Monday, July 21, 2008

Enjoy Your Vigors

Sometimes I forget that I am not actually all that old.

Not that I'm all that young, either; I don't wear 37 particularly well. I opened an album today and lamented how radically I have changed. The pictures were taken just 4 years ago, but I look back at the girl on the pages like she could be my daughter.

When I say I forget, I mean I often erroneously feel like I am just about to retire, have bunion surgery, get discounts at museums. Other people talk about these things, people a generation ahead of me, and my ears perk up. I feel myself registering kinship the way I used to when I first moved to LA and someone in the doctor's office would begin to describe their recent arrival from Back East and how they still had not adjusted completely. Only it made sense to relate then. Unless I win the lottery, I have about three more decades unti retirement, and probaby a quarter century until bunion surgery and cheap trips to the Getty Center.

I feel old. I look bad. I get extra worry lines worrying about feeling old and looking bad. And then my husband reminds me that I'll never be any younger than I am today. He has told me this often over our eight years together. Even before we had kids. Usually, he says it like this, "Enjoy your vigors!" It makes me laugh, it sounds so silly, and, well... old.

He first started telling me this when I used to fret over our age difference. After years of dating older men, I married a guy thirteen months younger. A silly 13 months! Ha! Why should it matter? It doesn't. It surely didn't change anything, and it certainly didn't keep me from marrying him.

But lately this old feeling has me acting a little differently. Sometimes I don't do this or that thing, because I think to myself, "I'm too old for that!" Or I make a choice for myself as the geriatric patient of my imagination. And so I had to blog about it to set myself straight. This blog you're reading right now? I am grateful you take the time to read it, and I value you. I wrote it, though, as a letter to myself. A reminder. For once, I need to listen to my husband. I'm not really all that old. I'm not getting any younger. And I need to enjoy the vigors of my... well, at least of my middle-agedness. Because I look back at photos of me with my kids one year ago and think, "Wow! I miss those days!" And those were HARD DAYS. Some time not so far off I will look back on photos of July 2008. In some sense at least I want to miss these days, too, and reflect on how the girl on the pages was enjoying her vigors as best she could, all things considered.

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