Recently it dawned on me that I’m almost sixty. As in YEARS OLD folks! Sixty years old! Okay, I have four years to go but that’s less than a decade! Less than a decade equals almost in my book.
And then there was this text exchange with my oldest daughter not too long ago:
J: …N met with his hihg school councelor today to pick electives for next year. Lots happening.
Me: Wow, yes that does sound like a lot. Junior high?! OMG! How’d he get so grown up!
J: Mom he is prepping for high school. He is taller than me!
Boy that’ll make you feel old in a hurry! First of all my grandson is going to be in effin’ high school this Fall! And B: I didn’t realize he was that old! I’m a baaad grandma. But that just follows, I was a bad mother too – and not in a Shaft context. But we’re getting off topic.
I started this post because I sure don’t feel 60 or even 56. My husband likes to tell the story about his mom looking in the mirror years ago and saying out loud, “Who is that old woman?”
You just don’t feel it coming on do you? I didn’t. I don’t. Maybe that’s why it always surprises me when I hear things like my grandson starting high school. I just don’t feel it happening.
Recently I finished a book called The Goodbye Summer by Patricia Gaffney. Caddie Winger is the protagonist and Caddie is forced to address her abandonment issues through the story. One of the supporting cast is Thea, an older woman staying at the senior home where Caddie’s grandmother is recovering from a broken leg. Thea is full of life and energy and everyone soon comes to love her. Caddie and Thea become good friends. Thea never had children and Caddie’s mother died when she was young so they form a sort of family bond. I won’t spoil it for anyone who might want to read it (I SO recommend it!) but I have to share something Thea says in the book.
“Old age,” Thea said, “isn’t different from any other age. It’s still you. I feel like I’m the same age I’ve always been!” (Italics in the original.)
To be perfectly clear, I do have more and different aches and pains than I did at 35 or even 45. I have crow’s feet around my eyes I never noticed before and even some age spots (gulp). But the essence that makes me me? It’s still there, still the same and I’m pretty sure I’m okay with that.