Now and then I recognize/remember/grok (10 points to the first one who knows what that means) that I’m solidly middle aged. 53 years old. In my head, I’m MAYBE 27. AT THE MOST. I mean, other than the double handful of pills every night and specialist physicians who are younger than I am. But other than that…totally 27. Except for the pre-10pm bedtime. And the avoidance of pepperoni. Or anything else digestion-disturbing. Totally 27. Only I’d rather watch a cooking show than Big Bang Theory (or whatever it is that whippersnappers these days watch on their tiny hand held electronic whatsits)
I do love me a cooking show. British Baking Show is awesome, mainly because they’re so darn POLITE to each other! Loaning tools and helping with timing the cookies and offering suggestions. Bizarre Foods and all the other Andrew Zimmern incarnations…he’s so SWEET and will literally eat ANYTHING. Of course, I would have watched that when I was 27 but we didn’t have TV back then. I mean, we had *a* tv but all we could watch were videos and back then that meant Thomas the Tank Engine nearly all the time. It was how I was able to indulge in personal hygiene.
Where was I?
Oh yeah…being old(ish). It isn’t a bad thing, really. I don’t have to care about stuff like body parts that wobble more than is socially acceptable for a 27 year old. That’s kind of a relief. It ain’t like this body is going to cause anyone to sin, so I am being comfortable with how I look and wearing what I want, even if it means the shorts I would have vehemently avoided due to a lack of self-confidence. That’s another thing that has happened with age- self confidence.
I remember at 27, with small children and a husband on that upward career path, wanting to make sure I did it RIGHT….whatever it was. Whether it was making sure they all ate right or Himself had a good lunch and a hot meal (or cold drink) when he got home, getting it RIGHT was paramount. I am pretty sure I didn’t get it all RIGHT, but I did the best I knew how.
But at 53, with the kids all grown (for the most part. #4 start college in a couple of weeks and that is sort of a different thing) and doing their own things, getting it RIGHT doesn’t seem as critical. Not in the way it meant 25 years ago. But that’s life, right? A constantly evolving system that can happen so slowly when we get to a point we hadn’t really thought about, it surprises us and we go “Wait….what?” and I’m ok with that. Being 53 doesn’t bother me except for the cognitive dissonance of being 25 years older than I thought I was. It doesn’t even bother me that I have a Grandpunkin. (except that it means the son I think of as maybe 7 and he just bunjee-jumped out of the maple tree in the front yard…true story…is married and has a child who likely will bunjee jump)
So 53 isn’t as old as I thought it was. In fact, once I turned 45 I realized that “old” isn’t actually a definite set thing…not like, say, the first day of Spring or Christmas.. It’s purely relative and based wholly on when you think it is. For me, it’s 25 years older than whatever I am. Young is….I don’t know…25 years younger.
Now I am starting all over again but without the nerves. I have found someone who will make a wonderful companion for my later years, and hopefully I will for him. He’s a (slightly) younger man…about 14 months younger. (Not enough that I qualify as a Cougar, thankfully). The whole process has been utterly different this time, seasoned with the confidence of 35 years of adult experience and a knowledge of who I’m looking for. I think I can be good for him, and I know he is for me.
But now, once in a while, like when I get a touch of intestinal megrims from eating something spicy and pork, it hits me that 27 was a long time ago. Then when I realize I’d prefer the Early-Bird special and be done with dinner before 7 and I get a discount for being over 50…kinda hits and I wish I’d not been so serious about life when I was younger, and had some fun while I could do it without digestive consequences.
Pass the orange Jello!