Old is the New Black

Next weekend I will attend my 20th High School Reunion. Which seems weird to me because I feel like I was in high school was just yesterday. Ok, maybe not yesterday. Maybe the day before yesterday. Or possibly late last week. But it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s been 20 freaking years since I graduated. But it’s true.

This brings me face-to-face with the inescapable reality that I am no longer a young person. It doesn’t make me old-old, but it certainly rules out the possibility of me being objectively young. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I know, I know. You’re only as old as you feel! Age is just a number! I get it – it’s passé to lament aging. Publicly. (However, in the privacy of your Dermatologist’s office, feel free.) We’re told to embrace each day as it comes because every day is a gift. It’s true. I know. Blah. When it comes to getting older, I feel – in the wise words that are my sister’s mantra – it is what it is.

It’s fine. I can accept getting older. Older is okay. Older has been good to me so far. Older has brought me a husband who will clean out the garage and rub my feet; two delicious children (metaphorically speaking, of course); and a peace with myself that I didn’t have in 1991 when I graduated high school. Nearly every aspect of my life is better now than it was 20 years ago.

So maybe I can’t eat pizza after 8 o’clock without needing an IV to flush the sodium out of my bloodstream. And maybe now I think twice whether or not those adorable leopard pumps would actually be comfortable? These are not things that really matter in life. The bottom line is that there is little about my youth to pine for – except, I suppose, youth itself. (And by my youth itself, mostly I mean my metabolism.)

To illustrate this point, I made a chart.

When I was Younger…

Now that I am Older…

I was insecure about my decisions, my skills, my possessions, my ideas, my relationships, my talents, my looks, etc.

I am confident on the good days; I forgive myself on the others.

I cared way too much what everybody thought about me all the time.

I realize that most people aren’t thinking about me at all. And they never were. And furthermore, who cares?

I had a coarse, frizzy brown mop on top of my head.

I have smooth, straight, blondish chemically fried, but infinitely more attractive hair.

I waited for people to ask me out on dates.

The love of my life is legally bound to date me forever.

I babysat other people’s children.

I have minions children of my own.

I had to share a car with my sister.

The minivan is mine, all mine.

I wondered what I would be when I grew up?

I know that the answer to that question comes in list form and can be added to daily.

I was a slave to grammar.

I. Write. The. Way. I. Want.

I had a killer metabolism.

Damn, I miss that.

This weekend at my reunion, I will be confronted with the physical and emotional manifestations of time reflected in my classmates faces. Just as they are in mine.  And I will try to remember this little list to ease the sting of being Older. After all, if I’m lucky, there’s a lot more where that came from.

 

 

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2 Comments on “Old is the New Black”

  1. Jen Montgomery says:

    I look forward to every Monday so that I can read your posts. Thank you for brightening up my week! Thank you especially for making me and every other “20 Year Reunion Attendee” smile!!

  2. rockitalian says:

    Love it!! Have so much fun at your reunion. I’m sure you will look young and fabulous and I hope you don’t wear black:)


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