The Truth is I am sixty-nine-and-a-half (as the kids say). My mind is currently mired in the incomprehensible Reality of my approaching 70th birthday.
Sixty was an OK birthday, sixty-two bothered me some. Sixty-five was traumatic because I qualified for Medicare…O.L.D. people qualify for Medicare. And now I am sixty-nine-and-a-half!
Kids are always eager for that next birthday…which used to require at least 36 months to arrive (just like Christmas!). Children grasp the joy and validity of gaining one year of age every twelve months: They look forward to the learning experiences involved in growing older. On my son’s eight birthday he announced “Only eight more years and I can drive!” That was the year he began saving money to buy his first vehicle.
Now I am hurtling downhill toward Being 70. I’m trying to figure out: am I excited, or frightened, fearful that the years went so fast, or … or … or just plain not happy about being O.L.D.
Of course, I know it’s a privilege to live seven decades. Many are not granted this honor. I embrace the blessings of this long life, and having the cognitive ability to complain about growing older. I am grateful for the honor of being designated a Senior Citizen, receiving restaurant, amusement park, lodging, and various other discounts. (Thank you, AARP!) Yes, I am thank-full for my Life.
That does not change the reason for writing this document or the musings to follow. If you are 70, or nearing 70, let me know if you can relate to these facts.
· When I look in the mirror I see my Mom. My husband sees his Dad, so this is not just a female phenomenon.
· In my head I am still 35 or 40. (I think that’s part of the emotional shock of seeing my dear ol’ Mom in the mirror…that can not be Me!)
· Making the decision this year to stop coloring my hair and discovering that it is a lovely shade of silver gray, with a nice slice of dark auburn near my hairline. I used to say men look sexy with gray hair…women just look old. I no longer subscribe to that philosophy.
· There is an old saying that suggests I embrace the wrinkles in my face; I earned every single one! I’m trying to get to that mindset.