Yes, yes, I know that this is going to be a lot like the parenting thing--some will be in wide-eyed innocence while others will laugh knowingly and say, "Oh, just you wait ..." But this is my space, so let me rant!