With each new year comes the realization that I will soon be another year older. When I was in my teens, I couldn’t wait to get older. As I started college, I was on the countdown until my magical twenty-first birthday.
Even in my early twenties, I loved birthdays. I embraced every one and celebrated like it was “1999.” But as the years passed and I became a wife and a mother (again and again), I began to notice the cruel signs of getting older and found myself becoming offended whenever I didn’t get asked for ID.
I usually don’t spend much time agonizing over getting older. My kids keep me busy. I am too occupied keeping up with them to worry about having a mid-life crisis. Maybe that is what keeps me feeling young.
But every now and then, I think about the number of candles on my cake that I have to blow out and I wonder when I got so old. Wait a second, why do I only feel old when I think about the number? Who cares about the number, you are as young as you feel.
Still, why does it feel like the world is constantly trying to remind you that you are getting older? How did I get on mailing lists of companies that send me “mature women” magazine subscription requests and pamphlets for assisted living programs? Why do I feel like every time I turn around I see a new face product designed to combat wrinkles?
Last week, during a time when I only had my youngest son with me, I decided to enjoy a little time in Ulta browsing through isles of chic cosmetics. So I handed my son a lollipop as I held his hand and happily strolled through the bright lit rows filled with fancy brands of makeup.
As I turned the corner, a sales associate politely asked me if I was finding everything that I was looking for. I looked over both shoulders before quietly asking with hesitation, “Can you recommend anything for aging skin?”
She looked at me with confusion. She said (and I quote), “WHAT? You are trippin' if you think you need to worry about fine lines. You do not have aging skin.”
I exercise. I try my best to eat good things for my body. I have regular doctor and dentist checkups. I use eye cream. I laugh everyday. I can’t let a few gray hairs and assisted living mail get me down.
This year, I’m going to look forward to another birthday.
Edited by Jody Smith