Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Things I Like About Getting Older

I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and despite the overwhelming evidence, I'm often surprised to find myself officially middle-aged.
I'm a Capricorn, and have accepted the burden of "old when I'm young" of my sign, so I'm just fitting into my skin now. (When I was a teenager and all my friends wanted to cross the border into Michigan, I was the one who blurted out "but we have no health insurance!") But luckily, I'm finding that getting older has some unexpected benefits, and I am happily embracing them:

I don't care how cool I look. There were many years of my life when how I appeared to others was of critical importance, and I was sure it was of critical importance to everyone else, too. I'm not sure when that dropped off my radar, probably somewhere around the time that I had small children hanging off me, depositing their bodily fluids all over my person with alarming enthusiasm. At this point in my life, I'm pretty sure nobody is looking at me, and if they are, they get what they get.

I am wiser. I have learned to consider the source, measure twice but cut once, shake before opening and always, always go home when the tequila comes out.

Experience gives you credibility When I warn the young people I work with about the dangers of shoulder pads and leg warmers, they listen. Because I have lived through that particular horror, and survived to tell the tale. They look at me with wonder and respect. And then when I tell them about perms and skinny leather ties, they listen.

I can do the things I like without derision. When I was younger and wanted to stay home on a Saturday night and read and knit and embroider and go to bed early, I kept that to myself, lest anyone know what a geek I was. Now, when I stay home and knit, it's perfectly acceptable, and I don't care what anyone thinks.. (Except my friend Sandy, who shouts "what are you, 90?" when I knit.) In another couple of years, it will be expected of me.

I can stop sucking in my stomach. I'm almost 50 and I've had two children. Nobody expects me to have a flat stomach.

Growing old is not for sissies, but staying young is even worse.

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