I know I’m not imagining this.
In the past three months, I’ve noticed a shift- a significant body shift. The shift has reminded me that I’ve hit the halfway mark of another decade. Maybe it’s just me, but things always seem to change near the cusp of a decade, and mid-way through it.
I remember turning thirty. The first couple of gray hairs discovered and the subtle widening of the hips after the birth of my son. I was getting older- ha! Five years later a bit more padding that came with the second son, and my first visible wrinkles around my eyes. It couldn’t be!
Forty approached and the struggle was real- Subtle highlights gave way to permanent hair dye to cover those “stubborn grays.” I worked to lose the cumulative weight gain that came with three kids. At the half-way mark of the decade, I shed the weight, the heartache, and started a new life.
I was comfortable with fifty. I was content with trading the young body for the gained wisdom that comes from living life. There were more wrinkles and the body shifted downward just a bit, but everything seemed to be holding up pretty well, until now.
I was sitting at the car wash yesterday, noticing how my 2006 Civic is showing its age. There are scratches and dings. The upholstery is stained, and worn. Now I notice the liner above my head is sagging and loose- just like I’ve suddenly noticed in my own skin. The subtle, but unmistaken loss of firmness and elasticity. Which in turn causes a lot of body parts to sag.
I try hard not to buy into the whole youth at every age B.S. To be honest, I think we all look a lot younger than our grandparents did at this age. I recently found a picture of my paternal grandparents and realized they were in their fifties when I was born. They look twenty years older in the photo. Will we one day look really old and dated to our grandchildren?
I work in a place where I am surrounded by folks older than me. Most are in their seventies and above. There are wrinkles on their faces. Some are round, some are very thin and frail, but what I really notice is the sparkle in their eyes; their joyous energy. They are active, engaged and still living a pretty full life.
That’s the wisdom of the elders-and from my sweet little Civic- the body is going to age, not much you can do about that. So keep the engine (mind) healthy. Stay active, curious, keep laughing, and loving life. You only get one chance.