Recently it hit me, the recognition that I’m no longer young, no longer even “middle aged,” but indeed well into the wrap-up decades of my life. And I must admit I find it hard to fathom how this has happened …
Seemingly whizzing from smiley curly-girl to high school baton twirler and journalist to college drop-out. And oh-so-quickly to faculty wife and mother of five.
Then omg to headstrong divorcee! A painful period, trying to craft a satisfying social life, learning to be a non-custodial parent, trying for good jobs while branded a bad woman. Plus on to a physically abusive alliance that in the end required therapy.
Today I’m thankful that I’m still active in many ways — inquisitive, adventurous, energetic, limber, creative, sensual, not half-bad looking — and as positive and optimistic as the state of the country and world will let me. Plus I have no horrendous medical problems, just a-fib with no symptoms, arthritic knees on cortisone and a pinched nerve situation seemingly now solved by surgery.
Best of all, of course, is that nobody ever guesses my true age! But even to me closing in on 80 sounds old, ancient, decrepit, with the attitudes everywhere – the rolled eyes or guffaws when work or love or sex or creativity or just a bright idea is attributed to someone – especially a woman — my age or older.
My conclusion, though, is that times have really changed – WE have changed — thanks to improved healthcare and relatively healthful lifestyles. So although reaching this vantage point is not all roses, it would seem that for me 79 is what 60 or 65 was to my parents. And I’m smiling!